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Thursday, 24 May 2001
Page: 27103


Mr Murphy asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 3 April 2001:

(1) Will the proposed amendments to the Slots System foreshadowed in the amendments to the Sydney Airport Demand Management Act result in amendments to the Airspace Management Plan; if so, will consequential amendments to the Airspace Management Plan (AMP) constitute an action as prescribed in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBA Act).

(2) Does an amendment to the AMP trigger the provisions of subsection 160(2) of the EPBA Act; if so, must the proposed amendments to the Slots Management Scheme 1998 (SMS) be brought to the attention of the Minister for the Environment for environmental assessment.

(3) Does the precautionary principle apply to the amendments of the SMS.

(4) Will the act of amending the SMS constitute severe and irreversible environmetal harm to the residents of Sydney through increased aircraft noise and fundamental compromising of air movement safety.

(5) In the act of amending the SMS, ought not the lack of full scientific certainty of irreversible environmental harm be used to postpone measures to mitigate against the harm, thus applying the precautionary principle.


Mr Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) It is not envisaged that the proposed amendments to the Slot Management Scheme will result in a change to airspace management at the airport.

(2) Under subsection 160(2) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the adoption or implementation of a plan for aviation airspace management involving aircraft operations that have, will have or are likely to have significant impact on the environment must be considered by the Minister for the Environment. See answer to (1).

(3) to (5) See answer to (1).