Western Sydney's politicans talk Badgerys

Fairfax Media reporter STEPHANIE BATES asked western Sydney's politicians and councils their thoughts on today's announcement that Badgerys Creek Airport would go ahead.

Macquarie MP Louise Markus

Ms Markus told Fairfax Media she was pleased a decision has been reached on a site for a second airport.

"I believe that a curfew is essential" — Louise Markus

‘‘This will generate jobs, benefiting economic growth and tourism in the region,’’ she said.

‘‘From here my focus will be on the key priorities for my electorate: the right infrastructure, the protection of the environment and flood mitigation strategies.

"I believe that a curfew is essential.

‘‘The Coalition is committed to the long term interests and growth of greater western Sydney.’’

Labor candidate for Macquarie Susan Templeman

Ms Templeman said the announcement leaves too many unanswered questions.

"I am concerned that we’ll wake up to the reality in a few years of irreversible social and environmental damage for western Sydney" — Susan Templeman

‘‘The job and economic benefits for the west are certainly very seductive, but I am concerned that we’ll wake up to the reality in a few years of irreversible social and environmental damage for western Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury,’’ she said.

‘‘It is completely unfair that an airport in the western suburbs has no curfew while an airport in the eastern suburbs still has one.

‘‘We a need a guarantee from the Abbott government that the flight paths for Badgerys Creek will not be used as an excuse to force the closure of RAAF Richmond.’’

Castle Hill MP Dominic Perrottet

Mr Perrottet told Fairfax Media that it’s pleasing to see a federal government with vision and a focus on making decisions in the best interests of the state and the nation rather than focused on approval ratings in the polls.

"Badgerys Creek not only secures the economic future of western Sydney but provides investment benefits for the entire state of NSW" — Dominic Perrottet

“Badgerys Creek not only secures the economic future of western Sydney but provides investment benefits for the entire state of NSW,’’ Mr Perrottet said.

‘‘It is essential that the airport is supported by the necessary transport infrastructure to make it viable.’’

Londonderry MP Bart Bassett

Mr Bassett, a long term advocate for better infrastructure for the Hawkesbury and western Sydney, backed Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s announcement of Badgerys Creek as the site for Sydney’s second airport.

"Attitudes have changed to a far more sophisticated model" — Bart Bassett

‘‘Western Sydney communities have moved on and attitudes have changed to a far more sophisticated model,’’ he said.

In the lead up to the announcement, Mr Bassett said he believed in the economic benefits the airport would bring to western Sydney and felt community opposition had significantly waned.

Western Sydney Regional Orgnaisation of Councils (WSROC) vice-president Tiffany Tree

Ms Tree told Fairfax Media that every effort should be made to create a first class airport, not a poorer second cousin to Mascot.

"Infrastructure in terms of roads and connecting public transport are essential" — Tiffany Tree

‘‘Infrastructure in terms of roads and connecting public transport are essential as is a commitment from the federal government to ensure many of the jobs come from western Sydney residents,’’ she said. 

Ms Tree said it was important to consider all aspects of this proposal in relation to flight paths and a current environmental impact statement.

‘‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a terrific piece of infrastructure which brings benefits to western Sydney," she said.

"We have to get the balance right.’’

Hawkesbury mayor Kim Ford

Cr Ford said he welcomed the announcement of Badgerys Creek as the site for Sydney’s second airport.

"Retention of RAAF Base Richmond is still a priority" — Kim Ford

‘‘Today’s announcement is in line with [Hawkesbury] Council’s resolution acknowledging the need that currently exists for the development of a second Sydney airport and the Badgerys Creek site is the most appropriate location,’’ he said.

‘‘As always, the retention of RAAF Base Richmond is still a priority.’’

The Hills mayor Michelle Byrne

Cr Byrne said the airport would be a game-changer for western Sydney.

"With the airport comes a fantastic opportunity to upgrade existing infrastructure and build new transport links" — Michelle Byrne

“After so many years of uncertainty, I congratulate Mr [Tony] Abbott on making a decision so early in his term as Prime Minister,” she said.

“An airport at Badgerys Creek will be an economic boon for western Sydney and with the airport comes a fantastic opportunity to upgrade existing infrastructure and build new transport links.

“I welcome the Prime Minister’s comments that it will be a case of building roads first and the airport second, but I certainly believe that rail should be a big factor in that equation.”

Click here to read more about her ideas, which include linking the new airport with the North West Rail Link.

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