Local MPs rejected from airport Forum

Federal Members Susan Templeman and Emma Husar have been denied membership on the Forum on Western Sydney Airport. Photo: Melinda Jane
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Emma Husar and Susan Templeman are fuming after they were rejected from becoming members of a Forum helping to guide the future of the Western Sydney Airport.

The Lindsay and Macquarie MPs had their applications to join the Forum on Western Sydney Airport (FOWSA) denied, leaving both unhappy and concerned for their communities.

“Our community deserves a voice if this airport is to proceed,” Ms Husar said.

“The community have a right to know what this airport is going to look like, how it will operate, how many of our local people will be employed, and ensuring infrastructure is built.”

Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher rejected a written request from Labor’s Infrastructure spokesman, Anthony Albanese, to include Ms Husar and Ms Templeman on FOWSA.

In his reply, Mr Fletcher wrote that the level of representation on the Forum was currently appropriate with community representatives from both the Blue Mountains and Penrith included, and that he would keep in mind Ms Husar and Ms Templeman as suggested members should any vacancies arise.

Currently, according the FOWSA Terms of Reference, there are 23 members, four of which are State or Federal MPs.

These include Liberal Senator Marise Payne, Labor Federal MPs Dr Mike Freelander and Anne Stanley, and Liberal State MP Christopher Patterson.

Ms Templeman said western Sydney and the Blue Mountains are constantly facing different rules than eastern Sydney, prompting major concern.

“For some reason, the Turnbull Government thinks it’s fine to have one set of rules for the east of Sydney but a different set for the west because the Sydney Airport Forum has 11 Federal MPs on it, not just three,” she said.

“FOWSA should provide the perfect forum for a robust investigation and discussion of issues related to the project, and for the community to have a real voice. Sadly, that just isn’t happening.”

“If it is good enough for the Minister for Urban Infrastructure who represents Hornsby to sit on a committee for the Mascot airport, why shouldn’t the people of Lindsay have their representative participating on a proposed airport in our backyard,” Ms Husar added.

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