Name......................... To: Prime Minister Howard and the Federal Cabinet.
c/o: Parliament House
Address.................................... Canberra, ACT 2600
Dear Prime Minister Howard, Cabinet members, and elected members of Parliament,
We write to you to ask you what the purpose of the proposed Badgerys Creek airport is? If it is, presumably, for the purposes of tourism and freight, then the plan surely falls short on both grounds.
Firstly, most tourists want to see Australia, a goal that can be achieved via any landing point in New South Wales. We can see no reason why tourists must be forced to land in the Sydney basin.
On the second issue of freight, we ask is it necessary to pump more than one million tonnes of cargo via Badgerys Creek on behalf of greater NSW? There are only three major roads into the Sydney basin, all of which are already overloaded by tourist traffic and massive quantities of NSW freight.
Blue Mountains Council has now banned B-double truck freight vehicle traffic from traveling on the Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains. The other two roads, the Hume Highway to the south of Sydney and the F3 (Pacific Highway) to the north, also suffer constant serious overload problems.
The Badgerys Creek proposal will only focus all freight, tourist and aircraft traffic into the already seriously over-stressed Sydney basin. Surely, on commonsense grounds, this indicates that Badgerys Creek is the wrong place for an airport.
q A 1985 EIS by Kinhill Stearns, and a recent $12 million investigation by PPK and the EIS were unable to find any preferred option for this airport. Environment Australia was similarly perplexed. How would it therefore be possible for Cabinet to decide on any preferred option?
q The EIS notes that the airport would have to be 24-hour operationally capable, and yet Senator the Hon Robert Hill has noted in his recommendations that this cannot be the case at Badgerys Creek.
q How and why is it that the 51 points of recommendation found in the Federal Environment Australia's report are so different to the 41 points released to the public from Minister Hills office?
q It is quite apparent that an airport at Badgerys Creek, of any size, would bring about the construction of a sizeable city (Environment Australia Report pg 7.17) which could reasonably be expected to further degrade this area of western Sydney into a massive ghetto.
q Essentially there will be no other major access to the site other than to use western Sydney roads already unable to cope with current demand. The proposed Orbital Road would seem to be only able to accommodate current traffic increases, and not the extra 80,000 extra vehicles per day that the proposed airport would create.
q The Badgerys Creek site is already surrounded by high-density industrial and urban developments that have typically high levels of unemployment, high levels of social disruption and crime and drug abuse. Further, the area is statistically distinguished by illnesses linked to long-term exposure to toxic emissions. An airport-generated city would only add more deadly contaminants to this mix.
q OPPOSED TO THE PROPOSED BADGERYS CREEK AIRPORT
* Bishop Kevin Manning and the Catholic Diocese
* Bishop King on behalf of the Anglican Church
* The Teachers Federation
* The NSW State Liberal/Coalition Party
* The NSW State Labor Government, and "Young Labor"
* The Greens
* The Democrats
* The One Nation party
* Most western Sydney based Federal and State Parliamentarians
* Ten Western Sydney Councils
* A multitude of Sydney wide community based organisations
q Environmental organisations such as the National Parks Association, The Total Environment Centre, The Colong Foundation, The Sutherland Shire Environment Centre, Friends of the Earth, and the Nature Conservation Council (representing 120 member groups) are totally opposed to the proposal, and have extremely serious concerns over the EIS, and the proposal and it's associated infrastructures genuine environmental impact on the entire Sydney basin.
q The Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment Management Trust, a statutory body established under the Catchment Management Act, has serious concerns about the proposal which it believes have not been satisfactorily addressed in the final EIS. As such, the Trust considers that the proposed airport would further degrade the environmental values of South Creek catchment and surrounds. The Trust is particularly concerned about the cumulative environmental impact of the proposal and the associated development off site, including infrastructure and new urban and industrial development.
q Sydney provided 15,650 submissions against the proposal. The people, at both professional and non-professional levels, have clearly said that they do not want an airport at Badgerys Creek.
q We do not want an airport of any size or type at Badgerys Creek. Please note that almost every successful candidate in the last Fairfield Council election campaigned on a "no airport at Badgerys Creek" basis. There are no openly pro-airport councillors now on this council.
