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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11561

Infrastructure


Mr MATHESON (Macarthur) (14:37): My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Will the minister update the House on the delivery of the government's key infrastructure projects to ensure the ongoing development of Western Sydney? What is this government doing to ensure that they are delivered?


Mr TRUSS (Wide BayDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (14:38): I thank the honourable member for Macarthur for his question, which I know he asks on behalf of all members from Western Sydney who want to see their area grow and prosper. Just over 18 months ago, the Australian government announced that Badgerys Creek would be the site for the Western Sydney airport, and we have been getting on with the job of bringing this project to fruition without delay. This morning, we have released the draft airport plan and the draft environmental impact statement, which is a key part of this development process and provides, for the people of the region, their opportunity to examine the plan and to consider the environmental impact questions. The EIS deals with a range of issues that have been flagged in community consultation, like air quality, water quality and, of course, aircraft noise.

The environmental impact statement itself says that there will be no houses—none at all—in the Badgerys Creek region which will experience noise levels which triggered the installation of insulation around the Sydney and Adelaide airports. It indicates that noise at major centres like Penrith will be roughly equivalent to a car travelling on a suburban street. There have been two previous environmental impact statements of the Badgerys Creek site—one in 1985 and the other in 1999—and both of those found that there were no insurmountable reasons why an airport could not be built at Badgerys Creek, and this report reflects similar views.

The plan also goes on to talk about the economic benefits to the Western Sydney region from having an airport in their area. In 2022, the peak year of construction, there will be over 3,000 jobs in the Western Sydney area. By 2031, there will be nearly 9,000 jobs, and by 2063 it is expected to increase to 60,000 jobs. This will be a major catalyst for employment, for industry and for opportunity in Western Sydney. We are getting on with the task, with the construction of road access. We are getting on with the task of developing the plan and negotiating the construction arrangements. Now is the time for the community to respond to the proposed plan. It will be open for public comment for the next 60 days, and then, on the basis of that, the environment minister will consider what appropriate conditions need to be placed on the construction. We are advancing the process, and we are determined to make sure that the views of the community are properly considered as this important project moves to start of construction.