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Political interference on third runway not on: Cadman

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PRESS RELEASE a l a» c a d m a n m >



"The Environmental Impact Study (BIS) on the proposed Third Runway for Sydney Airport continues to be subject to political interference", Acting Opposition Tourism and Aviation spokesman, Alan Cadman, said today.

"The BIS process was designed to permit a competent assessment of the environmental impact of a third runway, and not whether there should be a third runway or not."

"The decision to proceed with a third runway was taken by the Hawke Cabinet in March, 1989, after previously denouncing the project as unnecessary."

"Now, however, rebel Labor Parliamentarians are openly defying the Cabinet decision by using every possible tactic to 'beat- up' safety and environmental concerns on spurious grounds."

Mr Cadman pointed to yesterday's release of a submission to the Federal Department of the Environment by runway opponents responding to the EIS as yet another politically-motivated attempt to undermine support for the runway.

"This submission argues that both the safety and environmental consequences of a third runway are far more severe than recognised in the BIS."

"But this report was commissioned by the Airport Co-Ordinating Taskforce which is largely a group of Sydney Councils and was subsequently endorsed by the House of Representatives Speaker, Mr Leo McLeay; Minister for Higher Education, Mr Baldwin;

Deputy Government Whip, Ted Grace; the Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Hawke, Mr Ross Free; and six Labor backbenchers."

"It's hard not to see some collusion in all of this, particularly given that some of the same MPs, led by the Speaker, denounced the EIS on the very day It was released and before they had time even to read the document. No

limitations were placed on Kinhill Engineering Pty Ltd, the


parliamentary library MiCAH

consultant who prepared the BIS - they were not told to agree with the Government's decision."

"Parliamentary members of Hr Hawke's party are openly defying a Cabinet decision, without any appropriate response from the Prime Minister,"

Mr Cadman said that without a start to the Third Runway this year, genuine safety problems would develop due to increased congestion on the current runways.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) last year branded Sydney KSA the second most congested airport in the Asia-Pacific. The situation could worsen if forecasts of 8% annual compound growth in air traffic prove correct.

"The politicians agitating for cancellation of the third runway project should be more concerned about the genuine safety and environmental issues for their constituents - rather than making phony political points," Mr Cadman said.

"If they are allowed to dominate this debate and the third runway is once again dropped by the Hawke Government, they may one day be voicing concerns about the numbers of aircraft crashing into their electorates, instead of the numbers flying over them."

Alan Cadman MF Contact: 02 899 7211

Acting Shadow Minister for AH: 02 653 1302

Tourism, Aviation and Sport

11th January 1991