The Federal Government has released the long-awaited draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Western Sydney International Airport for public feedback.
The EIS includes assessments of the noise, social and environmental impacts of the the airport’s preliminary flight paths and the Australian Government’s proposed actions to address any areas of concern.
This includes the proposed policy for noise treatments to existing properties most impacted by aircraft noise and considerations for any potential acquisition of property.
“Feedback has, and continues to be, a critical element to ensuring we deliver an airport which realises these lasting benefits, while balancing the needs of the community, environment, industry and users of the broader Greater Sydney airspace in the design of the new flight paths for Western Sydney International,” said Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Catherine King.
Key findings from the aircraft noise assessment with the single runway approaching capacity in 2055 include that over a 24-hour period, there would be between 7,000 and 12,200 residents potentially experiencing five or more aircraft noise events above 70 dB(A) which can lead to an indoor sound level of 60 dB(A) when windows are opened (enough to disturb conversation).
Over a 24 hour period, between 114,000 to 150,000 residents may experience 10 or more noise events above 60 dB(A).
Federal Lindsay MP Melissa McIntosh criticised the way in which the EIS was released, claiming not enough notice was provided.
“It is outrageous this is the second time Minister King has left Western Sydney in the dark, and released important flight path information to the media at midnight, without adequate prior warning. This is purely about playing politics with the people of western Sydney, and I for one won’t be quiet about it. Getting a good run in the media without scrutiny should not be the Minister’s top priority,” she said.
“The Lindsay electorate is now the most impacted by the flight paths from Western Sydney International Airport, which does not seem to be fair, and we deserve adequate consultation from the Minister and the Albanese Labor Government. Minister King needs to stop messing about with the people of western Sydney through her political tactics, and start taking the impact of this issue seriously.”
Penrith Mayor Todd Carney said Council had no advance warning of the EIS release.
“Penrith City Council is learning about the EIS at the same time as the rest of the community today,” he said on Tuesday.
“I want to reinforce that Council needs time to understand the comprehensive document, including the impacts on our residents and the environment, and the measures proposed for mitigating how it will affect residents and the environment.
“The release of the EIS gives us the opportunity to go through what the impacts are on our community, but also to see how those noise mitigation measures in particular will actually work within our community.
“We have the opportunity to have our say and also to make sure that if there are some extra measures we can put in place, we do that through our submission to the EIS.”
“The investment in Western Sydney International Airport and associated infrastructure is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. However, that must be balanced with the liveability of our area as one of the fastest growing in the state.
“I encourage the community to seek out their own information on the EIS too and to attend one of the community information events, and make a submission on what they would like to see from the EIS.”
Members of the public can submit feedback and view the EIS at www.wsiflightpaths.gov.au.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.