Blacktown Council continues to oppose an airport at Badgerys Creek

A possible Badgerys Creek airport remains up in the air, unlike Blacktown Council’s official stance on the matter.

Councillors voted in support of the council to continue to oppose an airport, citing concerns about noise, air pollution, impact on development and threat to Sydney’s water catchment.

The council will seek support from other local government stakeholders and request Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils to adopt the same position.

A request for a delegation to meet with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and relevant ministers to outline the council’s concerns will also be made.

Mayor Len Robinson was the only one to oppose the motion while Karlo Siljeg, Mark Holmes and Walter Smith abstained.

The mayor remains undecided about an airport and said current speculation as nonsense.

‘‘I’m undecided until we know what’s required,’’ Councillor Robinson told the Star.

‘‘We’re waiting for the government to make its decision. Until then, we don’t know what’s going to happen. Then, we can look at noise studies and possible flight paths.’’

Liberal councillor Jacqeuline Donaldson supported the motion but wants more information.

‘‘The big problem is that we don’t have any current reports,’’ she said.

‘‘The information we have is based on reports from 1997. We would never vote on a development before we saw detailed plans from a developer, yet we are being asked to accept an airport with no plans or financial breakdowns. I think if we could be supplied with detailed plans and environmental reports and costings we could make a more informed decision.’’

Labor Councillor Stephen Bali, who’s also the secretary of the newly formed No Badgerys Creek Airport Inc said civic leaders shouldn’t be fence sitters.

‘‘At the end of the day, we’re going to have an airport and it’s going to be 24-7,’’ he said.

‘‘There are 50 reports out there. You either agree with noise or you don’t.’’

He said the general public bombarded with arguments for and against can make up their own minds at a public forum to be held on March 11, 7pm at Bowman Hall, Blacktown.

Do you support a proposed airport at Badgerys Creek? Have your say at stmarysstar.com.au

COUNCIL'S HISTORY ON BADGERYS CREEK

Blacktown Council has been against an airport at Badgerys Creek since the 1970s.

In June 1978, the council resolved to participate in the Hawkesbury/Nepean Rivers Basin Anti-Airport campaign committee, which continued during the 1980s.

Independent councillor Russ Dickens recalls having a No Badgerys Creek bumper sticker on his car, while Councillor Stephen Bali said his sticker is still on his childhood bedroom door.

In the mid to late 1990s, the council was a key member of the Western Sydney Alliance, which represented more than one million western Sydney residents who opposed a proposed airport.

The draft environment impact statement for the Badgerys Creek site, which was released for public  in late 1997.

Blacktown Council contributed to the Western Sydney Alliance response and prepared its won response.

The federal government decided to not to proceed with the proposal after 15,000 public submissions were lodged.

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