Benn Banasik, Mayor of Wollondilly Shire Council, responds in this piece:
Badgerys Creek Airport to Create Illawarra jobs
And from www.crikey.com.au:
'Sydney's second airport at Badgerys Creek will start out as a single runway facility with a modest terminal, but no curfew, and no forced tranfers of flights there from existing services to the main Kingsford Smith airport.
Work will start in 2016, it would open in the next decade, and the actual airport would be paid for largely by private investment.
The Prime Minister Tony Abbott, said it would be a case of roads first and airport second, with the budget providing for an infrastructure package for western Sydney which also includes a start on the building of an airport.(When pressed on rail he tried to avoid the 'r' word by referring to 'other infrastructure' but conceded that a western rail loop through the new airport was desirable, as it was desirable that it be owned and paid for by NSW like its other railways!)
Work will begin on the airport by 2016, after a required-by-law one to two year long process during which the government would 'assist' Sydney Airport's private owners to decide whether or not they would exercise their first right of refusal to own the new airport.
"We want to get cracking on this" the PM said, adding that "there has been too much studying and too little deciding for 40 years."
It was envisaged that the airport would be operational in the middle of the next decade.
If Sydney Airport doesn't exercise its right to own the airport at Badgerys Creek the opportunity would be extended to other investors which the PM said could include foreign investors subject to FIRB approvals.(There is a history of foreign investment in a number of Australian airport owners and managers.)
"We are certainly not saying Badgerys Creek should have a curfew," Mr Abbott said.
He said he didn't expect the noise issue at Badgerys Creek to be anywhere near as bad as at Sydney Airport. "There is a quite a significant buffer zone around this airport for industrial developments." His deputy and transport minister Warren Truss said that the noisy aircraft of the past were being replaced by the likes of Boeing 787s which were as much as 60% quieter.
"The noisy aircraft aren't in the air anymore" Truss said. (Especially so in 10 years time).
Abbott and Truss both said that airlines would be free to decide what types of flights they would operate and how often to the new airport. Truss said that while the slots reserved at Sydney Airport for regional or rural services would be unaffected by the building of the new airport, growth in those services would in time exhaust the available protected slots meaning that regional flights to Badgerys Creek would occur.
The PM said that Badgerys Creek was intended to be an airport for western Sydney, and its services would come from growth and western Sydney demand, not from an enforced transfer of flights from Sydney Airport, something that cabinet had ruled out as a matter of principle.
The Prime Minister said there would be further announcements in coming days with the NSW government over the details of the infraastructure package to be funded in the May budget.
We can look back on a year in which we narrowly avoided two disasters in our area:
In October, bush fire swept across the water catchment land south of Wilton. It was controlled only through the massive effort of the Rural Fire Service and other emergency services. Our town remained safe, and we thank all those who worked so hard to keep it so.
But how fortunate for Sydney, and for Wilton, that we were not the site of a major airport?
It would have been surrounded by fire on three sides, shut down for many days and probably damaged. Here is a satellite photo showing the burn scar, overlaid with the proposed airport location.'
Following the general election, the incoming Liberal government was quick to confirm an end to speculation about Wilton as an airport site. We wrote to Mr Truss, the new Minister for Infrastructure and Transport:
11 September 2013
Hon. Warren Truss MP
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Dear Mr Truss,
Congratulations on your re-election and the Federal Coalition's election to government.
We read with great interest (and relief!) the report 'Wilton Abandoned as Site for Second Airport' in the Illawarra Mercury today, 11 September- quote:
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said yesterday that Wilton should never have been seriously considered. "A second Sydney airport at Wilton was never a practical option and it is no surprise that the site was all but ruled out in the latest study on Sydney Airport released in April," Mr Truss said.
"The Wilton study was a distraction to enable the government to put off making a decision about Sydney's airport needs until after the election.
"The site is too far from Sydney, creates huge environmental issues and would never attract the patronage of other options."
Stop Wilton Airport Group thanks you for such a rapid announcement post election, which was totally consistent with the position you communicated to us in your email below of August 5 - quote:
"As I have said on many occasions I do not regard Wilton as a credible site for the second airport for Sydney. The Coalition has no plans to continue examination of Wilton as an airport site should we be elected at the forthcoming election."
This announcement has been greeted in Wilton and the region with a great feeling of both relief and that common sense has finally prevailed.
SWAG also wish to acknowledge the great support of newly elected Federal MP for Hume Angus Taylor and re-elected Macarthur MP Russell Mattheson, along with the great advocacy and support of Mayor Of Wollondilly Shire Council Col Mitchell and all the Council for their unwavering opposition to the proposed Wilton Airport.
And the dams, animals and forests of our precious home thank you too!
Stop Wilton Airport Group
On this website, we discuss the background, the issues and why we opposed the proposal for a new airport in Wilton NSW.
The debate about whether Sydney needs another airport and where Sydney’s second airport should be situated has been ongoing for more than 40 years. On 2nd March 2012, Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese, announced the outcomes of the latest report, a joint State and Federal study on Aviation Capacity in the Sydney region, which concluded that a second Sydney airport is needed.
We summarise the key reports from 1985 to the present on our Reports page, (also under the 'Information' tab above).
Out of a range of sites considered, the first choice as listed in the Executive Summary of the Joint Study was Badgerys Creek, and Wilton was the second choice. As Minister Albanese explained at the press conference to launch the Study, the Federal government had already rejected Badgerys Creek because of prior election commitments, and so Wilton was chosen as front runner despite it being listed only as No. 7 out of 10 potential sites in a total cost benefit analysis in the main body of the Study.
The Study itself identifies many serious problems with siting an airport at Wilton in relation to water catchment safety, construction, operational and terrain obstacles and other environmental impacts (see the 'Issues' section on this site).
Stop Wilton Airport Group (SWAG) is an independent group of residents formed to represent the community’s opposition to the Wilton airport proposal. We disagree with building a second Sydney airport in Wilton. We are taking this action not only to prevent Wilton and this region from becoming the scene of a real disaster for the area and its unique environmental assets, but also to prevent it suffering the same fate as Badgery's Creek, where people's lives, properties and other more appropriate developments are frozen for many years.
A second Sydney airport in Wilton NSW would affect not only Wilton itself, but also a wide area from Wollongong to the Southern Highlands. Families living in Camden, Campbelltown, Menangle, Appin, Picton, Bargo, Tahmoor, Douglas Park, Thirlmere, Hilltop, Bowral, Mittagong and other nearby communities would all be affected. This is a serious regional issue.
The overwhelming majority of local people did not want this airport. This view was supported by local councils in Wollondilly, Camden, Campbelltown and Wingecarribee, plus local state and federal MP's.