PHOTO BY ROB HOMER COMMUNITY opinion will be sought on a second airport in western Sydney before a local organisation of councils decides if it will support the project.
The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, which includes councillors from Parramatta, Blacktown and the Hawkesbury, agreed to run a community consultation campaign to canvass opinion on an airport at Badgerys Creek.
WSROC has previously opposed a second airport in western Sydney but at a meeting last week it was reported councillors from Liverpool, Parramatta and the Hawkesbury spoke about the job growth and economic activity the project would generate.
Councillors from the Blue Mountains and Penrith opposed the resolution to consult the community, given the lack of information about the environmental and social impact of a Badgerys Creek airport, but they were defeated in a vote.
A second airport is expected to generate about 40,000 jobs and boost the local import-export and retail businesses who rely on freight.
Last year a joint study into aviation capacity in the Sydney region recommended Badgerys Creek as the preferred option for a second airport but the Federal government has ruled out the site instead nominating Wilton in Sydney’s south-west as its preferred location.
Hills councillor and Tourism Industry Council NSW general manager Andrew Jefferies said a second airport in western Sydney was inevitable if legislation that restricts Sydney Airport to 80 movements an hour was not amended.
“[But] we also see the value in making use of facilities that already currently exist,” Cr Jefferies said. A report said Richmond RAAF Base could accommodate between 750,000 to one million commercial passengers a year.
Last week Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said the national economy would suffer if a second airport was not built.
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