Subject/s: Badgerys Creek; infrastructure
LINDA MOTTRAM: We’re expecting the Federal Government to announce the go-ahead for Badgerys Creek. Anthony Albanese is the Shadow Transport Minister and joins me on the line this morning. Anthony Albanese, good morning.
ALBANESE: Good morning Linda.
LINDA MOTTRAM: We’re expecting this announcement, assuming it comes through. Will you be supporting it?
ALBANESE: We’ll wait and see the detail of the announcement but we certainly believe that Sydney needs a second airport. We produced a comprehensive study in 2012 that found that Badgerys Creek was the best site for the airport. The land has been purchased there. Fortuitously, it’s on the extension of the South West Line that began under the former State Labor Government and is being completed now. It just needs to be extended past Leppington up to Badgerys Creek –
LINDA MOTTRAM: – just on that, is it just a matter of extending it, or will the facilities have to be different, given that it will now be servicing an airport, it seems?
ALBANESE: No, the studies that we undertook indicated that you would extend it one stop further to Badgerys Creek, but you need to go further and link it in to the Western Line, and preferably if the state government get it right, the North West Line is another option as well, so essentially you have a rail loop line. The fact that the land is purchased means that there’s a saving by building the infrastructure sooner rather than later because the rail line would go under the airport –that’s the way the study envisaged it. The key is getting the infrastructure around the airport right. The widening that will be needed of Elizabeth Drive which links with the M7. Also getting the planning commenced for the M9 the outer ring road for Sydney will be important. It’s a matter of not seeing it just as an airport, but as a generator of jobs and innovation.
LINDA MOTTRAM: There are a whole lot of issues there, isn’t there? I mean, there’s IT, there are all sorts of things that will need to be thought of. But what about the fundamentals? The cost of parking at Mascot Airport drives people mad and people are texting me about it right now. Are those the sorts of things that the government’s going to have to place a cap on?
ALBANESE: All of the planning about the function of the airport needs to happen. Noise issues, for example, will be dealt with through an environmental impact statement. That will be required. This will be the first stage today if the government does proceed with this announcement. 12 months notice has to be given to the existing owners of Sydney Airport. But the benefit of Badgerys Creek is that it is not constrained, the size of it, simply by where it is located. I’m speaking to you from Sydney Airport now. It was gridlock getting to the airport this morning. It took 40 minutes from Marrickville which is not far.
LINDA MOTTRAM: Well we’ll see how that unfolds. Anthony Albanese, thank you for talking to us.
ALBANESE: Good to talk to you.