Nov 6, 2012

Barry Trashes His Own Second Airport Idea on Melbourne Cup Day

It is extraordinary that Barry O’Farrell has undermined his own rhetoric by giving the green light to residential development under the Canberra Airport flight path at Tralee.

Barry O’Farrell has stated he doesn’t support a second Sydney airport actually being in Sydney, and the only option he would support is Canberra. Today’s decision renders his plan for Canberra as Sydney’s second hub farcical and completely contradictory.

It defies common sense that he’s killed off his own idea, however absurd it might have been in the first place.

I have written to the NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard asking him to reconsider this decision.

The Federal Government remains opposed to putting new greenfield housing developments under busy flight paths. It just doesn’t make sense.

The NSW Government’s embarrassment over this decision can’t be hidden, even by dropping it to newspapers on Melbourne Cup day.

Even Barry O’Farrell’s own Planning Assessment Commission told him this was a bad idea, as has every other independent study.

The Tralee development is already directly underneath an existing flight path and the imminent introduction of Smart Tracking technology by Airservices Australia to Canberra Airport will see another flight path curve away from existing residential areas in Jerrabomberra towards Tralee.

With passenger traffic at Canberra Airport forecast to grow by 36 per cent in the next decade, there will be an average 97 flight movements a day over the Tralee area.

The unanimous finding of an independent study, jointly sponsored by the Federal and State governments, is that Sydney needs a second airport.

All levels of government need to take a consistent approach to these issues and act in the national interest. Australia will lose jobs and economic investment if we don’t act.