q Rural communities across NSW are opposed to it, and it is these people and their businesses in particular, who would be dealt a serious blow by virtue of the fact that they would still be left with no other choice or service available to them, other than to be forced to travel into Sydney, including freight, choking the area in which we and our children live.
q All import and export freight would have no option other than to ship in and out of the Sydney basin. How could this small basin ever cope with such huge demands in the future?
q The 1992 Parliamentary Standing Works Committee minutes indicate that there is no need for another small airport at Badgerys Creek.
q The EIS shows maps indicating that hundreds of thousands of people would be seriously affected by noise from an airport at Badgerys Creek. The EIS clearly shows that mountains to the west of the site to be too high to overfly, thus necessitating that all aircraft would have to arrive and depart over the entire Sydney populated area.
q As per Senator Hill's recommendations on noise attenuation, a great many houses in western Sydney would have to be noise-insulated. Having seen the problems that poor insulation has caused to Sydenham and Marrickville residents, the proposal for similar sub-standard insulation of our homes, and other homes in our neighbourhood is totally unacceptable. We are well aware that the insulation provided thus far by the KSA insulation project has utterly failed to meet the Australian Standard for Aircraft Noise in residences (AS2021).
q The EIS says that if the NSW state electricity hub provider station is damaged, restoration of power supply would take months or years. This is not acceptable.
q The NSW State Govt submission states that the water pipelines between Warragamba Dam and Prospect Reservoir must be buried and that this will cost more than $100 million.
- The Federal Environment Australia report says that if this pipeline is damaged it will only affect 1.3million people. There are more than 4 million people living in Sydney right now! How could any person or politician say yes to an airport at Badgerys Creek, when critical base information is so wrong and mistaken, and the potential impacts on so many people so incredible - massive loss of life, no sufficient alternative water supply, no water for our Sydney basin primary producers who supply our food, incredible damage to the Sydney environment, resultant loss of power supply, etc?
q The EIS says that large quantities of fuel will land on our water supply, and that Sydney Water does not have processes for the removal of fuel from our water supply. Even if they did, this still would be unacceptable.
q "Wind Shear" (foul wind) has long been identified by pilots as the major potential problem at the Badgerys Creek site because of the surrounding topography, and prevalent wind direction. After 2 EIS's, and 15 years of so called planning, there are still no studies on vertical structure or local atmospheric conditions. - It still has not been determined whether or not it is safe to fly an aircraft from an airport at Badgerys Creek. This is noted as a major failing of the EIS by the auditors.
- How would it be possible for cabinet to make a decision in favour of an airport at Badgerys Creek when this critical information is not known?
- "Windshear" is regarded as one of the greatest causes of aircraft crash in the world, and if this were to happen from Badgerys Creek, our entire cities' water, gas and electricity supply could be seriously compromised, as they are all in high risk crash zones. This must make any level of risk, identified in the EIS or not, unacceptable.
q A number of widely publicised reports have indicated the danger and severity of air pollution in outer western Sydney - an early report even recommending a halt to urban development in the region by 1978.
q Attached to this letter are maps from the NSW Cancer Council showing the extremely high incidence of lung cancer in the Greater West of Sydney. These figures are pre-airport.
How could any person or politician say yes to an airport at Badgerys Creek when the potential impacts on a huge voting populace would be devastating and irreversible? Besides the adverse effects on health and lifestyle, at what price the risk of contamination to our water supply, our already choked environment, or loss of our power or water supply?
Notwithstanding these impacts on the residents of Greater Western Sydney, the economic viability of the Badgerys Creek proposal continues to be challenged on many fronts.
Very few national proposals have generated the level, variety and seriousness of opposition as has the Badgerys Creek proposal. The Franklin Dam comes close. It is hoped a similar injection of commonsense will resolve this debate. Surely too, to say yes to this proposal in any form, must be a breach of the Australian constitution.
We are confident Australia's Cabinet will appreciate the points raised herein, and those consistently raised by other parties, and bring an end to this mad airport proposal.
We ask that you please assist in every way possible to ensure that the environmental problems and lifestyle impediments we already endure in the Sydney basin are lessened in the future by your decisions, and not increased.
On behalf of our own families and that of all families in the Sydney basin, NO AIRPORT AT BADGERYS CREEK.
for more information please see the FRAAN website at: http://www.homestead.com/badgerysacpnp/index.html Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Information provided by NSW Cancer Council