Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman has been rebuffed in a new attempt to sit on the Forum on Western Sydney Airport (FOWSA).
Urban infrastructure minister Paul Fletcher rejected a formal request from Labor’s infrastructure spokesman Anthony Albanese to expand FOWSA to include the Macquarie MP as well as Lindsay MP Emma Husar.
FOWSA is the body responsible for community consultation on the western Sydney airport.
Ms Templeman said the refusal showed the government wasn’t serious about genuine consultation.
“The government’s attitude all along has been to reject criticisms and deride people who have concerns. 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,” she said.
“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.”
Urban infrastructure minister Paul Fletcher said the current 23 members of the FOWSA were selected from over 60 nominations and are representative of the broader western Sydney and Blue Mountains region.
“FOWSA is very ably led by Professor Shergold and I am very pleased with the calibre and diversity of the members of FOWSA. They bring a broad range of skills, expertise and local knowledge,” he said.
The forum members held their second meeting on August 29, including visiting Kingsford Smith Airport to gain a greater understanding of the operations and complexities involved with flight path planning.
“The visit to Kingsford Smith Airport also provided the opportunity to see the diversity of jobs that support an operational airport and to gain an understanding of the economic and job opportunities western Sydney airport will bring to the region,” said Mr Fletcher.