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Thursday, 26 March 1987
Page: 1583

Mr NEHL(1.50) —We have witnessed an amazing performance by the honourable member for Barton (Mr Punch).

Mr Lloyd —Talk about short term politics!

Mr NEHL —Short term politics indeed. I have never heard a more parish pump approach. I naturally understand that the honourable member is concerned that his constituents have aircraft flying over them, but hundreds of thousands of Australians have railway lines passing virtually through their backyards, hundreds of thousands night and day have semi-trailers going past. Frankly, I do not see any great difference. What has to be realised is that Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport really must get another runway. The reasons are cogent and very logical. The airport carries more traffic than do all of the other Australian international airports combined. It receives two out of three tourists visiting Australia and handles more than half of the nation's air freight. Airport-related industries and businesses spend more than $730m and provide direct employment for 14,000 people-just in the aviation industry. Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport directly generates additional income of more than $1 billion in the local government area surrounding the airport. What does the honourable member for Barton say about that? Does he not want to have another billion--

Mr Lloyd —He wants to have it both ways.

Mr NEHL —He wants to have it both ways, as the honourable member for Murray says, but in this world of ours one cannot have one's cake and eat it too, one has to choose one course or another. Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport generates a further $500m of income over the whole Sydney region. An additional 14,700 jobs exist in aviation-dependent industries such as tourism, accommodation and travel. As a result, millions of dollars are contributed in taxes and charges to Federal, State and local governments. Yet, in spite of Sydney's magnificence as an airport, air traffic is growing faster at Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Cairns and Adelaide. Why? Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport is becoming thoroughly overloaded. The proposed new airport for Sydney will not be operational until at least the year 2010--

Mr Gear —That is what Fraser said.

Mr NEHL —Well, the honourable member can talk about Mr Fraser but, as the honourable member for Murray has told him, the plans were in place, ready to go and his mob killed them, because of the honourable member's fears about the ears of his constituents. Regional air services will deteriorate as competition for airport use intensifies. In 1986 Sydney's airport had 192,000 movements, of which 115,200 or 60 per cent, represented domestic traffic. At present country aviation retains its priorities for access to the airport. However, increasingly there are delays and these are being spread over the entire spectrum of airport users, with the possible exception of charter and private operators. Time and time again I fly from home at Coffs Harbour to Sydney and find that one has to stooge around over Gosford while congestion clears. It is not good enough to leave the situation like that until the year 2010. We must take some action fairly soon. Turning to Badgerys Creek is not the answer. The existing runway must be duplicated. There is no indication whatsoever of when air traffic will commence to be shed from the Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport. It is not even being talked about. Congestion and delay at Sydney's airport must lead to a decline in the number of tourists, international business and freight which its services. Kingsford-Smith is the gateway for over one and a quarter million tourists each year-worth to Sydney in 1984 an estimated $1,640m.

Coopers and Lybrand's study on the bicentenary estimated that 2.9 million tourists would visit Australia in 1988. That is astounding but it is the estimated figure. The Australian Bureau of Statistics found that 1.4 million people visited Australia in 1986, an increase of 27 per cent over the figure for 1985. It anticipates a further 27 per cent increase in visitors in 1987. That would result in 1.9 million tourists coming to Australia. Where are they going to land, Mr Deputy Speaker? Coopers and Lybrand estimate that an additional one million tourists will visit Australian in 1988 alone. Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport's share of tourist arrivals has already fallen-from 56 per cent in 1981 to 53 per cent in 1984. These falls in the number of tourist arrivals will continue, with consequent economic loss. There are over 50 economic enterprises associated with the airport. They include 22 airline corporations, 21 commercial enterprises and 12 public infrastructure organisations. In 1984-85, Qantas Airways Ltd paid $63.7m in taxes on its operations out of Sydney airport alone. Because of the multiplier effect, the total economic impact on the Sydney region in 1984 was $4,662m. That is calculated on the basis of an expenditure of $731m by the aviation industry and related business expenditure of $1,532m, with a multiplier factor of 2.06. Of course that excludes any government input.

I want to conclude in order to allow a few minutes to my colleague on the other side. I just make the point that, whereas we have a total multiplier effect of over $4.5 billion coming from Sydney airport, in comparison our major copper exporter, Mount Isa Mines Ltd, earned $670m from the sale of copper overseas, or 45 per cent less than the revenue produced by Kingsford-Smith Airport. If the airport is to remain viable, to go ahead and serve Sydney and Australia, that second runway has to be built.