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WSROC'S NEW CHIEF SPEAKS OUT Featured
30 October 2016 Posted by 

WSROC'S NEW CHIEF SPEAKS OUT

Support my airport curfew: President Bali

By Iliana Stillitano

BLACKTOWN mayor Stephen Bali is calling on Western Sydney councils to back his push for a curfew at Badgerys Creek airport.

The newly elected president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC), which represents nine councils across Western Sydney, said he wanted to start “a mature debate” on the merits of Sydney’s second airport, starting with the need to impose a curfew to abate noise issues for residents.

Without it, the airport should not go ahead, he said. “(Former federal transport minister) Warren Truss said there would be no curfew so where does each council stand?,” Mr Bali said.

“If it’s a showstopper, let’s talk that issue out.”And if councils are split on the subject? “Well I guess it’s majority rules,” Mr Bali said.

Western Sydney Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, David Borger, disagreed, saying Western Sydney would be stronger for the airport.

“Most airports around the world don’t have a curfew,” he said.

“Its location is very distant from residential neighbourhoods and a curfew would only restrict the operations of the airport.

“It is a good driver for change and will be a catalyst for rail infrastructure,” he added.

But Mr Bali said Western Sydney residents were being let down by a lack of detail in the plans for Badgerys Creek airport.

“There are merits (to Badgerys Creek) but they fall down when there is no official plan,” he said.

“No flight paths have been locked in, we have three options for a runway, no detail on a fuel line to the airport and the official studies don’t agree on the number of jobs that will be created nor can they demonstrate where those jobs will be.

“WSROC is going through a review of its position on Badgerys Creek and it’s saying there are a lot of question marks.

“If we’re going to invest billions of dollars, it has to be a successful project. We don’t want another Avalon.”

“Western Sydney needs an independent voice and that’s what WSROC offers.”

Mr Bali said his appointment last month came at a time when planning focus had rightly turned to Western Sydney.

“The biggest issue is being fair dinkum about having a transport plan for Western Sydney. Our population growth is the overarching challenge and we need real action and a properly thought out map and funding to be able to move people around,” he said.

“The state government has mandated an extra one million people coming to Western Sydney. We have to connect these large communities through culture, sport, community groups, because when they feel connected they feel valued.”

Mr Bali said he would also draw attention to the need for better health resources across the region.

“The Western Sydney basin has higher respiratory illnesses, higher diabetes rates and higher rates of all cancers. That has to ring alarm bells to the state and federal government that our health system needs to be properly supported,” he said.

And on the proposal to move NSW Parliament from Sydney to Parramatta, Mr Bali said: “It makes a lot of sense but don’t stop there. Parramatta is the engine room for Western

Sydney but Western Sydney doesn’t start and end at Parramatta. Why not spread Parliament’s ancillary services across Western Sydney from Parramatta to Liverpool and to Blacktown?,” he said.

Badgerys Creek is a game
changer but we need peace

BADGERYS Creek airport will be “game-changer” for Western Sydney, delivering jobs, new public transport and better roads, said Liverpool mayor Wendy Waller.

But the benefits of an airport shouldn’t come at the expense of “adequate sleep and peace at night” for residents, Cr Waller said.

“My personal view is that the hours of operation need to be looked at very carefully,” she said.

“The people of Western Sydney need to be treated with the same respect as the people of the inner west and eastern suburbs.

“I am seeking more advice on how noise impacts will be adequately addressed.”

Cr Waller said the council welcomed the airport, especially the significant federal investment in roads and public transport infrastructure the project would deliver, including $3.6 billion in the Liverpool local government area.

“The new airport, along with new public transport and roads has the potential to create sustainable local jobs for our region” she said.

In May 2015, Penrith Council resolved to accept the Federal Government’s decision to build an airport at Badgerys Creek, recognising that it offered great potential for increased infrastructure, jobs and investment across Western Sydney.

A spokeswoman said the council would continue to engage with the community, industry and government to maximise benefits and minimise any impacts, including noise.

“We recognise that noise from the airport will need to be managed to ensure our community is not unreasonably affected,” she said.

 



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