Mayor to establish a Western Sydney Airport Reference Group
Blue Mountains City Council will consider establishing a Western Sydney Airport Mayoral Reference Group to facilitate ongoing communication between the Council and interested community members on emerging matters relating to the proposed Western Sydney Airport.
Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said he is seeking to bring together the council and the community to maintain the momentum achieved during the Australian Government’s public exhibition of the draft Environmental Impact Statement held in late 2015.
“A Mayoral Reference Group will allow for the Council to engage the community in ongoing discussion and information sharing in relation to the important issue of the proposed Western Sydney Airport at Badgery’s Creek”, said the Mayor.
The draft EIS and Airport Plan for Western Sydney Airport have been heavily criticised by Western Sydney councils, independent experts, and the community, as being grossly inadequate and ill considered.
Since the release of the draft EIS and Airport Plan, the Council has been actively engaging and advocating for the community by ongoing representations to Australian Government politicians and senior public servants. The Council’s submission on the draft EIS was submitted on 20 December 2015.
“This is an active issue confronting the community. I want to ensure that community interest and concern is heard by the Council and that future representations and advocacy undertaken by the Council on this issue are in line with the views and opinions of the community.”
After receiving around 4,800 public submissions, the final EIS, taking into account public comments, is not expected to be issued by the Australian Government until June 2016.
The Mayor said, “For a project of such significance and national importance, possibly being the largest single infrastructure investment of a generation, it is critical that the Council and the community stay informed and responsive as the Australian Government proposal progresses.”
An Expression of Interest and selection process for eight (8) community representatives to the Western Sydney Airport Mayoral Reference Group will be undertaken in coming weeks. The Mayoral Reference Group will also be open to interested Councillors. It is proposed that issues and information raised in the Mayoral Reference Group will be publicly available.
City entry signs and bridge banners currently displayed throughout the City serve to promote the Council’s position opposing a second Sydney airport at Badgery’s Creek and its call for a comprehensive EIS and fair flight path options.