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Wednesday, 2 March 2016
Page: 1672


Senator CAMERON (New South Wales) (18:11): I move:

That the Senate take note of the document.

I seek to speak to document No. 5, the Airservices Australia Report on the movement cap for Sydney Airport. Can The document before us clearly indicates an airport in Sydney that is regulated—an airport that has a regulation in relation to hourly movements and a regulation in relation to a curfew. The airport that is being proposed for Badgerys Creek in Western Sydney will have no regulation in terms of movements and no regulation in terms of a curfew. On the basis of the EIS that is before the public at the moment, I will not support this Badgerys Creek airport because it is not in the interest of the residents of Western Sydney and it is not in the interest of the environment of Western Sydney. It really is a dog of a document; it is not a proper environmental impact assessment; there are no protections for Western Sydney citizens.

I will declare an interest in this: I live in Blaxland. My community of Blaxland is appalled at what is proposed in the environmental impact statement. Little did we know that what was proposed in the environmental impact statement was not the full story. The environmental impact statement was indicating that there would be a small number of flights at night and a certain number of flights during the day. But when I was at the Senate estimates hearing with Airservices Australia they and the secretary of the department considered that there would be no caps on flights coming in and there would be no curfew for people in Western Sydney. We were told, 'We can look at doing something to give you respite.' 'Respite' is the word that is being used. I live in a beautiful area of Sydney. My community does not need respite. The only thing that wakes you in the middle of the night in the Blue Mountains is the crickets. We are now being told that we are going to have Boeings flying over the top of us all night with absolutely no restrictions on them. We have found out through the estimates process that the decision to bring flights in will be a purely commercial decision. The market will determine how many flights come in over the top of the Blue Mountains.

And how stupid is this EIS! They have actually picked out the area of highest population in the lower Blue Mountains and they are then going to have the flights being pushed over that area. That area will have all the noise and all the overflights. It is as if they have picked the area of highest population and put the flights over the top of that. It is an absolute nonsense. This EIS is an absolute disgrace. The local community are opposing it. The local council is opposing it. These are issues where I am standing side by side and shoulder to shoulder with my local community.

I notice that the local member, Mrs Louise Markus MP, is now being challenged for her seat by a Hawkesbury resident, I think because Susan Templeman, the Labor candidate, is doing such an effective job in opposing this airport and protecting the community that the deficiencies of Mrs Markus are being clearly outlined. So there is now a challenge on Mrs Markus. I will quote the Blue Mountains Gazette:

The surprise challenge will put the spotlight on Mrs Markus’ performance as an MP, particularly in the Blue Mountains where she has come under recent pressure over the proposed Badgerys Creek airport. The Gazette understands some party members are concerned at a perception she has chosen party loyalty over the interests of her constituents in the debate.

It is not a perception—it is the reality. She has not stood up for the residents of the Blue Mountains since she has been the MP up there. She has only looked after the party's position and toed the party line. That is unacceptable. I oppose this airport on the basis of this EIS. I think we have to look after the environment and the residents of the Blue Mountains. This EIS is no good. We cannot support this. Opposition to this is acting in the community interest.