Wednesday, 2 December 2015
Questions without Notice
Second Sydney Airport
Thank you, Mr Speaker. My question is for the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Minister, many constituents in my electorate are concerned about the impact of the proposed flight paths for Western Sydney Airport that are outlined in the environmental impact statement. Minister, can you please outline how these flight paths are determined, what scope exists to alter these flight paths, and also what insulation and other sound mitigation measures will be provided to residents who may be affected?
I thank the honourable member for Lindsay for her question, and acknowledge that I had the opportunity to meet with her and the Penrith City Council earlier in the week. Also this week, I have met with the member for Macquarie and the Blue Mountains City Council, and indeed also some members opposite—I won't mention their names to protect their reputations! It was good to have the opportunity to talk to local communities about their concerns about the environment impact assessment for the Badgerys Creek airport, and to talk particularly about noise issues and how they can be addressed.
I can certainly confirm to the honourable member that the flight paths that have been included in the draft environmental impact assessment are indicative only. They are a proof of concept. They demonstrate that it is possible to manage aircraft movements around the Sydney Basin and accommodate the arrivals and departures from the Badgerys Creek airport.
The flight paths themselves will only be determined as part of a new environmental impact assessment much closer to the time when the airport begins operation—probably around 2022 or 2023. It is in that context that the issues associated with management of noise and the routes that aircraft might take will effectively be considered. For instance, it is a part of this plan that all the aircraft will converge over the community of Blaxland. But the EIS itself acknowledges that that is merely indicative and that that convergence path could be moved up to five kilometres in a different direction. Indeed, there may not be a convergence point at all. There are all sorts of options available in relation to noise management, and they will be considered in detail and in consultation with the local communities at the time that those flight paths are determined.
So I can give an assurance to the people of Blaxland, in the hills of the Blue Mountains and in the honourable member's electorate that there will be—
Mr Husic interjecting—
at the time that those flight paths are being developed. That will provide an opportunity for everyone to have their say on where those flight paths should operate.
Finally, in response to the member's question, if there are places in the surrounds of the Badgerys Creek airport that are subject to levels of noise above the trigger points that have been applied in other airports, such as the Kingsford Smith airport, that led to insulation being installed, those same kinds of standards will apply to residents in the Badgerys Creek area. If there are noise affected houses—and we do not believe there will be—then they will be entitled to the same conditions as apply— (Time expired)