Calls for more consultation on airport

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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.

Alena Higgins

Alena Higgins is the Weekender’s Court Reporter

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