Thursday, 25 March 2021
Western Sydney Airport: Landholders
Unfortunately, I have to rise in the House again to condemn the Berejiklian Liberal government's treatment of my constituents. My constituents in Horsley Park and Cecil Park are having their rights as landowners retroactively stripped away by the Berejiklian Liberal government, with not a word of consultation—no more subdivision, no more granny flats for an older relative to move into, no more subdividing for another house to help their children into the housing market. Those residents who live on five-acre blocks often have had plans to subdivide in the future to fund their retirement, and their rights are being stripped away in an act of arrogance by the Berejiklian Liberal government. Those residents have had plans in place, they've had hopes and dreams, and the Berejiklian government simply doesn't care.
The people of Horsley Park have expressed their views very articulately. Take Angelo and Maria Basso, who wrote:
Why are our long-term plans to subdivide and build, or provide a secondary dwelling to accommodate ageing parents or children being taken away from us overnight without sufficient consultation?
or Charles Borg, who wrote:
Many of the blocks of land over 2 hectares are owned by people that have been in the area for many years, one being my Mother (76 years old) who with my late Father (90 years old) have owned the property since 1958.
Their plan was to subdivide as needed to continue to fund their retirement and now this right has been taken away.
Now, with one move, the Premier and the planning minister have made these hopes and aspirations illegal.
I understand the second airport is a huge undertaking, and the people of Horsley Park and Cecil Park understand the need for sensible planning changes to accommodate the airport. But these restrictions are in place now, and they are for a runway that won't be operational until—wait for it—2064! The Berejiklian government is removing rights today because of a runway which will be operational in 2064. And this land is as far from Badgerys Creek airport as Concord is from Kingsford Smith.
Mr Falinski interjecting—
The member for Mackellar, who bellows, would be outraged if the Liberal government did this to his constituents, but he mocks the people of Western Sydney's rights, because they actually are being treated appallingly—
Mr Falinski interjecting—
by his political party! The minister for planning wrote to a constituent and claimed that the government had consulted with the people of Horsley Park and had informed them, and he said: 'The draft Western Sydney Aerotropolis Planning Package was publicly exhibited,' and that it: 'was promoted through numerous mediums to reach as many as possible. This included advertisements in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Daily Telegraph and on Facebook.' Now, one thing they didn't do was to write to the people of Horsley Park and Cecil Park to inform them of these proposed changes and get their views. All the money they spent on advertising they could have spent on postage stamps and written to the people of Horsley Park and Cecil Park. I know that because I've done it, twice—I've written to the people of Horsley Park and Cecil Park to make sure they're aware of these pernicious changes, these arrogant changes, by the Liberal Party. So it can be done. But the Liberal government refused or couldn't be bothered to do it.
This Saturday there will be a community meeting hosted by Fairfield council to hear the views of residents. I will be there, expressing my views and expressing my solidarity with the people of Horsley Park and Cecil Park. The state member for Mulgoa has been invited. The minister for planning has been invited. I would hope that they would come and face the people of Horsley Park and tell them, face-to-face, why their rights are unimportant—tell them while their rights are being stripped away; tell them why their rights as landholders in Western Sydney mean nothing to the Berejiklian Liberal government. Have the guts to turn up face them. Face the people of Horsley Park. Face the people of Cecil Park. Tell them why their rights mean nothing. Tell them why their rights are being stripped away with no consultation. Be honest with the people of Horsley Park and Cecil Park. If those members don't have the guts, the moral fortitude, to turn up and face their residents—the member for Mulgoa's constituents, who look to her to represent them in parliament—they should hang their heads in shame.