Liverpool's elected leaders at odds over Badgerys Creek airport

The subject of a second airport at Badgerys Creek caused the greatest amount of debate at the Liverpool Elected Leaders Community Forum last night.

The forum is an annual gathering of the area's elected officials and was attended by Fowler MP Chris Hayes, Hughes MP Craig Kelly, Macquarie Fields MP Andrew McDonald, Werriwa MP Laurie Ferguson, Penrith MP Stuart Ayres and several Liverpool Councillors.

This year the forum was held in Liverpool's rural area for the first time, at Bringelly Community Centre, and discussion of plans to build an airport in nearby Badgerys Creek caused the biggest reaction from the 20 or so residents who attended.

Most of the politicians made statements about what they and their respective levels of governments thought about the airport plans and residents then asked questions.

Liverpool Councillor and Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WESROC) president Tony Hadchiti said more information on the airport was required.

"WESROC is still opposed to the airport until more information is released about the details of the plan and environmental impact and noise statements are done," Cr Hadchiti said.

"But Liverpool Council does support the project because it will bring thousands of jobs to the area.

"Infrastructure for it is already being rolled out, the south west rail link is almost finished and the Camden Valley Way is being upgraded.

"We're now seeing the positive trend of infrastructure being built before the population arrives in an area.

"I understand that the airport might upset some people that live in the area, but we can't afford not to have a powerhouse like the airport in this area.

"It will create thousands of jobs for our region and we can't say no to that."

Cr Peter Harle spoke out against the airport saying a second airport in Sydney would not be required until 2045.

"Studies suggest that only 8 per cent of passengers travel after 11pm and that wouldn't change if we had a second airport," Cr Harle said.

"And most passengers coming to Sydney would want to fly into Mascot, so we would have very few passengers coming here.

"It would mostly be cargo planes.

"So the people of Liverpool would be affected by the aircraft noise and added cargo truck traffic, without receiving much benefit."

Fowler MP Chris Hayes said it would not make the area the hub of international activity that some people imagined.

"It would mostly be taking the overflow of planes from Mascot airport, particularly during the curfew hours between 11pm and 6am," Mr Hayes said.

"People will just end up coming here in the midnight hour, so that won't boost the economy or do much for tourism.

"So the same result could be achieved by just lifting the curfew and the flight limits there.

"Of course creating jobs in the area is important but it isn't clear that an airport would actually achieve that."

Mr Hayes was heckled by Bringelly resident Patrick De Bono, who said that plans for the airport had always said that it would function for 24 hours.

Mr De Bono said that the airport at Mascot was not sufficient to meet Sydney's needs into the future.

Fellow Bringelly resident Pauline Rowe said most residents still opposed the airport, but just wanted politicians to make a decision either way.

"Just get off your butts and get moving, it's been 40 years, enough is enough," Ms Rowe said.

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