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Wednesday, 5 November 2003
Page: 22275

Mr Beazley asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 18 August 2003:

(1) In respect of potential sites for a second Sydney airport, does he recollect telling the House on 11 August 2003 that “86 percent of the Wilton site is in the catchment for Sydney's water supply. But Labor has raised it explicitly as an option, despite the problems of water contamination, which is why we did not look at it again”.

(2) What are his department's estimates of the contamination on households in the suburbs neighbouring Kingsford Smith Airport.

(3) What warnings has his department issued about the possibilities of contamination to citizens in affected areas around Kingsford Smith Airport and what warnings have been issued in regard to swimming pools and other areas of exposed water that citizens might utilise.

(4) What measures has his department agreed to fund to enable the protection of the hundreds of thousands of citizens around Kingsford-Smith Airport from the pollution he alleges would occur around an airport sited at Wilton.

(5) Is it the case that Wilton has showed up repeatedly as the second favoured site by his department after Badgery's Creek if a second airport site is to be found within the Sydney Basin.

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

(1) Yes.

(2) (3) and (4) Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport is not built within a drinking water catchment as would be the case with the site at Wilton which was assessed in the 1985 Second Sydney Airport Site Selection Programme Environmental Impact Statement. Therefore, this specific impact relevant to Wilton is not directly comparable with the environmental effects from aircraft operations at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport.

(5) Badgerys Creek and Wilton were subject to a full environmental impact assessment as part of the 1985 Second Sydney Airport Site Selection Programme Environmental Impact Statement (1985 EIS). In February 1986, the then Government selected Badgerys Creek rather than Wilton as the site for a second Sydney airport. The disadvantages of Wilton were seen as its greater distance from the markets the airport was intended to serve, greater development cost, and greater impact on the natural environment. The 1985 EIS also noted the Wilton site was located in the drinking water catchment for Sydney.

Since that time there have been no formal studies undertaken by my Department which have concluded that Wilton was the second favoured site after Badgerys Creek for a second Sydney airport within the Sydney Basin.