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Monday, 3 November 2003
Page: 21755


Mr BARTLETT (3:54 PM) —As a consistent and unequivocal opponent of the prospect of an airport at Badgerys Creek, I am grateful to the honourable member for the opportunity to say a few words on this to again restate my opposition to an airport at Badgerys Creek. I find myself agreeing with at least one part of the honourable member's motion—the first part—which says:

... understands that Australians want decisions made on the basis of good policy and what is best for communities, not what suits the electoral pendulum ...

So I thought I would go back and check out the consistency of the member for Chifley in terms of what his comments about Badgerys Creek have been at different stages in the electoral pendulum. There has been a veritable goldmine of comments by the member for Chifley, and we could spend all day reading these. I thought I would remind the House of a few of those comments. On 31 May 1995 the member for Chifley said:

As far as western Sydney is concerned, I am delighted with the initiatives of the government in proposing that we should have an international airport at Badgerys Creek.

Again on 31 May 1995, the member for Chifley said:

I do not apologise for advocating an airport—

at Badgerys Creek. He went on:

... the people of western Sydney ... are excited about the fact that jobs will be created. The airport will have a catalytic effect in the western suburbs of Sydney.

You are right there, Member for Chifley: it would have had a catalytic effect! On 18 October 1995 the member for Chifley said:

... I believe, to take up seriously the issue of the construction of a major airport at Badgerys Creek—something that I have been seeking for a long time.

And on we go. In June 1994 the member for Chifley spoke of the decision about Badgerys Creek. He said:

... the magnificence of the decision by the government and by the minister—

the then member for Kingsford-Smith. On the same day the member for Chifley said:

... this airport may very well be privately owned and run. I do not give a damn who owns it or who runs it, as long as it is in vicious competition with Kingsford Smith airport ...

These are all the gems from the member for Chifley regardless of the electoral pendulum—just based, I would imagine, on good policy. And then we have many of his colleagues reinforcing him in that. I will quote one from a couple of years ago. The member for Werriwa, again giving great credit to the member for Chifley, said on 28 March 2001:

I can remember WESROC convening meetings where my friend and colleague the member for Chifley would come along and advocate the construction of Sydney's second international airport at Badgerys Creek. Some people regard him as the father of the proposal—the person who put it on the agenda in a substantial way in Western Sydney ...

Well, we must wonder then what his commitment is to not responding to the electoral pendulum. There has been no consistency—it is absolute hypocrisy. Member for Chifley, while I respect a lot of your work in the electorate, I am afraid you do not have a leg to stand on on this particular issue. We have seen many others from the other side—the member for Grayndler, the member for Kingsford-Smith, the member for Watson, the member for Barton, the member for Lowe, the member for Werriwa and the member for Blaxland—all advocating strongly an international airport at Badgerys Creek. Are we to expect that somehow, suddenly, the Labor leopard has changed its spots? It would like to pretend that it has, but the evidence is clearly to the contrary. The message is clearly that Labor says one thing in opposition and does something to the contrary in government. Do not listen to what it says in opposition; look at what it did in government.

The other question is this: if Labor are canning the idea of Badgerys Creek, where are they going to put it? The bell has been rung on this one with ALP policy statement 071 in July this year and the Leader of the Opposition raising the possibility of Richmond as a site for another airport. I can make this very clear. I have news for the Leader of the Opposition: my constituents—constit-uents of Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains—will not allow the Leader of the Opposition and the Labor Party to transfer their plans for Badgerys Creek from Badgerys Creek to Richmond for some cheap political gain dictated by the electoral pendulum. (Time expired)