Blue Mountains City Council calls for Western Sydney action against Badgery's Creek Airport EIS
Blue Mountains City Council shared its damning review of the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a Western Sydney Airport at Badgery’s Creek with the local community at a public meeting yesterday Saturday 15 October.
Almost 500 residents and community members heard the Council’s concerns, and the concerns of residents at the meeting called by the Council to listen to public opinion on the final EIS, released by the Australian Government in September 2016.
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said “The meeting was an important conversation with our community at this critical point in time, with the final EIS and Airport Plan now with the Minister for the Environment, Josh Frydenberg, for determination in November.
The voice of the community remains loud and clear in its opposition to the airport proposal. The key issues of aircraft noise, flight paths, traffic, transport, the environment, public health and potentially negative economic impacts have, once again, been ill considered and poorly addressed in the final EIS.
This is despite the fact that the Australian Government received 4,975 submissions on the draft EIS of which 80% came from the Blue Mountains Local Government Area, with the majority from the heavily affected towns Blaxland, Glenbrook and Springwood."
The meeting was also attended by residents from Penrith, Blacktown and The Hills demonstrating shared concerns about the impact of an airport at Badgery’s Creek from residents across Western Sydney.
A number of elected representatives from across political parties addressed the community meeting in solidarity with the community’s criticism of the final EIS and their opposition to the airport proposal with Senators Doug Cameron and Lee Rhiannon joining Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman, Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi, Member for Blue Mountains Trish Doyle, and Councillors at the community meeting.
The Council’s submission on the draft EIS identified a large number of gaps and inadequacies that reflected community concerns as well as the results of an independent review of the draft EIS and Airport Plan.
The Mayor said that the final EIS reflects little material change in response to the recommendations made by Council and others.
“The Department’s response to concerns raised in the submissions does not address the fundamental concerns of the Council nor the community with the EIS, including the aircraft noise, air quality and greenhouse gases, human health, traffic and transport, airport precinct, airspace architecture and operation, landscape and visual amenity, consultation process, social and economic matters and the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area”, said the Mayor.
“The revised EIS and draft Airport Plan was supposed to have been updated to take account of the comments received during the community consultation period. The problem is – is hasn’t.
As one resident put it, the final EIS is no more than a sales brochure.”
It is Council’s strong view that unless the gaps and inadequacies in the draft EIS are addressed, it cannot be finalised and the Western Sydney Airport cannot proceed.
“To make this point to the Australian Government, I am proposing to work with the Mayor of Blacktown City Council on a day of action with the communities of Blue Mountains and Western Sydney joining forces to make sure our voices are heard”, said the Mayor.
“In my view, the final EIS is a con job and ignores the majority view of the community. The latest report is strong on rhetoric and short on facts, including, remarkably, that no flight paths have been determined”, said the Mayor.
“This is simply not good enough for the most significant proposal affecting the liveability of Western Sydney for the next Century. The people of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains deserve better.”