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Wednesday, 2 March 2016
Page: 1673

Senator McALLISTER (New South Wales) (18:17): I rise to take note of the same document as Senator Cameron—the Report on Movement Cap for Sydney Airport - 4th Quarter 2015 - 1 October 2015 to 31 December 2015. Senator Gallacher has helpfully drawn my attention to the fact that this report advises that for the quarter from 1 October to 31 December 2015 there were no occasions when the movements at Sydney Airport exceeded the regulated hourly maximum movement. Senator Gallacher advises me that this represents 16 consecutive quarters since there was last a breach of that cap. More generally, since about 2001 the airport has largely been in compliance. As Senator Cameron noted, it is most important that this airport is in compliance, because it is an enormously significant piece of economic infrastructure. It moves a 36 million passengers every year. It moves 395,000 tonnes of international freight. The precincts within the airport contain more than 800 businesses, and those businesses contribute something in the order of $9.3 billion in value add to the Australian economy. That translates into more than 49,000 full-time equivalent jobs. The tourism and freight that is facilitated by this airport represents an additional $18.3 billion in value add to the economy.

Of course, as it is located in my own home state of New South Wales, I cannot but notice what an enormously significant piece of infrastructure this airport is. As Senator Cameron noted, it is constrained from a regulatory perspective, because the airport must be a good neighbour. It is also physically constrained. Anyone who has flown there recently would understand that the ground transport and the access to the airport is under enormous pressure at the moment.

Nonetheless, it is important that this airport continues to play its economic role. In this chamber we often hear the question, 'Can the minister advise of any threats to the ongoing success of this or that policy?' I can advise of one threat to the ongoing success of Sydney Airport, and that is the New South Wales Greens. As I understand it, the policy of the New South Wales Greens political party is, in fact, to close the airport. Senator Cameron can rest easy here, because the Greens' policy is not to have another airport within the Sydney basin, but that there be no airport within the Sydney basin whatsoever and that the appropriate place for an airport is outside the Sydney basin. That is plainly unviable policy, and I draw it to the attention of the chamber. I seek leave to continue my remarks.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.