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Airports Amendment Bill 2015



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ISSN 1328-8091

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BILLS DIGEST NO. 131, 2014-15 23 JUNE 2015

Airports Amendment Bill 2015 Matthew James and Sophie Power Science, Technology, Environment and Resources Section

Contents

The Bills Digest at a glance ................................................... 3

Purpose of the Bill ............................................................... 4

Structure of the Bill ............................................................. 4

Background ......................................................................... 4

Project progress ....................................................................... 4

Committee consideration .................................................... 5

Selection of Bills Committee.................................................... 5

Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills .............. 5

Policy position of non-government parties/independents ..... 5

Position of major interest groups ......................................... 6

Financial implications .......................................................... 6

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights .................... 6

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights .................. 6

Key issues and provisions..................................................... 6

Airport planning ....................................................................... 6

Airport plan for Sydney West Airport ...................................... 7

Process for determination of an airport plan for Sydney West Airport .......................................................................... 7

Contents of the airport plan .................................................. 8

Variation of airport plan ........................................................ 8

Publication of airport plans ................................................... 9

Airport plans are not legislative instruments ........................ 9

Review of airport plans and variations ................................ 10

Master Planning for Sydney West Airport ............................. 11

Major development planning and Sydney West Airport ....... 12

Environmental approvals and the role of the Environment Minister ............................................................ 13

Date introduced: 4 June 2015

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Infrastructure and Regional Development

Commencement: On the day after Royal Assent.

Links: The links to the Bill, its Explanatory Memorandum and second reading speech can be found on the Bill’s home page, or through the Australian Parliament website.

When Bills have been passed and have received Royal Assent, they become Acts, which can be found at the ComLaw website.

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Market Access and cross-ownership restrictions .................. 14

Common ownership ............................................................ 14

Airport cross-ownership restrictions ................................... 14

Regulation Impact Statement ............................................. 15

Other provisions ................................................................ 15

Building Approvals ................................................................. 15

Concluding comments ....................................................... 16

Appendix : Badgerys Creek history and studies ................... 17

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The Bills Digest at a glance Following the Australian Government’s decision in April 2014 to proceed with a new airport for Sydney, the Airports Amendment Bill 2015 (the Bill) provides for the determination of an airport plan for Sydney West Airport (SWA) to be located at Badgerys Creek.

Whereas normally there is a requirement for airport Master Plans and Major Development Plans (MDPs), the Bill provides a special planning process involving an airport plan for SWA as a green-field site. The major section of the Bill is proposed Division 4A of Part 5 of the Airports Act 1996 (at item 30) ‘Airport plan for Sydney West Airport’ which sets out the process for and required content of the airport plan. This process involves both the Environment Minister and the Infrastructure Minister. In terms of content, the plan may include airport development objectives, proposals for land use and related development, a map showing contours of projected aircraft noise and indicative flight paths at the airport and other details.

The Bill also recognises the environmental impact assessment process that commenced in December 2014 under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) for a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek and requires the environmental impact statement to be finalised before the airport plan can be determined. This is the third environmental assessment process for the site, with two previous processes reporting in 1986 and 1999. The Appendix to this Digest contains further historical background on the western Sydney airport site selection process.

The Bill also includes measures to allow options to the Australian Government should Southern Cross Airports Corporation, as the owners of the existing Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport at Mascot, decline to develop the new airport. In particular, the Bill removes the requirement that the airport-lessee companies for Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport at Mascot and SWA at Badgerys Creek must be subsidiaries of the same company. The Bill also removes the airport pair cross-ownership restrictions currently placed on SWA.

A further barrier will be the negotiations with the owners of the existing Sydney Airport, and it might be argued that it would be in their commercial interests to delay any new competing airport venture for as long as was possible, notwithstanding that the airport-lessee company for SWA will be required to complete a full master plan within five years of signing the airport lease.

The Bill also makes consequential amendments to the Airports Regulations 1997 and the Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996.

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Purpose of the Bill The purpose of the Airports Amendment Bill 2015 (the Bill) is to amend the Airports Act 1996 (Cth)1 to:

• provide a streamlined process for the development of a second airport for Sydney through the determination of an airport plan for Sydney West Airport (SWA) and

• increase options available to the Australian Government should Southern Cross Airports Corporation decline an offer to develop the new airport by removing ownership restrictions in relation to SWA.

Structure of the Bill The Bill has one schedule with two parts:

• Part 1 amends the Airports Act and also makes consequential amendments to the Airports Regulations 1997 and Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996 as a result of the changes made to the Airports Act and

• Part 2 provides application and transitional provisions.

Background On 15 April 2014, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development confirmed that Badgerys Creek is the site for the new Western Sydney Airport.2 The 2014-15 federal Budget announced an Infrastructure Growth Package, with a series of new measures, including the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan.3 This involved the building of road infrastructure in preparation for the Badgerys Creek airport. The plan was budgeted at $2.9 billion over ten years, with $1.2 billion available over the forward estimates. As well:

To facilitate progress, a Western Sydney Infrastructure Unit will be established within the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and will be responsible for the development of detailed airport design concepts, conducting environment assessments and engaging with potential private sector operators. The Department has been allocated $77.8 million over four years to establish this Unit.

