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Thursday, 24 May 2007
Page: 116

Mr BOWEN (9:42 AM) —The Deputy Prime Minister has delivered another blow to the campaign against an airport in Western Sydney. The Deputy Prime Minister has written to councils in Western Sydney confirming that there would be another review of the need for a Badgerys Creek airport in 2009 and, until then, land at Badgerys Creek would be held in reserve. It should be recalled that the former Deputy Prime Minister said that there would be a review in 2005. But 2005 came and 2005 went, 2006 came and went and now we are in 2007 and there has been no review—certainly not one publicly released. Now we have the Deputy Prime Minister saying, ‘We’re going to hold another review in 2009.’ This is yet another dose of uncertainty for families in Western Sydney, in my electorate and in the electorates of Macarthur, Greenway, Lindsay and Parramatta.

The honourable member for Lindsay has had a lot to say about Badgerys Creek. As late as last November, the member for Lindsay said that the government has no plans for a second airport. Having no plans is fine, but the government must rule it out. Then, recently, the honourable member for Lindsay said, ‘I can rule out a second airport at Badgerys Creek but can he?’ ‘He’ was referring to me. Well, no, I cannot rule out a second airport at Badgerys Creek; it depends on the result of the next federal election. I can rule out an airport at Badgerys Creek should the Labor Party form office later this year, but I cannot rule it out if the other side is returned. I cannot rule it out, because it has said that there will be a review in 2009. So I say that I can rule out an airport at Badgerys Creek; can she? Can the member for Lindsay? Can the member for Greenway?

The member for Greenway might take the opportunity in this chamber, in one minute and 11 seconds, to get up and say, ‘I rule out an airport at Badgerys Creek under the Howard Liberal government.’ I will stay and listen to see if she does, because I will rule out an airport at Badgerys Creek under a Rudd Labor government. It will not happen. Will it happen under the Liberal Party? We do not know. We will have to wait until 2009. That is after the next federal election. Just as 2005 was after the 2004 election, 2009 is after the 2007 election. It is a coincidence, and it seems to keep happening. The next review is always after the next election. This government causes more uncertainty for the people of Western Sydney.

Let us rule it out. Get rid of the land; do something else with it. The only way we will know that Badgerys Creek airport is dead is when there is something else there; when there is something else being built on it; when it is used for something else and not kept in reserve for an airport that is going to be the subject of a review after the next election—it is continually after the next election. Yes, I can rule out an airport at Badgerys Creek under a Labor government. Can the government do so? We will find out in two seconds.