HAWKESBURY councillor Mike Creed said he was against an airport at Badgerys Creek during last week’s Council meeting, suggesting the government-controlled curfew be lifted at the existing Kingsford Smith airport in Sydney instead.
“I’m completely opposed to an airport at Badgerys Creek,” he said.
“When you actually look at the reports that have come out, upgrades for infrastructure such as roads are estimated at $190 million.’’
Mr Creed, who is also an administrative staffer for NSW Liberal Senator Marise Payne, said when comparing it to works around the area such as $20 plus million estimated for a bridge across Navua Reserve at Grose Wold, it seemed unlikely $190 million would cover the cost of infrastructure.
“You have to sit there and wonder ‘wow is that just going to get us a bit of kerb and guttering’ or are they saying they can upgrade all roads leading to and from Badgerys Creek?’’ he said.
“Let’s face facts here. The curfew (on Kingsford Smith) is an artificial restriction by the government — there’s currently 80 movements an hour. Another report I was reading estimated to change the times there would be a 35 per cent increase in traffic to Kingsford Smith and would potentially take us up to 2050.”
Cr Creed questioned why noise was being used as an argument against lifting the curfew when technology had changed and planes were quieter.
Cr Creed also said the protection of drinking water would be an issue if Badgerys Creek went ahead.
“It’s not just Warragamba Dam but we also have the Prospect Reservoir. What would happen with these? How would those catchments for the Sydney Basin be protected from pollution?’’
Western Sydney director of the Sydney Business Chamber David Borger, former Minister for Roads, Minister for Housing and Minister for Western Sydney during the Keneally government, told the Gazette that while he thinks Sydney Airport’s curfew shoulder could be altered slightly to make it more productive, what Cr Creed was ignoring was the jobs that an airport in the Badgery’s Creek area would generate.
‘‘What’s his plan to create jobs in western Sydney?,’’ Mr Borger said. ‘‘We are in a job deficit.
‘‘This airport (Badgerys) could be a catalyst for all sorts of activities. 200,000 people travel hours a day to work and are not home with their children, which is also a cost to businesses in western Sydney.’’
Mr Borger also told the Gazette there were a lot of myths and lies surrounding airports, peddled at times by ignorant people.
‘‘Fuel dumping is incredibly rare,’’ he said. ‘‘Out of the tens of thousands of planes that came in and out of Sydney last year, there were only two incidents.
‘‘This has to happen over sea at such a high level that it would evaporate before it even hits the ground.’’
Mr Borger said as he understands, flight paths weren’t proposed to go over Warragamba Dam.
‘‘People need to be honest about these facts. There’s also a much quieter new generation of planes.’’
Londonderry MP Bart Bassett, who has a background as a helicopter pilot, said the belief that an airport at Badgerys Creek would affect water catchments was “absolute rubbish”.
“Prospect Reservoir has planes going over it all the time in and out of Bankstown at low altitude,” he said. “Somebody better get a map out and look at the water catchments in Sydney and the Illawarra.
“There’s numerous flight paths over existing water catchments for aircraft approaching and departing from the existing airport – just as it would be over Badgerys Creek. I don’t see anybody complaining.”