4

The Appendix to this Digest provides further historical background relating to the planning of a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.

Project progress On 15 October 2014, the Federal Government announced an environmental assessment process for Badgerys Creek.5 In December 2014, a referral was made to the Minister for the Environment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act)6 for a proposed action ‘to construct and operate a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek’ in New South Wales.7 On 23 December 2014, it was decided that the project would require environmental assessment and approval under the EPBC Act on the basis of its potential to have a significant impact on World Heritage properties, National Heritage places, listed threatened species and communities and as a Commonwealth action.8 On 29 January 2015, guidelines were issued for the content of a draft environmental impact statement.9

1. Airports Act 1996 (Cth), accessed 16 June 2015. 2. T Abbott (Prime Minister) and W Truss (Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development), Western Sydney Airport to deliver jobs and infrastructure, joint media release, 15 April 2014, accessed 5 June 2015. 3. R Dossor, ‘Infrastructure Growth Package—Asset Recycling Fund’, Budget review 2014-15, Research paper series 2013-14, Parliamentary

Library, Canberra, 30 May 2014, p. 114; Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, ‘Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan’, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website, both accessed 5 June 2015. 4. R Dossor, op. cit., p. 114. 5. W Truss (Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development), Environmental assessment for Badgerys Creek, media release, 15 October 2014, accessed 19 June 2015. 6. Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, accessed 22 June 2015. 7. Department of the Environment, ‘EPBC referral 2014/7391’, Department of the Environment website, accessed 16 June 2015. 8. Department of the Environment, Notification of referral decision and designated proponent - controlled action and decision on assessment approach, 23 December 2014, accessed 16 June 2015. Note that the relevant World Heritage property and National Heritage place is the Greater Blue Mountains. 9. Department of the Environment, Guidelines for a draft environmental impact statement for Western Sydney Airport, 22 January 2015, accessed 16 June 2015.

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The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website on the Western Sydney Airport provides some information on the progress of the project.10 With the Western Sydney Airport environmental guidelines issued and the geotechnical analysis starting at the site, detailed planning has commenced.11

As well, consultation began with the Sydney Airport Group (as the owners of the Kingsford Smith airport at Mascot) with a view to starting the new operations by the mid 2020’s. Regarding Sydney Airport’s involvement, the Factsheet on Delivering the Western Sydney Airport outlines the ownership requirements:

The Government intends that most of the cost of the airport will ultimately be met by a private sector operator. In facilitating this and delivering the airport, a critical first step is for the Australian Government to meet its obligations under the Right of First Refusal, a condition of the 2002 Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport Sale Agreement.

…The Right of First Refusal consists of a number of phases, including a consultative phase and a contractual phase. These are expected to take between one and two years to complete. The Australian Government has issued a Notice to Consult to the Sydney Airport Group and the first phase formally commenced on 30 September 2014.This consultative phase is expected to take nine months. Following the consultation phase the Government may enter a contractual phase, which would involve issuing a Notice of Intention to the Sydney Airport Group.

12

Committee consideration Selection of Bills Committee The Bill has not been referred to a committee for consideration.13

Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills On 17 June 2015, the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills (Scrutiny of Bills Committee) commented on two aspects of the Bill: firstly that the SWA airport plan will not be a legislative instrument, which means that the disallowance and sunsetting provisions of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 will not apply; and secondly that decisions to determine an airport plan for SWA, vary such an airport plan, and declare that a specified day is the Sydney West Airport completion day are not reviewable by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.14 These issues are discussed in further detail where relevant in this Bills Digest.15

Policy position of non-government parties/independents The Australian Labor Party supported the Bill in the House of Representatives, with the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport stating that the Bill ‘clears the way to progress the plan to build a second Sydney airport’ and will ‘clear up deficiencies in aspects of the Airports Act 1996, which create uncertainty and confusion about the process for establishing a second Sydney airport’.16

At the time of the project announcement in April 2014, the Greens denounced it as a win for developers and big businesses and not in the interests of the community. The Greens cited ‘massive inconvenience, traffic congestion, noise pollution and a range of health problems’ for the region.17 Further the Greens stated:

The Greens policy does not support a second airport and calls for Sydney Airport to be relocated outside Sydney basin with an efficient High Speed Rail network to and from the airport. 18

10. Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, ‘Western Sydney Airport’, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website, accessed 5 June 2015. 11. W Truss (Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development), Western Sydney airport environmental guidelines issued, media release, 29 January 2015; W Truss (Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development), Geotechnical analysis starts at Badgerys Creek, media

release, 20 January 2015, both accessed 5 June 2015. 12. Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, ‘Factsheet: delivering the Western Sydney Airport’, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website, accessed 5 June 2015. 13. Selection of Bills Committee, Report No. 6 of 2015, The Senate, Canberra, 16 June 2015, accessed 17 June 2015. 14. Legislative Instruments Act 2003, accessed 22 June 2015. 15. Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, Alert Digest No. 6 of 2015, The Senate, Canberra, 17 June 2015, pp. 1-3, accessed 17 June

2015.

