Fiery forum about Badgerys Creek airport takes off

Emotions ran high at a Badgerys Creek airport public forum in Blacktown on Tuesday night.

More than 150 people were at Bowman Hall to hear from a panel of speakers for and against the proposed airport, ask questions and express their views.

Blacktown Councillor and No Badgerys Creek Airport Inc secretary Stephen Bali argued an airport in western Sydney would be a death sentence.

CAN.org.au executive director Jai Martinkovits feared it would be a white elephant and wants the existing Mascot airport to be used to its maximum efficiency before a second Sydney airport is considered.

Unions NSW secretary Mark Lennon and Sydney Business Chamber western Sydney director David Borger received a lukewarm reception while presenting their case for the airport.

But the biggest boos of the night were for Blacktown MP and state opposition leader John Robertson, who declared his support for the airport.

‘‘One thing we do know is that more information is required because what you heard from the anti-airport speakers tonight was a fantasy scare campaign,’’ he told the hostile crowd.

‘‘I want to see  better jobs in western Sydney, which what you won’t hear from your friends. Like it or not, we need to be innovative. This is a long term vision project for western Sydney.’’

Question topics to the panel included high speed rail, extending the curfew at Mascot, infrastructure, flight paths and jobs.

There was a small gathering of supporters in support of the airport.

Blacktown resident Glenn Cue’s grandmother was the private secretary of former Labor Premier, the late Jack Lang, who opened the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932.

Mr Cue saw the original plans for airports at Mascot and Badgerys Creek.

‘‘Where would we be without the harbour bridge?’’ he said.

‘‘We need to built the airport while we’ve got time. Let the federal government do what they want.’’

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