Move west, MPs urged

GO west.

That's the message from Blacktown Council, which will lobby the state government to relocate to western Sydney as parliament house nears full capacity.

Councillor Stephen Bali's motion received unanimous support from both sides of the chamber.

Liberal councillor Walter Smith agreed the council shouldn't aim for mediocrity and Karlo Siljeg suggested Warrick Lane in Blacktown be considered as a site.

Councillor Bali believes the old Schofields aerodrome site should also be considered.

"There's more open space, it is close to the railway line and is next to UWS," he said.

"Imagine the massive infrastructure that would follow. History is what you make of it. I'm not saying we bulldoze Parliament House in Macquarie Street or that it will happen overnight but instead of having an airport in 2027, western Sydney could have parliament house."

Liberal Councillor Jess Diaz was supportive but told his colleagues not to have high hopes.

"It's all right to think big but you may end up getting something little," he said.

Both sides of government were less receptive about the proposal.

"Well, I hadn't heard that, but I have to say the heritage buildings and the precinct at Macquarie Street are solidly there," Premier Barry OFarrell said.

State opposition leader and Blacktown MP John Robertson dodged the question.

"I would encourage Blacktown Council to realise the opportunity of an airport in western Sydney and work co-operatively and in a bipartisan way with State and Federal Governments to get this project right."

Londonderry MP Bart Bassett described the motion as "populist politics".

"Is this an April Fool's joke?" he asked.

"Most residents would shake their heads at the thought of money being wasted in parliament. We need major infrastructure, such as linking the north west and south west rail links."

Mount Druitt MP Richard Amery added: "The parliament is the oldest chamber in Australia. I agree with moving more government departments and agencies to the west but I don't see that moving the chamber is a viable option".

Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies declined to comment.

Blacktown councillors are hopeful MPs will come around.

"I can recall the time when Westmead Hospital was announced and there was an uproar in the medical profession because they all wanted to stay in Macquarie Street," Cr Tony Bleasdale said.

Have your say at stmarysstar.com.au

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