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Tuesday, 30 March 2004
Page: 27611


Mr ALBANESE (6:51 PM) —I am very pleased to speak in support of the motion moved today by the member for Sydney and seconded by the member for Lowe—colleagues who, along with me, have fought aircraft noise and its impact on our local communities. The Sydney airport master plan will see a doubling of the number of movements, from 225,000 a year to 412,000. It will see a tripling of the number of passengers, from 23 million to 68 million. It will have a devastating impact on our communities. I do not think that people outside those communities understand. The member for Mackellar said that half of the aircraft go over the ocean. That is absolute nonsense. Figure 16.1 of the master plan shows that, for the predicted daily jet aircraft movements in 2024, flight path G, which is the one to the south out over the bay, has 56 movements a day. That is 56 out of 1,131 every single day, of which 638 are directly over my residents. It is the most densely populated area, not just in Sydney or New South Wales but in Australia. This is an outrageous plan which puts the interests of profit holders above the interests of residents.

I wish to apologise to you, Mr Speaker, for my interjections last week in this House for which you were forced to take action in accordance with the standing orders. I was particularly angry at the frustration I felt because kids from Fort Street High School have their education disrupted every 50 seconds by aircraft noise over their heads and the government has refused to listen. It says that there is noise from, say, here to where your office is, Mr Speaker, but that where Fort Street High School is there is no noise. It is New South Wales's oldest high school. The buildings were built before the airport and, indeed, before planes were invented, yet those kids have their education disrupted. That is the real impact of aircraft noise.

I do not have long to speak, so I will also address the other alternative. We know what the Liberal plan is: more noise over more people more often. Eventually the cap and the curfew will be gone and the smaller planes will have to go to Bankstown or somewhere else to free up Sydney airport for the major jets. The alternative put forward by the Labor Party is to have a second Sydney airport environmental impact statement. We do not want the problems of aircraft noise visited on anyone. That is why we say that, upon coming into government, we will have an EIS into the Wilton site and into sites in the southern highlands.

The Greens supported Wilton in my area. Councillors, state activists and state MPs all supported Wilton as the alternative until the member for Cunningham won that by-election. Then—talk about political motivation!—all of a sudden they were against Wilton as a site for the airport. They talk about environmental considerations. Three per cent of Sydney's air pollution is caused by the airport—the main cause is cars and transport—yet they say that we cannot have Kingsford Smith airport and that it should be shut down. I do not support the position of shutting down Sydney airport. Sydney airport creates 40,000 jobs and it is important for the economy. My community does not expect to have no noise; they expect what occurs through living in the inner city. What they want, though, is some fair standard of living. That is why we do not support the complete shutting down of Sydney airport. How dishonest is it to say that you can shut down Sydney airport, but you are opposed to Badgerys Creek airport and Wilton airport. The Greens' position, quite frankly, is that planes will have to fly over Sydney and you will have to parachute out over the spot to which you want to go. It is an absurd position. It is dishonest and it will be condemned as such. I call upon people to support the Labor Party position, which actually provides a real solution to aircraft noise.