Calls for more consultation on airport

Locals against the airport converged on Penrith City Council last week. Photo: Melinda Jane

Renewed calls for community consultation on the future of Western Sydney Airport have been aired amid concerns residents are not being properly informed of the ramifications.

Last month, Penrith Councillor Kevin Crameri again requested to know why Council had failed to host its own public forum to allow locals to express their fears and have their questions answered.

He contends Forum on Western Sydney Airport (FOWSA), the Commonwealth body established to inform communities about the planning and progress of the airport, was full of proponents.

“It’s basically putting the fox in charge of the hen house,” he said.

However Penrith Mayor and FOWSA member John Thain disagreed, saying representatives would fight to lessen any adverse impacts.

Cr Thain said it would be premature to hold a forum given flight paths and merge points are not yet known.

“It’s the Federal Government’s infrastructure and it’s up to them to communicate to the community,” he said.

He said the majority of people within the Penrith LGA were “pretty positive about it”, adding he rarely gets calls from local residents to the contrary.

“I think most people realise it’s an opportunity to get a lot of jobs out here so we don’t have to head east into the city,” he said.

President of No Badgerys Creek Airport Inc, Andrea Grieve, said it was Council’s duty to inform residents of “the good, the bad and the ugly” the airport may bring.

“It is absolutely surprising in this day and age, that people are still unaware it will be a 24-hour airport… that there will be no cap like Sydney airport gets,” she said.

  • Pam West

    Yup. Still meeting people who don’t realise it will be 24 hours, that Mascot has a curfew, and that most of the planes will be the very noisy freight planes. There is no governing body such as Mascot has: my understanding is that the Airport Act stipulates that flight paths will be determined by commercial interests. There HAS to be more information and consultation. We’re not as stupid as they think, but some of us don’t have all the facts still.

  • Colin Andersen

    Could Penrith Mayor Thain be the 21st century version of King Canute? ‘As King Thain of Penrith, I command you ‘adverse impacts’ to retreat!’ Good luck with that Mayor Canute.

  • Keith

    What is it that is being hidden from residents I wonder? Surely everyone deserves to know the facts?

  • Julie

    I am so tired of this government planting every pollution pumping, environment destroying piece of crap out here. Its so obvious how much damage to the environment this airport will destroy. No one out here cares that it takes 45minutes to Kingsford Smith. Thousands of jobs have been lost out here already and many more to go! This is about big business and money , nothing else! They think we are that stupid and desperate in the west that we can just be dazzled with the “jobs and growth” line.

  • fred payne

    I think we have another case offering jobs as an excuse to increase pollution (air. water, noise and traffic) congestion in the outer western suburbs.
    It seems that the VFT between the Eastern state capitals would do much more to reduce congestion at Kingsford Smith Airport, and address many of the decentralisation issues that threaten our major cities