Aug 19, 2003

Government should be bipartisan on 2nd Sydney Airport

Government should be bipartisan on 2nd Sydney Airport

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 19 August 2003

The Federal Member for Grayndler Anthony Albanese called on the Government yesterday to take a bipartisan approach in identifying a suitable site for a second airport in Sydney and stop playing politics with the health and welfare of inner west residents.

Speaking in favour of a motion by the Labor Member for Lowe, John Murphy MP in Parliament yesterday, Mr Albanese said that even Prime Minister Howard recognises the need for a second airport in Sydney.

“The first policy which the current Prime Minister launched in his 1996 campaign was Putting People First in the electorate of Lowe. He committed the incoming Liberal government to building a second airport for Sydney. He did that because, as the member for Bennelong, he knew that Sydney needs a second airport,” Mr Albanese said.

“This is a master plan that predicts that the number of passengers going through Sydney airport will increase from 23 million today to 68.3 million, from 255,000 movements up to 412,000 movements—and that is why Sydney needs a second airport.

It is simply unsustainable—the Prime Minister knows it, and every member of this House knows it—because Sydney airport, unlike other major airports around the world, is something like four times smaller in geography than airports such as O’Hare and Heathrow and Sydney airport has three runways, not 10, 11 or 12 as we see at other major airports.

In the meantime we need a Sydney airport community plan, we need mandatory enforcement of the curfew and the cap as this draft master plan has in it schedules outside the curfew time which the government has taken no action over that and we need to reform LTOP so that we maximise the flights over water.

We need to provide insulation for schools. Two weeks ago, I had to write a reference for my students at Tempe High School, who could throw a tennis ball and hit the airport and whose school is not insulated, because their education is disrupted every 40 seconds.

Surely that is what is needed, because for too long party politics has got in the way of a decent long-term solution. The Howard Government should get on with doing what is best in terms of not just the impact of aircraft noise but also the economic necessity for Australia to get this right,” Mr Albanese concluded.