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Monday, 16 March 2009
Page: 2787

Mr HAWKE (6:44 PM) —I rise tonight to express my concern at proposals out in the community to see the RAAF Base Richmond opened to more commercial traffic. We know, of course, that the federal Minister for Transport and Regional Development, Anthony Albanese, has failed to rule out the RAAF Base Richmond as a potential site for a second airport in Sydney. This causes great consternation to the communities in north-west Sydney and indeed my electorate of Mitchell.

It was some time ago, in the 1970s, when Gough Whitlam visited the electorate of Mitchell and said that there would be a second airport built in Galston. Of course, we know that the protests and the outrage that were sparked by such a proposal led to the election of my predecessor, the Honourable Alan Cadman, and 35 years later it is distressing to many members of my community to see such a proposal seeing the light of day again.

The Richmond RAAF base has a very specific and important purpose in our Australian community and it is important that it is not open to commercial or civilian traffic. Indeed, we want to see it maintained as a RAAF base. I call upon the federal government to urgently rule out the Richmond RAAF base site as an option for a second airport for Sydney and to ensure they stay good to their word and good to the word of the Howard government that a second airport will be built outside the Sydney basin and linked by train or by road.