Badgerys Creek air­port moves a big step closer

Plans for rail link not yet fi­nalised but first stage of devel­op­ment cleared for take­off

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Is­abell Petrinic

A GROUP known for lam­bast­ing the Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment’s air­port poli­cies has ad­mit­ted it may be time to ac­cept Badgerys Creek air­port is re­ally com­ing.

“It’s no good shrug­ging your shoul­ders about it any more,” Res­i­dents Against Western Syd­ney Air­port vice-pres­i­dent Paul Goleby said.

His com­ments come on the back of the State Gov­ern­ment’s ap­proval of the western Syd­ney air­port on Fri­day.

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Josh Fry­den­berg an­nounced con­di­tions for the stage 1 devel­op­ment of the air­port via a me­dia re­lease. The an­nounce­ment in­cluded more than 40 “strict” en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions.

“With th­ese con­di­tions and the ex­ist­ing reg­u­la­tory regime al­ready in place, I am con­fi­dent the first stage of this devel­op­ment can now pro­ceed,” he said.

Mr Fry­den­berg said Ur­ban In­fra­struc­ture Min­is­ter Paul Fletcher “will now be in a po­si­tion to fi­nalise the Air­port Plan and au­tho­rise stage 1 of the devel­op­ment”.

Stage 1 will see one run­way ca­ter­ing for 10 mil­lion pas­sen­gers a year, five years af­ter open­ing.

But Mac­quarie fed­eral La­bor MP Su­san Tem­ple­man said the ap­proval came de­spite flight paths still not be­ing locked in.

Western Syd­ney Re­gional Or­gan­i­sa­tion of Coun­cils pres­i­dent Cr Stephen Bali said the plan also lacked a “com­mit­ment to a rail line” and “a solid plan for jobs”.

Three rail lines — two of them new — be­tween St Marys and the fu­ture Badgerys Creek air­port had been flagged in a scop­ing pa­per re­leased by Mr Fletcher.

Pen­rith Coun­cil and the Western Syd­ney Rail Al­liance, of which coun­cil is a mem­ber, also cham­pi­oned a new rail line — one that runs north-south across outer western Syd­ney.

“We are look­ing at the con­di­tions now and how they fit with coun­cil’s po­si­tion,” Pen­rith Mayor John Thain said.

Early fig­ures com­mis­sioned by the al­liance sug­gest con­struc­tion of a north­south rail line, from Rouse Hill to Camp­bell­town, could cre­ate be­tween 43,800 to 65,800 di­rect jobs and up to 98,600 in­di­rect jobs.

“We com­mend the Gov­ern­ment’s com­pre­hen­sive rail scop­ing study for the western Syd­ney re­gion, but the re­al­ity is there is still no as­sur­ance that Badgerys will have a rail link from the out­set,” Cr Bali said.

Mr Fry­den­berg said the con­di­tions gov­ern­ing the con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tion of Badgerys Creek air­port will en­sure the airspace de­sign ad­dresses a range of en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors.

A 2014 artist’s im­pres­sion of the pro­posed western Syd­ney air­port at Badgerys Creek.

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