Silence on airport

Kevin Crameri. Photo: Melinda Jane
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Penrith Councillor Kevin Crameri fears it might be too little too late to stop the Federal Government from building an airport at Badgerys Creek.

In a desperate plea to the public, Cr Crameri said that campaigning by the NSW business sector is drowning out concerns about Badgerys Creek Airport that saw the infrastructure project shelved decades ago.

“People who oppose an airport need to start talking to the local representatives. Penrith Council has opposed the airport on previous occasions due to noise pollution, environmental damage, traffic congestion… the list of reasons goes on,” he said.

“Residents from Rooty Hill, Mount Druitt, Erskine Park, St Marys, St Clair, Kemps Creek and Badgerys Creek should all be very concerned about the direct impact an airport would have on their property.”

Complaints about noise from passing aircraft on route to or from Sydney Airport were recorded in suburbs such as Cranebrook, Penrith and South Penrith between April and June 2013.

Councillor Crameri said with two airports in Sydney the impact would be unfathomable.

“On top of the noise pollution, there’s also traffic congestion, which will no doubt affect Penrith just as it does the suburbs surrounding Sydney Airport,” he said.

“And what happens with all the fuel? When planes need to dump fuel they can go out to sea, but where are they going to dump it, on Warragamba Dam? The Blue Mountains?

“There are so many concerns that have not been addressed and people need to take a stand.”

The Weekender requested an interview with NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney, Barry O’Farrell, who was previously against Badgerys Creek Airport, but a spokesperson said he was “unavailable”.

Instead, Mr O’Farrell issued a statement saying that the airport is a Federal Government responsibility.

“The Federal Government has the land. Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has now given himself a $500 billion credit card. If he wants to build the second Sydney airport he can, but State funds will continue to go into State infrastructure,” he said.

It’s a massive backflip from when in January 2012, a spokesperson for Mr O’Farrell said: “The Premier has said very clearly there will never be a second airport in the Sydney basin because there is simply nowhere to put it. His view is it would cause too much grief for the people who live around it”.

Qantas and Jetstar have confirmed that they would support the airport.

“There are many cities around the world that have more than one successful airport operating with flag carriers and low-cost airlines too. There is no reason why this couldn’t be the case for a new airport at Badgerys Creek, and see both Qantas and Jetstar operating,” said a spokesperson for Qantas.

“We are always looking for new ways to provide more options for customers, as well as reduce costs, so a new airport at Badgerys could definitely provide us with this.”

Councillors had a briefing on the airport on Monday evening.

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