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Wednesday, 8 March 2000
Page: 14215

Mrs CROSIO (7:30 PM) —Before I commence my speech on the adjournment debate tonight, I would like to acknowledge International Women's Day and particularly congratulate all those wonderful pioneering women, who I do not believe would have thought that, 20, 50 or 70 years on, they would have brought about so much social change. I say to the women of today: keep up the fight and the struggle and we will bring about continued change.

I raise tonight Badgerys Creek airport and the government's procrastination in bringing down a decision. It has gone on for a long time, and I feel that it would be an injustice if I did not raise it again in this House, representing, as I do, the objections of the community in my electorate to any type of Badgerys Creek, whether it is a baby Badgerys Creek, a dinky-di Badgerys Creek—if they want to call it that—or Badgerys Creek in total—A, B or C.

Some of the information that has now been collated, particularly by one group, the Campbelltown Airport Group, has certainly been in publication and has not been denied by any minister, and needs to be repeated in this House. I thank Leon Warren for some of the facts that he has sent me, and I am sure that he has sent them to most members in Western Sydney. One of the areas he has been able to investigate and provide information about is that regional airlines— major airlines—are now making it quite clear that they will not use any airport other than Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport.

We know that the National Party and the minister, who happens to be the Deputy Prime Minister of this nation, have insisted that regional airlines be given full access to Kingsford Smith Airport. We now know that air freight represents only one quarter of one per cent of aviation activity. We know that 90 per cent of all air freight which passes through Sydney is carried on passenger planes and that if passenger planes do not go to Badgerys Creek airport, then that leaves very little freight to be lifted from there. We also know that most air freight is now carried on Boeing 747s, which have an indicative runway take-off length of between 3,000 and 4,000 metres—much too long for the baby airport they are talking about in this government. We also know that the most dedicated air freight carriers are converting to 747s or their equivalent. There are now only 35 dedicated air freight flights a week allowed at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport.

We also know that dedicated air freight flights follow a circular route around the Pacific Rim. As they fly out of Sydney mostly empty, they call the leg of the journey between here and Singapore the `dead leg'. We know that the most valued cargo carried in and out of Sydney is horses, mainly from New Zealand, destined for Randwick Racecourse, which do not have to be quarantined. Only horses from other overseas countries have to be quarantined at Eastern Creek, which of course favours Badgery's Creek, but these are in the minority. Reports we have received go on to say that other cargo, comprising mainly fish products, passing through and transhipped at Sydney, is going to Singapore and Tokyo. These flights mostly originate in Hobart or Adelaide and, as there are no regular flights as yet to those destinations from these cities, they will continue to use Sydney as an airport. New Zealand tranships fresh foods to Singapore from Sydney because, due to the lack of regular services from Auckland to Singapore and the paucity of cargo space, they can send their products through Sydney for 2c a kilo cheaper.

Virtually no air freight comes out of Western Sydney apart from some cut flowers and surplus fruit and vegetables from the Sydney markets or at Flemington. Most incoming freight delivered to Sydney is computer parts and software—valued at around $20,000 per kilo—and is destined for the wholesale warehouses situated mostly in the northern suburbs, much closer to Kingsford Smith than to Badgerys Creek. Most freight forwarders and customs agents do so much business with the Botany Bay Shipping Terminal that they would not want their activities spread 45 kilometres apart. The baby airport certainly will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to construct for very little gain. Where are we getting our priorities from? I ask the government: do they have priorities greater than building hospitals and roads and caring for the aged and the frail aged? Or do they want to build an airport that is going to be insignificant and not work?

I remind the 15 ministers who were faxed by one of my constituents yesterday concerning his complaints—he does this on a regular basis. He even faxed me today saying, `Please, Janice, can you ask these ministers to at least answer my questions.' That person is Mr Colin Short of 3 Wylde Crescent, Abbotsbury, in my electorate. He continues to ask the ministers questions without getting any appropriate answers. He wants to know why the EIS has never covered or talked about the catalyst for the spread of urban development; why the EIS is not looking at what would happen with very substantial and permanent changes if an airport were to go ahead at Badgerys Creek; and, if it were to happen, the effects of a spillover into the world heritage area—for example, the Greater Blue Mountains.

He has asked a number of questions and I call on those 15 ministers that he has taken the time, the effort and the trouble to fax to at least take these into account. He is one of many people living within my community, and I think most people that we represent in Western Sydney would have the same thoughts as his. We do not want a waste of taxpayers' money; we do not want an airport constructed that is not going to service the people of Australia; and, more importantly, we do not want Badgery's Creek. (Time expired)