Jury still out on Badgerys Creek airport

DEBATE over the construction of an airport at Badgerys Creek dominated a recent meeting of Liverpool's elected leaders.

Both state and federal governments and opposition parties had already said they supported the plan, but the representatives at the Liverpool elected leaders community forum had a range of views.

The leader present included 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.

Mr Hayes (Labor) said an airport at Badgerys Creek 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, particularly during the curfew hours between 11pm and 6am, because Badgerys Creek will be a 24-hour airport," 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.

"Of course, creating jobs in the area is important, but it isn't clear that an airport would actually bring the thousands of jobs that we're hearing about."

Mr Hayes was heckled by Bringelly resident Patrick De Bono, who said the airport would be a good thing for south-west Sydney. He said it would create jobs and that local representatives should be working to make it happen more quickly.

Liverpool councillor and Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WESROC) president Tony Hadchiti (Liberal) 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. I understand that the airport might upset some people who 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 and said 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."

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.

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