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Wednesday, 28 February 2001
Page: 24700


Mr MURPHY (7:58 PM) —I was here last night talking about the scandalous conduct of the government in relation to its determination to sell the airport lease for Kingsford Smith airport without any commitment to build a second airport for Sydney. Today in Hansard I received an answer to another question that I put to the Prime Minister, when he made it quite clear that it is going to be at least another decade before there is any consideration for a second airport for Sydney. Worse, yesterday in the Financial Review there was a report by Steve Lewis headed `Airport sale may have to wait for poll'. I will just read out a couple of things from that report:

A blueprint for the $4 billion privatisation of Sydney Airport has been presented to the Federal Government, providing another policy challenge to senior ministers in the lead-up to the election.

In its final report, the investment bank Salomon Smith Barney has outlined two main options: selling 25 per cent to a cornerstone investor, with the remaining 75 per cent to be sold by via a public float; or selling the airport through an initial public offering.

The article went on to say, inter alia:

The Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, has adopted a more cautious stance on the airport sale, recognising the level of sensitivity associated with the airport issue in Sydney's inner suburbs.

In the airports bill debate in 1996, the government made it quite plain that, in locking in the sale of Kingsford Smith airport to the proponent building a second airport at Sydney—West Sydney airport, either Badgerys Creek or Holsworthy—Sydney would be promised airport relief. Quite plainly, the Howard government has abandoned the people of Sydney in relation to this. All the government is interested in doing is getting its hands on the $4 billion that is forecast if the airport can be sold without any commitment to ever building a second airport for the residents of Sydney out in the south-west. This is scandalous. It is outrageous. There has been a monumental betrayal of the people of Sydney. I am going to keep talking on this subject, day in, day out, and asking questions until the cows come home. It has to stop, stop, stop.


Mr SPEAKER —Order! It being 8 p.m., the debate is interrupted.