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Tuesday, 28 August 2001
Page: 30458

Mr Murphy asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 7 June 2001:

(1) Further to his response to part 1 of question No. 2312 (Hansard, 22 May 2001, page 25772), is he aware of best practice in airport environmental management and sustainable airport development.

(2) Is he aware of world class practice in environmental management of airports.

(3) Is he able to say whether the environmental management at Sydney Airport is comparable to environmental management practices at Amsterdam Schipol Airport, Zurich Airport and Arlanda Airport, Stockholm, in terms of world class practice.

(4) Can an ecologically sustainable airport development and world class environmental management be achieved at Sydney Airport if world class airport management concepts, such as developing an understanding of environmental capacity of airports, are not actively incorporated into Australian airport environmental and transport law, management, development and planning; if so, how.

(5) Is he able to say whether Schipol Airports total-airport environment strategy extends to environmental impacts outside the airport boundary fence, including such issues as road traffic congestion, air toxic emissions and noise.

(6) Can Sydney Airport achieve worlds best practice in total-airport environmental management if impacts outside the airports boundary fence, including such issues as road traffic congestion, air toxic emissions and noise, are not taken into account.

(7) Is Amsterdam Schipol Airport an internationally accepted example of world class practice in total-airport environmental management.

(8) Was the Schipol Group commissioned by Sydney Airports Corporation Limited to benchmark the Preliminary Draft Environmental Strategy Document against world class practice.

(9) Did the Schipol Group, in its 1999 benchmark of Sydney Airports Environment Strategy against world class practice, (a) note the strategy did not extend beyond the internal airport area and excluded environmental impacts outside the airport boundary and (b) stated that operational aircraft noise, air pollution due to aircraft, external safety risks for third parties, airport related odours and smells, land use planning and zoning, airport related groundtraffic (density, congestion, pollution, etc.), recycling/re-use of materials, recognition and compensation of environmental damage, and handling complaints would need to be addressed equally well if the aim is to become the airport with the world's best environmental management system.

(10) Are all subjects listed by the Schipol Group comprehensively addressed in the Sydney Airport Master Plan.

Mr Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) As I have stated in my answer to Question No. 2312, each leased Federal airport, including Sydney Airport, is being encouraged to implement an Environmental Management System consistent with the International Standard Organisation's ISO 14001 standard. This standard is recognised around the world as current best practice in Environmental Management Systems.

The requirement to: comply with the Airports (Environment Protection) Regulations; prepare an Airport Environment Strategy every five years; and submit Annual Environment Reports to the Federal Government, ensures that the airport lessee companies develop airport sites in line with the principles of ecologically sustainable development and continuous environmental improvement.

(2) See answer to (1)

(3) See answer to (1)

(4) See answer to (1)

(5) Schipol's Environmental Policy Statement and Action Plan 1998-2003 includes environmental impacts outside the boundary fence.

(6) Environmental impacts outside the boundary of Sydney Airport are taken into account and managed in a number of ways. Specifically, air quality issues are comprehensively addressed in Sydney Airport's Environment Strategy and ground based noise issues are addressed in the Environment Strategy. Noise relating to aircraft in flight is addressed through specific legislation such as the Sydney Airport Curfew Act 1995, the Sydney Airport Demand Management Act 1997, and programs such as the Long Term Operating Plan, and the Noise Amelioration Program.

(7) I am advised that Schipol Airport's environmental management systems are generally considered as a good example of sound practice in airport environmental management.

(8) The Schipol Group was commissioned by Sydney Airport to benchmark the Preliminary Draft Environment Strategy (PDES). Schipol's findings are included in the Strategy document.

(9) Yes, the Schipol Group did make these observations (which are reproduced in Attachment D of the Environment Strategy)in its benchmark study. Consequently Sydney Airport amended the objectives of the PDES to include environmental advancement in both actions and performance, to act as a good neighbour and to prevent pollution. As I have said above, SACL comprehensively reports on its performance to Government.

(10) Sydney Airport does not currently have a Master Plan, as defined by the Airports Act 1996. With the prospective sale of Sydney Airport and the complexity of a master planning process for the Airport, and given the range of competing industry and community interests, I have asked that a draft master plan be provided by 31 January 2003 by the new owners.