Under blue skies and surrounded by tranquil bush, a group of concerned residents from the Lower Mountains met on Saturday at the gate to Glenbrook National Park.
The event was organised by RAWSA – Residents Against Western Sydney Airport – who were there to talk to tourists about the proposed airport at Badgerys Creek, less than 20km away as the crow flies.
They asked the visitors a number of questions. Were they aware of the proposed airport and what did they think about it? How did they feel about the solitude they were seeking in the national park being disturbed by planes flying overhead at 1200 metres, every ten to 15 minutes, with a noise level of around 60 decibels, loud enough to stop a conversation? Did they know there would not be a curfew? Were they concerned about the impact on biodiversity and the threat to critically endangered species?
A RAWSA spokeswoman said the general response was one of “dismay and disbelief”.
“One visitor from Sydney asked ‘Have you talked to the government about this? Representatives of RAWSA had indeed spoken with a number of government and opposition MPs, including Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher, so far with little success,” she told the Gazette.
Mayor Mark Greenhill, and Federal MP for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, addressed the crowd.
Cr Greenhill said: "The visitors to our national park need to know that the beauty they see could all be lost if this airport goes ahead.
"We confront some of the most powerful people in the land: governments, sections of business and monied interests. But we have something they don't have. We have community. We have each other. I urge the community to never give up. Don't stop fighting. Stick together.”
Ms Templeman talked about the work she had done to inform Parliament about the negative impact an airport the size of Heathrow would have on western Sydney and the Mountains.
"I congratulate RAWSA for continuing to get the message out that this is an airport the size of Heathrow with no curfew, which is what I am making sure my Parliamentary colleagues understand too."
A number of avenues, both legal and political are still being explored by those who oppose the airport. Go to www.rawsa.info.