Call for more affordable housing

A FORUM held in Casula recently has called on state and federal governments to guarantee more services and housing for the area if an airport is built at Badgerys Creek.

The Affordable Housing and Sydney's Second Airport forum held at Casula Powerhouse called for more affordable housing to be built in western Sydney to provide local housing for the 30,000 workers expected to get jobs at the new airport.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott was expected to make an announcement in February about the location of a second Sydney airport.

Badgerys Creek is expected to be identified some time early this year as the site of the airport and the first lot of funding for the project will be allocated in the federal budget in May.

Peter Butler, the chairman of the Western Sydney Housing Coalition, said western Sydney was home to many of the 60,000 homeless people in the city.

"The government needs to create 5000-10,000 new homes every year for the next five years to accommodate the population growth," Mr Butler said. "The tone of the debate now makes it sound like the airport will be happening, so it's time to plan to provide housing for the workers.

"That amount of jobs should be created at the airport over the first decade of its life. The growth in affordable housing we're experiencing now is just not adequate to keep up with that."

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) recently stated that an airport at Badgerys Creek could be a disaster unless both the state and federal governments committed themselves to major infrastructure upgrades in the area.

WSROC president and Liverpool councillor Tony Hadchiti said the figure of $200 million being suggested for additional infrastructure was "barely a drop in the bucket".

"This is a woefully inadequate amount," Cr Hadchiti said.

"A second Sydney airport will require proper road and rail connections, major electricity, water, drainage and telecommunications improvements, not to mention facilities for gas and fuel.

"At the moment Badgerys Creek is virtually a sheep paddock.

"And you can't just plonk a runway in a sheep paddock and expect to get an airport overnight."

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