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Tuesday, 4 November 2003
Page: 22025


Mr Murphy asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 19 August 2003:

(1) Can he confirm whether the Coalition Aviation Policy titled Soaring Into Tomorrow dated 13 February 1996 states at page 14 that “we will not lease Sydney Airport and Sydney West Airport until there is a satisfactory solution to the current aircraft noise problem in Sydney. The leasing process will be deferred until two conditions are met: (1) the East-West runway is re-opened, and (2) a genuine environmental impact statement on Sydney West Airport is completed”.

(2) On what date was the process of leasing Sydney Airport and Sydney West Airport deferred and on what date did this deferral period end.

(3) On what date did he determine that Sydney Airport's aircraft noise problems had been solved thus leading to the resumption of the leasing process for Sydney Airport and Sydney West Airport.

(4) Is he aware that the Airservices Australia Annual Reports for 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 note that Ms Gail Burke was, during these years, on the Board of Directors for Airservices Australia and a member of the Minister for Finance's IT&T Policy Advisory Committee.

(6) Did the Southern Cross Consortium win the bid for Sydney Airport with a price of $5.396 billion on 25 June 2002.

(7) Is it the case that Macquarie Bank advised in its announcement dated 25 June 2002 that the Southern Cross Consortium Sponsors are “Macquarie Bank, HOCHTIEF AirPort and Commonwealth Bank”.

(8) Can he confirm whether Ms Burke, an employee of Macquarie Bank, served as both an Adviser to the Minister for Finance and on the Board of Airservices Australia during the resumption of the lease process for Sydney Airport; if so, did this represent a potential conflict of interest.

(9) Does he intend to take any action as a result of the realisation that Ms Burke served as both an Adviser to the Minister for Finance and a member of the Board of Directors of Airservices Australia during the resumption of the lease process for Sydney Airport leading to the win by Southern Cross Consortium; if not, why not.


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

(1) (2) and (3) I have dealt with these matters exhaustively in the context of previous questions asked by the Hon Member.

(4) Yes, except that the 1998-1999 Airservices Australia Annual Report states that Gail Burke was formerly a member of the Finance Minister's IT&T Policy Advisory Committee.

(5) [No corresponding question]

(6) The Government's media release of 25 June 2002 announced that Sydney Airport would be sold to Southern Cross Airports Corporation for $5.588 billion.

(7) A News Release by Southern Cross Airports Corporation dated 25 June 2002 stated that its sponsors were Macquarie Bank, HOCHTIEF AirPort and the Commonwealth Bank.

(8) Ms Burke resigned from the Airservices Australia Board with effect from 21 April 2000 which is before the commencement of the privatisation process for Sydney Airport. See also answer (4) above.

(9) No. See answer (8) above.