Mayor seeks answers over Badgerys Creek

Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill believes council ought to remain strongly opposed to a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek, despite the federal government last week confirming an airport will be built there.

Clr Greenhill told the Gazette he will seek answers from the government to a swathe of questions about its impact on the Blue Mountains.

“I will submit a two-part mayoral minute at the next council meeting [on April 29] in light of the federal government’s decision,” Clr Greenhill said.

“I will ask council to confirm its opposition to the airport.

“Secondly, I will ask that councillors receive a briefing from the federal transport department on what is planned.

“We need to understand how this announcement affects the Blue Mountains, including what the proposed flight paths are.

“I also think we deserve to know why there are no curfew plans.

“Once we have that detail we can map our next steps.”

In giving the official green light for a new airport at Badgerys Creek to be built by the private sector, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced $2.9 billion in new roads spending over the next eight years to support the new airport, including a new connecting motorway and major upgrades to the Northern Road and Bringelly Road.

The NSW government would contribute 20 per cent of the roads funding and be expected to construct a rail link to Badgerys Creek (the federal government will reserve the rail corridor land).

Member for Maquarie Louise Markus told Fairfax Media she was “pleased a decision has been made” but is of the view that a curfew is needed when the airport becomes operational.

“This [decision] will generate jobs, benefiting economic growth and tourism in the region,” Mrs Markus said. “From here my focus will be on the key priorities for the people of Macquarie — the right infrastructure, the protection of the environment and flood mitigation strategies.

“I believe that a curfew is essential.” 

Labor spokesperson for Macquarie Susan Templeman said “the job and economic benefits for the west are certainly very seductive, but I am concerned that we’ll wake up to the reality in a few years of irreversible social and environmental damage for western Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury”.

“It is completely unfair that an airport in the western suburbs has no curfew, while an airport in the eastern suburbs still has one.”

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils vice-president Tiffany Tree told Fairfax Media that every effort should be made to create a first class airport, not a poorer second cousin to Mascot.

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