The Federal Transport Minister needs to put in place a process to identify a site to relocate Sydney Airport outside of the Sydney Basin linked by High Speed Rail, and in the meantime the cap on aircraft movements at Sydney Airport should stay, with the noise burden on many residents already unacceptable, Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said today. ("MPs unite against move to eradicate airport's hourly cap", Sydney Morning Herald page 3 today).
"The federal Transport Minister says NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has taken his airport solution out of a Coco Pops packet but Mr Albanese has constructed his with smoke and mirrors," Senator Rhiannon said.
"Minister Albanese has dragged his feet on Sydney Airport for years, putting in place reports and processes that look like progress but are non-solutions.
"Norway, Greece, Hong Kong and Bangkok have resolved their airport woes by closing inner city airports surrounded by dense residential populations and moving them further from the city centre.
"In 1998 a new airport was built at Gardermoen, 48 km out of Oslo, with six trains an hour travelling at 210kph connecting the airport with the city centre. On the day the new airport opened, the old airport was closed.
"In Athens a new airport was built 20 km outside of the city in 2001. When the new airport opened, the old Ellinikon International Airport was closed. The airport land was initially used for Olympic venues and is now a new Athens suburb.
"High Speed Rail has been successfully integrated with European airports in Paris, Lyon, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Amsterdam. It can happen in NSW too.
"The current airport site could be successfully redeveloped into a mixed use residential and employment precinct, with extensive green space.
"Such a redevelopment would revitalise south Sydney and create stronger links to Botany Bay, the southern beaches, the CBD and Sydney Harbour," Senator Rhiannon said.