Blue Mountains Labor politicians across all three levels of government have defended their stance on the planned Western Sydney Airport (WSA) following an attack by NSW Liberal MP Shayne Mallard.
The Upper House MP called on Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill, state Blue Mountains MP Trish Doyle and federal Macquarie MP Susan Templeman to get behind the airport.
“Penrith and Liverpool communities have jumped on board seeing the jobs and investment opportunities. Blue Mountains Labor members continue their opposition, damaging the opportunities for the local community and businesses,” he told Parliament.
“If Trish Doyle and her Labor mates on council do not take their heads out of the sand then the community will just bypass them as irrelevant on the issue of jobs and investment from the new airport and aerotroplis.”
But Blue Mountains mayor Mark Greenhill said the Blue Mountains community will have their quality of life degraded by this airport and he was “going to stand up for them”.
“We don't even know where the planes will fly because the Liberals haven't released the revised flight paths,” he said.
“Last time routes were publicly available, the drafts showed the Lower Mountains were devastated by low-flying aircraft 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Those maps were quickly withdrawn and now the government seeks to proceed with construction while not yet revealing the new flight paths.
“Frankly, given the orientation of the airport, I believe any new plans will devastate the lower Blue Mountains. By not releasing the maps, I believe I am right to be concerned.”
Susan Templeman also zeroed in on uncertainty over flight paths for the new airport at Badgerys Creek.
“I continue to have grave concerns about the effect of 100 percent of flights coming in across the Blue Mountains to land at a 24 hour a day Western Sydney Airport.
“Even now, it’s not unusual to hear a noisy aircraft that is flying over Winmalee at 11,000 feet which is higher than the 10,000 feet identified in the early flight path modelling that we were given, and it will be lower closer to the airport.
“It’s very concerning to think that level of noise, all day everyday, will be the cost to this community of the new airport.
“We still don’t have definitive flight paths and there are less protections for residents affected by WSA than for people on the north shore or eastern suburbs, and that’s something everyone who represents this community at any level of government and for any political party should be concerned about.”
State MP Trish Doyle didn’t directly criticise the airport proposal but said the state government “should get to work making sure the public transport and roads infrastructure in Western Sydney which they’re responsible for is actually up to scratch”.
She deflected Mr Mallard’s airport attack to the contentious issue of the new Blue Mountains train fleet.
“Perhaps instead of lecturing Blue Mountains residents about the federal government’s airport proposal he [Mr Mallard] could lobby the state government – of which he is a backbench member – and ask why Gladys is buying trains from South Korea that don’t fit the tracks and new buses from Malaysia? Everywhere you look, regional jobs are being sacrificed by this government in the name of the almighty dollar.”
The mayor he said he was “glad” the community had Trish Doyle and Susan Templeman as its local MPs.
“They speak out on behalf of locals. They won't accept this state of affairs because they actually care about the Blue Mountains,” he said.