Nov 6, 2012

Transcript of Interview – 2CC Breakfast with Jorian Gardner

Issues: Second Sydney Airport; NSW Government’s approval of Tralee residential development; Return of ACT Government

JORIAN GARDNER: Now look there has been a story which has been going around all morning, we’ve had all the major players involved in this story, Stephen Byron from the Canberra Airport, Bob Winnell from the Village Building Company, we’ve had Steve Whan from the NSW Opposition who’s for it, we’ve had John Barilaro from the Nats, Member for Eden-Monaro, who’s for it as well.

I’ve not got Federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese, on the line who I don’t think is a big fan of this. Good morning, Minister.


JORIAN GARDNER: Can you tell me, are you disappointed by the decision that’s been made by the New South Wales Government to approve Tralee?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I certainly am. I think the decision defies common sense. Every independent study that looked at this, including the New South Wales Government’s own planning commission, came up with the conclusion that this is a very bad idea result.

The idea that you have a flight path that is housing free into a major airport and then you decide to put housing under it is pretty extraordinary.

JORIAN GARDNER: The people who are running Tralee, Bob Winnell from the Village Building Company all say that it’s not under the flight path.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well that’s nonsense of course. I live pretty close to the Sydney Airport flight path and the idea that aircraft noise stops at one metre and then occurs at one metre away is ridiculous. And of course there’s a big difference between aircraft noise at 3pm in the afternoon and aircraft noise at 3am in the morning as well.

Canberra is a curfew-free airport. It has potential for significant expansion, particularly for freight. Common sense just tells you we should minimise land use conflicts around airports. There are big issues right around the country in Sydney, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Adelaide about aircraft noise. We have to deal with the fact that airports have been put somewhere where there’s residential development. In Sydney of course it’s very close to the city.

The idea that you have this airport where you don’t have housing and you retrofit housing under the flight path is extraordinary.

JORIAN GARDNER: Can I just ask, I mean obviously you live near the flight path you know in Sydney and you know that you’re going to get aircraft noise, anybody who buys a house in Tralee knows that they’re going to get aircraft noise, so can’t we just make them sign a document that says thou will not complain now that they know?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Well let me tell you there are a few people under the Sydney flight path who’ve moved in after the airport was there and they complain. That’s just what occurs and you have to look at land use planning in a sensible way.

As you’d be aware the Federal Government along with the ACT Government are building almost a $300 million Majura Parkway that’s about expanding  the potential of economic activity, particularly in that area.

What we should look at is industrial use under the flight path and have housing development where it’s free from aircraft noise.

JORIAN GARDNER: Just two things before I let you go, Minister Albanese.  Four Corners last night, did you happen to catch any of that. Pretty disturbing footage, mate.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I haven’t seen it, so I can’t comment.

JORIAN GARDNER: Well very disturbing footage about the livestock industry overseas again.

And just lastly, you’ll be happy, today is the day ACT Chief Minister Labor leader Katy Gallagher will take the reins again for another four years. You’ll be happy about that.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I am indeed. I think Katy’s a great Chief Minister, she’s a personal friend. I think she’s shown a great deal of leadership. She certainly hounded my office in order to make sure that Majura Parkway went ahead, and she’s a great advocate for Canberra.

The other thing that’s happening today of course is a little race in Flemington, and if this decision wasn’t an absolute shocker they wouldn’t have put out this decision on Melbourne Cup day in order to hide it. It would be something they’d be proud of. That says a lot about the New South Wales Government’s embarrassment, particularly given Barry O’Farrell has said Canberra should be Sydney’s second airport.

JORIAN GARDNER: Backflip Barry we’ll call him from today then I’d say.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I think this day is known a bit in political and media circles as ‘put out your trash day’.

JORIAN GARDNER: It certainly is.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Barry’s trashed his own policy on Melbourne Cup Day.

JORIAN GARDNER: Hang on a sec you blokes in Federal Parliament do that every Friday.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: No, no. See if we have a major announcement – Fridays aren’t trash day, Friday afternoon at 7 o’clock, if something goes out then, yes I agree it’s a bit suss.

JORIAN GARDNER: You’re having a beer at that stage anyway.

And just before you go. Anthony Albanese what’s your tip?

ANTHONY ALBANESE: I wouldn’t have a clue. A grey horse, that’s how scientific I am.

JORIAN GARDNER: Anthony Albanese, Federal Transport and Infrastructure Minister, thanks for joining us.

ANTHONY ALBANESE: Good to talk to you.