Letter Sent to the Prime Minister

To: The Prime Minister of Australia - The Hon John Howard

Date: 10th March, 1999

Re: The proposed Badgerys Creek Airport-Risk to Sydney and N.S.W.

Dear John,

                       

Please give this communication your urgent serious attention.

 

As can be seen in the accompanying maps, the Sydney West Electricity division station is directly in line with runways from the Badgerys Creek Airport proposal, and is within the high risk crash area, noted in the EIS. This station is the supplier of electrical service not only to Sydney, but also to greater NSW and northern Victoria. (We have marked the area of the facility on the attached crash risk map.) Please note that the line marked 5A1 and 5A2 on the attached electricity grid map is a 500kV supply to Kemps Creek substation, almost on the end of proposed runways. The Kemps Creek substation is also critical to the power grid. There is a major easement (500Kv and others) between the two mentioned electricity stations, directly in line with all runway alignments. None of these facilities, or their potential impacts have been identified in the EIS. PPK (the company contracted to conduct the EIS) were advised about the proximity of Sydney West power many times, by F.R.A.A.N., and the community in general, and yet it has been ignored. These were also ignored in the 1985 EIS. Many other impacts that are extreme are hidden from public view within the EIS working papers. It is inconceivable that a proper and honest EIS could omit an infrastructure impact of such immense importance. (This is in part, the reason for our formulation of our "EIS Upgrade" proposal, forwarded to you in the latter part of 1998.)

The Sydney West facility is absolutely critical to supply of electricity within the Grid, because of it’s hub nature, and complete supply restoration would take many months if this facility were to be seriously compromised. We are also advised that failure of this facility would have extremely serious repercussions on major electrical generators outside of the Sydney area due to overload/overrun.

The EIS does not mention in any way, what the repercussions would be, if this facility were to be damaged or destroyed, either by some form of low level fuel deposit over the site, or if it were to be involved in an aircraft crash. The site is within 10 kilometres from the end of the runways, and as noted earlier, within the high risk aircraft crash zone identified in the EIS.(see Vol 1, fig 19.5). Neither has the affect of Electromagnetic Radiation on aircraft operations been addressed within the EIS, even though aircraft would be flying over Sydney West, Kemps Creek Substation and the 500kv line at extremely low levels. PPK was asked to investigate this as well. We note that modelling for crash risk was based on Australian statistics, and not on World wide statistics as was promised, thus we feel that the risk area has been seriously understated. We also note that if one compares the site with aircraft crash sites near other major airports around the world, this facility would have been hit a great many times.

(See http://www.airsafe.com)

It is obvious that if the major percentage of the Sydney electricity supply were to be removed, the repercussions could be immense, and long term.

Obvious impacts would be:

* severe economic cost to business, the Sydney community, and NSW in general.

* potential for serious loss of human life, via critical infrastructure failure, such as traffic lights, emergency services, loss of heating/cooling capacity to homes and businesses during temperature extremes (particularly for the aged and infirm), persons trapped in lifts for long periods, etc.

* Total loss of transport infrastructure ability including rail and airport operations - road gridlock, probably without escape or internal movement capability.

* It is unlikely that supply could be restored before frozen foods thawed, likewise loss of electricity supply would render electric cooking apparatus useless.

The proposed airport would also fly aircraft at low levels over the Moomba Sydney Gas line (very close to Sydney West substation), the Sydney water supply pipelines (next to Sydney West) - both also within the high risk crash zone, Prospect Reservoir (and it’s chlorine holdings and our water filter), and the major Western "escape" roads; the Great Western Highway and the M4. This essentially represents the entire backbone of Sydney’s critical infrastructure. All of these power supply lines/sources are approximately within a one square km area and within the high risk crash area, and it is entirely conceivable that Sydney could find itself without water, gas and electricity, in one single event.

At the other end of the runways, lies Lake Burragorang, the city of Sydney’s major water supply.

- Perhaps the State Govt. ‘Gazette 156, Growth Centre’, pushed through on the 20th Dec. 1995 (published 22nd Dec. 1995 - the Friday before Christmas Monday) which takes total control of an enormous area of land in far western Sydney, surrounding the proposed airport site, has some major bearing on this political persistence to force through the proposed Badgerys Creek Airport; no matter what the potential impacts might be on the entire Sydney community now, or on a great many future generations to come.

- We ask you as a politician, and therefore a representative of the people, elected to ensure their health, safety and well being:

1) For your assistance to please ensure that airspace restriction zones are placed over Sydney West Electricity (we believe that the Kemps Creek Substation also warrants consideration), Warragamba Dam Wall, and Prospect Reservoir and it’s attendant chemical holdings, such as those zones already existing over Lucas Heights, and the Orchard Hills munitions holdings.

- When we applied to ‘Airservices Australia’ for new airspace restriction zones over these facilities, ‘Airservices Australia’ replied to us that these existing zones (above noted) were for the "protection of aircraft". We spoke with the ‘Australian International Pilots Association’ about this reply from ‘Airservices Australia’, their reply to us was; "what do they do at Lucas Heights that would affect an aircraft?". We therefore regard this Airservices Australia reply as a convenient political manner to side step our request, and not an accurate description of why our fathers placed these restriction zones in the first place. Given the danger and potential repurcussions that these facilities present to Sydney (and NSW) we therefore ask your assistance for a more forceful request for restriction zones over these service facilities.

2) To please ensure that there is a proper and adequate upgrade of the federal EIS process, such that it becomes an honest and reliable vehicle for all.

- This current Act is not fair for the decision process by politicians, nor for business who would rely upon information presented within an EIS being accurate, and it is not fair for the general Australian public, who must live with, and pay the extreme costs of any new development which does not meet it’s proposed purpose.

Yours faithfully

 

 

Peter Cork

Chairman: F.R.A.A.N