Badgerys Creek airport shot down

PENRITH councillors fear plans for an airport at Badgerys Creek are being made over the heads of people in western Sydney.

Last month councillor Kevin Crameri urged the council to mobilise residents against moves for a second airport there and to ask Penrith's local, state and federal MPs for their support.

Cr Crameri had already attacked Londonderry state MP Bart Bassett for criticising airport opponents as "dinosaurs".

Mr Bassett said a Badgerys Creek airport had been "on the table" for 30 years and it was time to decide.

"It is time for facts, not hysteria and populist political grandstanding," Mr Bassett said.

"It's time for the dinosaurs of local government to stop trying to rekindle a 20-year-old campaign."

Cr Crameri said: "I am glad to be a dinosaur and listen to the people and see what is happening. One million people from Blacktown, St Marys, Penrith and Glenmore Park will have to put up with planes flying overhead, maybe 24 hours a day."

He said cheaper land in western Sydney was already attracting investment and jobs to the region, so he rejected arguments that an airport would bring more jobs.

Councillor John Thain said he was inclined to oppose an airport at Badgerys Creek because he too did not want regular aircraft noise and more pollution.

"It's true that nothing will create jobs like an airport, but at what cost would it be to our amenities?" Cr Thain said.

He said western Sydney could investigate other employment strategies, such as extending road and rail links and building cluster industries around them. "However, if the greater Penrith community overwhelmingly told me they wanted an airport, I wouldn't stand in their way." State MPs for Penrith, Stuart Ayres, and Mulgoa, Tanya Davies, both said it was up to the federal government to build a second airport.

They also said major supporting infrastructure would be needed.

"Without connecting infrastructure the airport will be a potential disaster and offer little positive economic impacts," Mr Ayres said.

Mrs Davies said such infrastructure would have to include road upgrades, home insulation and transport corridors.

Lindsay federal MP Fiona Scott said she favoured jobs growth in western Sydney, "but not at the expense of the environment".

"Any movement towards an airport at Badgerys Creek will require a co-operative approach at all levels of government and extensive community consultation," Ms Scott said.

Penrith mayor Ross Fowler said he would for a definite airport proposal before taking a position.

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