Tony Abbott meets with western Sydney Liberal MPs on second airport for city

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has met with 10 Liberal MPs this week to discuss a second airport in Sydney's west.

The Monday night dinner in Mr Abbott's prime ministerial suite came after he announced the government's plan to repeal part three of the Qantas Sale Act, and came as expectations grow that cabinet could decide as soon as this month on the fate of the second airport.

The dinner also comes days after an exclusive Fairfax-Nielsen poll showed 72 per cent of NSW voters favoured an airport at Badgerys Creek and just 20 per cent opposed it.

The western Sydney consultative committee, which comprises MPs Fiona Scott, Craig Laundy, Louise Markus, Russell Matheson, Marise Payne, Alex Hawke, Craig Kelly, John Alexander, David Coleman and Nick Varvaris, sat down with Mr Abbott to thrash out their concerns about the airport.

Mr Laundy, a strong supporter of a second airport, told Fairfax Media that it could only be constructed alongside vital infrastructure.

"The most pleasing thing for me last night was that it was a discussion about a long term plan for the whole precinct,'' he said.

While no timeline for a decision was given – nor a definitive location - Mr Laundy said "western Sydney was the only term around the table".

"It was a discussion about the whole program, the next 20 years, nothing was discussed in isolation,'' he said.

"This will play a significant part in what drives western Sydney's development in the future."

His fellow western Sydney MP Fiona Scott said she would back a second airport if it was accompanied by a comprehensive infrastructure plan.

"My position on the airport has been very consistent, any thought about Badgerys Creek is that it must be more than tarmac in a cow paddock, if we are going to seriously consider an airport,'' she said.

Other MPs who attended the dinner characterised the discussion as frank and open, with the Prime Minister at pains to consult with his MPs.

The Coalition has promised to make a decision on the second airport early in this term of government, with Treasurer Joe Hockey a vocal supporter of the airport as an driver of jobs, growth and investment in the city's west.

A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister confirmed the working dinner and stressed no timetable for a decision on the airport had been finalised.

This story Tony Abbott meets with western Sydney Liberal MPs on second airport for city first appeared on Hills News.


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