Matheson scoffs at job claims

MACARTHUR MP Russell Matheson has poured cold water on suggestions a Badgerys Creek airport would provide an immediate employment boom for south-west Sydney.

Mr Matheson rejected suggestions an airport would provide 30,000 jobs for the south-west Sydney community.

"No airport in Australia has ever supported 30,000," he said.

"Even Sydney airport only supports 20,000 to 25,000 jobs.

"We're talking about 30,000 jobs over 40 years — that's not even 1000 jobs a year.

"These jobs would be for children who are in kindergarten or are not even born yet."

Mr Matheson is part of a committee of western Sydney federal MPs who will meet in the next sitting of parliament.

He said a decision would not be made until the MPs had discussed their communities' views on an airport and reported back to Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Mr Matheson said there had been an increase in people contacting his office to express their views on an airport.

"There is a split of about 50/50 in votes for and votes against an airport," he said.

"My position remains the same, but if there is a shift in public opinion I need to reflect that."

He said he would be "pragmatic" if a Badgerys Creek airport were announced and would push hard to get the necessary infrastructure in place before the airport opened.

"Billions of dollars of rail infrastructure is needed and roads need to be upgraded," he said.

Mr Matheson said connecting roads across three local government areas would need major upgrades worth billions of dollars including Camden Valley Way, Narellan Road, Badgally Road, The Northern Road, Elizabeth Drive, Mulgoa Road, Raby Road and Bringelly Road.

He said the NSW government would need to provide infrastructure funding and could not expect the federal government to pay for it all.

Camden councillor and potential Labor candidate for the state seat of Campbelltown, Greg Warren, said he remained opposed to an airport.

NSW Opposition Leader John Robertson came out in support of an airport at Badgerys Creek at the weekend and suggested it would have the same curfew as Sydney Kingsford Smith airport.

Cr Warren said he acknowledged the potential economic benefits an airport would bring to the area but that the community's best interests would always be his first priority.

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