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Monday, 3 November 2003
Page: 21760

Mr BALDWIN (4:15 PM) —Today's motion on transport and urban development moved by the member for Chifley is nothing more than an exercise in hypocrisy. I will start with the very first paragraph of the motion, which says:

... understands that Australians want decisions made on the basis of good policy and what is best for communities, not what suits the electoral pendulum ...

The member for Chifley seems to have forgotten that he put out a press release on 28 July 2003 which said:

Labor has lost 5 seats in Western Sydney and this decision is essential in the fight to win them back.

I say to the member for Chifley: so much for the first statement about using the electoral pendulum. To look at hypocrisy further, I will take the House on a trip down memory lane—right back to 24 May 1989, when the member for Chifley said:

I have always been an unrepentant exponent of building an airport at Badgerys Creek in the western suburbs of Sydney.

So gushing was he that, not more than three weeks later, he said:

I guess it would be inappropriate for me not to say something about Badgerys Creek. Mr Deputy Speaker, you will know from previous speeches of mine in this House that I remain an unrepentant champion of Badgerys Creek. I believe it is inevitable that Badgerys Creek will be built.

Not even a year went by before he then said:

We are not ashamed to say that we believe that that is a viable solution to Sydney's airport needs. In fact, we will be delighted to be with the Minister for Shipping and Aviation Support (Senator Collins) later in the year when he turns the first sod at the general aviation airport there. We have to be frank. We have some expectation that the third runway environmental impact statement may fail and that we will have a domestic or international airport at Badgerys Creek.

This is what consistency is all about. I will even show how proud he was when on 31 May 1995, not that long ago, he quoted an article from the Blacktown Sun, which in part said:

... and blamed the then Labor Cr Roger Price, now Federal MP for Chifley, for helping bring the airport to Badgerys Creek.

The member for Chifley then said in this House:

I want to plead guilty. I have to say that the Labor Party organisation in my area did have a tradition of being against an airport. I suppose, as a new federal member of parliament, one of my most nervous moments was to report to my FEC and seek its support for a campaign to get an international airport at Badgerys Creek.

I must say, though, that there have been some on the Labor Party side who have been consistent against the airport. One has been the member for Prospect, and I have looked at her speeches. And then I looked at the member for Grayndler's speeches. When he spoke of this new policy which was announced by their leader, Simon Crean, he said it was an:

... example of a bad policy process leading to a bad policy. The fact is that people such as myself and other members around Sydney Airport were not consulted about this policy.

He was supported by the member for Sydney, who said:

I think it was the wrong decision to make. I've been open about the fact that I think it's the wrong decision to make but, you know, all I can deal with is what I've got in front of me.

The member for Watson, who is never short of a word, said on 28 March 2001:

When you do look at the totality of the plan, the only answer on what to do with Sydney airport is to build another big airport that will take jets, small aircraft and freighters, and that is Badgerys Creek.

A person who was usually consistent—up until he was made the Deputy Leader of the Opposition—was the member for Werriwa. On 28 March 2001, the member for Werriwa said in this House:

The best arrangement is obviously to fly into Badgerys Creek and have connecting domestic and international flights for people from rural New South Wales. So too, if they fly into Sydney, they should have those connecting flights.

He at least admitted later:

... Bankstown will not be adequate. The proper thing to do is to use the large market that is available surrounding the Badgerys Creek site.

Further, never one to be boastful, the member for Werriwa said:

I go back to 1987 when I started to advocate, while on the Liverpool council, the construction of Badgerys Creek, which was within the municipal boundaries. In 1991 I became the mayor and chairman of WESROC and I can remember that every single state and federal MP in the region was in favour of Badgerys Creek.

At the time of the recession and substantial unemployment, everyone wanted to build the second airport for its job generating capacity.

That is an admirable thing. He further said:

The potential has always been there. From 1991 through to about 1993 or 1994, all MPs, state and federal, were supporting the Badgerys Creek site. I can remember WESROC convening meetings where my friend and colleague the member for Chifley would come along and advocate the construction of Sydney's second international airport at Badgerys Creek. Some people regard him as the father of the proposal—the person who put it on the agenda in a substantial way in Western Sydney because of its positive economic and employment impacts.

Further, he said:

So Labor policy is to proceed at Badgerys Creek—that is crystal clear—

But now, because he has been made shadow Treasurer and he has been brought into line by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Crean, he is changing his mind. What we have is wedge politics, but the wedge is within the Labor Party. We have those around Sydney airport wanting Badgerys Creek, and we have those around Badgerys Creek wanting something else. (Time expired)

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Jenkins)—Order! The time allotted for this debate has expired. The debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.