Fairfield Residents Against Airport Noise
Please address all correspondence to: Post Office Box 20
Horsley Park NSW 2164
Phone/Fax (02) 9620 1428
10 November 2000
We are compelled to respond to the very recent media articles from Mark Latham and Alex Sanchez.
In Fridays Sydney Morning Herald (Nov 3, 2000), Mr Sanchez laments the loss of the "plans" that so many had, to go in hand with the proposed airport at Badgerys Creek.
As we see carefully hidden in the EIS, powerful development moguls had a plan to build an enormous high density city to surround the proposed airport. At massive areas of 35 dwellings per hectare, the development proposal could only be described as a catastrophic ghetto development in it's own right.
We would remind all, that in 1973 the then NSW State Government commissioned a report (State Pollution Control Commission) which "clearly identified the meteorological and topographic features of Western Sydney that made the area a potential pollution trap.
The report suggested that Western Sydney was unsuitable for future extensive development and population growth in the area should be halted by 1978." Again in 1992 a second State Government report found similar dangers and "forecast dangerously high levels of smog in the Sydney area unless drastic changes were made in road transport planning. The report was particularly concerned with road transport planning for the proposed urban development in Western Sydney."
In June 1996 at the "Health and Urban Air Quality in NSW Conference" results tabled from the recently completed MAQS (Metropolitan Air Quality Study) showed that the Sydney basin is suffering from extremely serious air pollution problems, as well as other health related environmental problems, which would become far worse if our current trend of planning did not change drastically.
Sadly, our politicians and bureaucrats have ignored these findings, if favour of the developers, and so we have built the tar roads we were told not to, created massive new urban developments we were told not to, and have not upgraded existing heavy rail systems, or created pollution free public transport (such as light rail) that we were clearly told to build. Mr Sanchez is very right in one regard, and that is that very definitely "the UDP (Urban Development Policy) is ripe for review".
MP Mark Latham notes in his Daily Telegraph article (Mon Nov 6, 2000) the potential loss of the proposed airport, and notes that the proposal is being "choked off" by a handful of protesters. Mr Latham, do you not know that both the State Govt and the State Opposition are opposed to the development, as are the Greens, Democrats and One Nation?
That the churches are opposed, as are almost all environmental organisations Sydney wide.
All western Sydney councils except Liverpool are opposed and that western Sydney people (who traditionally are not writers) supplied 15,650 submissions to the EIS, 99% clearly against. There are a myriad of anti airport groups across Sydney vehemently opposed to the proposal.
Mr Latham have you not read the EIS which clearly states that the proposal would poison the Sydney water supply (unable to be rectified), or that if the NSW electricity supply station were to be impacted, restoration of our electricity supply would "take months or years" etc. etc. etc.?
We note too, that it was Minister Knowles who was responsible for the secretly gazetted "Growth Centre" legislation, which would put all of the land surrounding the proposed airport site under the control of a "Sydney West Airport Development Corporation", five persons who would have virtually total power of development control over all surrounding lands, including the power to "acquire by compulsory process".
We can't help but note that Mr Latham and Mr Knowles are both past Mayors of Liverpool, and Mr Sanchez, deputy Mayor.
Our own chairman, elected to local government because of his work against the proposal was unceremoniously denied from representing the area on the 10 council Anti Airport Alliance at the recent Fairfield Council committee re-election - for the second time, by the Labor strong council.
Sitting in the gallery were local Labor MP's Joe Tripodi and Reba Meagher, and the Federal Member for Fowler (Liverpool) Julia Irwin - just for an ordinary council committee election?
Our local media, whilst containing some Badgerys Airport content is markedly different to other local media which has consistently kept the issue alive and reported the facts at hand, and a great many of our media releases and issues remain unreported or represented, even though they are often in other media.
One of our local papers even went so far as to deliberately understate by approximately half, the number of people attending a protest rally at Club Marconi, as well as printing a front page pro-airport editorial.
Sirs', just how far are you prepared to take these "strategies for dealing with negative perceptions" (towards the proposal) and at what cost to the people of Sydney? Enough is enough - the Badgerys Airport proposal is dead, as it always should have been.
It is time to forget the proposal, ignore the greedy developers, and get on with the job of finding a genuine airport solution, not just for the people of Sydney, but for the people of NSW and eastern Australia, as well as a sustainable solution to the Western Sydney area that would provide long term genuine benefit to the entire Sydney basin population.
Clr Peter Cork