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Minister Albanese "I've got a plan for you" approach to Sydney Airport exposed

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 10 May 2013

Commenting on today's release of the Federal government's report into Wilton as a second airport site, Greens transport spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said this is another embarrassment for Labor as after six years they have no solution to many problems associated with Sydney Airport.

"Minister Anthony Albanese has been in the job for six years and he has failed to deal with aircraft noise impacts on residents or the future location of the airport", Senator Rhiannon said

"His ploy of using reports and announcements about second airport plans to get him through an election campaign is looking like a shabby diversion tactic and will not wash with the electorate.

"The myths about a second airport have been used by Labor and Coalition MPs in one election after another to make out to voters that a solution is at hand.

"There has been considerable self-interest in Minister Albanese promoting the second airport as he uses it to make out to residents in his electorate that he is doing something about the noise burden they live with. After six years he is running out of excuses.

"A second airport would increase the noise pollution burden of residents affected by Sydney Airport, as it would operate as a supplementary airport which would allow Sydney Airport to operate at maximum effeciency, which means more big noisy jets flying over Sydney suburbs.

"About 26 per cent of the air traffic at Sydney Airport consists of regional and general aviation flights by propeller aircraft and a few very small jets. These are the flights that would be sent to a second airport if it was built, freeing up capacity at Sydney Airport for more large jets, which are noiser, more polluting and more dangerous.

"The noise, air pollution and crash risk associated with Sydney Airport are an increasing environmental problem. Like all environmental problems, the longer it is left the harder it is to solve.

"There are no easy solutions to this problem. The only real solution is to relocate the airport to a site outside the Sydney basin airshed connected by High Speed Rail services to Sydney and other major centres.

"The growth of Sydney's air traffic could be slowed down by High Speed Rail linking Australia's east coast cities. The Sydney-Melbourne line should be prioritised as this corridor accounts for more than 20 per cent of air passenger movements at Sydney Airport," Senator Rhiannon said.

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