After a half-century of abortive studies, plans and statements of intent, the federal government on Monday signed off onwhat it says is the final piece of paper clearing the way for construction to begin on Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher will sign off on the final version of the airport plan and declare construction ready to begin.
“All the approvals are now in place,” the Prime Minister said in a statement. “This is the most significant step taken by any government on this project. We can now get on with building the airport”.
The signing makes official changes to a draft airport plan released last year and makes permanent changes made to the conditions of its operation made following therelease of an environmental impact statementfor the site, about 50 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD.
The plans incorporate final changes to the airport’s environmental conditions. After an earlier plan included a single merge-point for planes flying above the foot of the Blue Mountains sparked outrage,revised plans have ruled out single merge points over any residential area.
Blue Mountains MayorCr Mark Greenhill has condemned the Prime Minister’s approval of the airport. “In my view, the approval process has been a box-ticking exercise from day one, said Cr Greenhill.
“To end up with such a flawed, short sighted proposal that offers a 20thCentury solution to a 21stCentury issue after 50 years of debate is frankly, woeful.”
Cr Greenhillsaid the Australian Government has blatantly ignored significant concerns important to the Blue Mountains and Western Sydney community, including the aircraft noise, air quality and greenhouse gases, human health, traffic and transport, airspace architecture and operation, consultation process, social and economic matters and the threat to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.
Stage one of the airport is expected to be operational by the mid 2020s, catering for up to ten million passengers each year.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.