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Wednesday, 3 December 2008
Page: 12380

Mrs MARKUS (3:36 PM) —My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. Now that the government has committed to a second Sydney airport, what are the locations that are being considered?

Mr RUDD (Prime Minister) —I am not sure what portfolio responsibility the member for Greenway has, but I would suggest to her, as a member of the opposition frontbench rather than the opposition backbench, that it is time for the nation to have a sensible long-term debate about Sydney’s long-term airport needs, because that is where—

Mr Morrison —Where are they?

Mr RUDD —There is the member for Cook, always out there looking for the populist political point. The member for Cook: friend of Wollongong and friend of the Illawarra!

Mr Dutton —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It goes to relevance. This is a popular local member who railed against the Brisbane Airport Corporation for 10 years.

The SPEAKER —The member for Dickson will keep moving. He will remove himself from the chamber for one hour under standing order 94(a).

The member for Dickson then left the chamber.

Mr RUDD —Therefore the nation needs a debate about Sydney’s long-term airport needs.

Opposition members interjecting—

Mr RUDD —Here they all go, engaging in populist politics rather than looking at the nation’s long-term needs. Could I say to those opposite—

Mrs Markus —Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order going to relevance. The people of Western and Greater Sydney deserve to know which locations the government are considering.

The SPEAKER —The member for Greenway will resume her seat. The Prime Minister is responding to the question.

Mr RUDD —The member for Greenway said that the people of Western Sydney deserve to know. Could I just say that I understand—I am advised at least—that the opposition confirmed yesterday their support for Badgerys Creek. I would appreciate confirmation from those opposite that that is the case. Perhaps I am misadvised. We believe that what the nation needs is proper deliberation about our long-term infrastructure needs. It will be conducted in a proper public policy format because we are a government that believes in long-term infrastructure planning. Those opposite are interested in purely personal political self-advancement. That is the difference.