16. A Albanese (Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport), ‘Second reading speech: Airports Amendment Bill 2015’, House of Representatives, Debates, 16 June 2015, p. 55, accessed 17 June 2015. 17. The Greens (New South Wales), Proposed Badgerys Creek airport - win for developers not community, media release, 15 April 2014, accessed 5 June 2015.

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At the time of writing, no policy position on the Bill had been announced by other non-government parties or the independents.

Position of major interest groups In previous decades there were both strong opposing and supportive views for an airport at Badgerys Creek, however, since the current proposal was announced in April 2014, there has been minimal criticism and generally muted approval. For example, the Western Sydney Airport Alliance, comprising local businesses, unions and professional bodies expressed its support for the proposal:

The Alliance fully supports the Federal Government's recent decision to proceed with developing a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek as well as the accompanying commitments by the Federal and NSW Governments to build supporting road infrastructure and preserve a rail corridor for the future. 19

The Western Sydney Community Forum (WSCF), claiming over 200 member organisations, comprising both funded and unfunded community based services in Greater Western Sydney, has welcomed the announcement of a Western Sydney Airport.20

However, the ‘Say NO to Badgerys Creek Airport’ and the ‘No Badgerys Creek Airport’ campaigns continue online with contributions from local residents and others concerned about its effects.21

Financial implications According to the Explanatory Memorandum, the Bill will have no financial impact.22

Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights As required under Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth), the Government has assessed the Bill’s compatibility with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of that Act. The Government considers that the Bill is compatible.23

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights had no comment on the Bill.24

Key issues and provisions Airport planning The Commonwealth regulates planning and development controls for the 21 federally-leased airports through the Airports Act.25 A part of this is a requirement for Master Plans and Major Development Plans (MDPs):

Master Plans are key planning documents which play an important role in informing the community, airport users, and other airport stakeholders. The [Airports] Act currently requires core-regulated federally leased airports to prepare a new master plan at least once every 5 years, regardless of the type or size of the airport's operations.

…The Airports Act 1996 prescribes the circumstances which trigger the MDP process. These circumstances are described in terms of specific development activities with potential operational, economic, environmental or social

18. Ibid.

19. Western Sydney Airport Alliance, ‘Western Sydney community unites for airport, jobs and infrastructure’, Western Sydney Airport Alliance website, accessed 5 June 2015. 20. Western Sydney Community Forum (WSCF), ‘Western Sydney Airport Alliance News’, WSCF website. The WSCF website provides useful project background on their frequently asked questions page, accessed 5 June 2015. 21. Facebook, ‘Say NO to Badgerys Creek Airport’, and ‘No Badgerys Creek Airport’, Facebook update, June 2015, accessed 5 June 2015. 22. Explanatory Memorandum, Airports Amendment Bill 2015, p. 2, accessed 22 June 2015. 23. The Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights can be found at page 3 of the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill. 24. Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, Twenty-third report of the 44th Parliament, The Senate, Canberra, 18 June 2015, p. 1,

accessed 22 June 2015. 25. Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, ‘Better regulation proposals’, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, website, accessed 5 June 2015.

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impacts. Some development activities also include a monetary trigger…. Major Development Plans are required for each major airport development at each federally-leased airport, except Tennant Creek and Mt Isa. 26

However, under the Bill, the SWA will have a special planning process as a greenfield development:

An airport plan for Sydney West Airport is a special planning instrument that recognises the unique circumstances of a greenfield airport development. It is a temporary, transitional measure that authorises the initial airport development for Sydney West Airport and specifies the Australian Government’s requirements for the airport. An airport plan may be determined by the Infrastructure Minister following completion of an Environmental Impact Statement under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and the exercise of an approval function, in relation to environmental matters, by the Environment Minister.

27

The provisions of the Bill relating to the special planning processes provided for SWA are outlined in further detail below.

Airport plan for Sydney West Airport Part 5 of the Airports Act provides for the planning process and building controls for airports regulated by the Act. One of the main provisions of the Bill is item 30 which inserts a new ‘Division 4A—Airport plan for Sydney West Airport’ into Part 5 of the Airports Act setting out the process and content for the airport plan. The determination process involves both the Environment Minister and the Infrastructure Minister. The plan may include airport development objectives, proposals for land use and related development, a map showing contours of projected aircraft noise and indicative flight paths at the airport; and other details. Specific provisions apply to any variations of the airport plan and associated developments. Further details are set out below.

Process for determination of an airport plan for Sydney West Airport New section 96B provides for the determination of an airport plan for SWA. New subsection 96B(1) provides that the Infrastructure Minister, being the Minister who administers the Airports Act,28 may by writing determine an airport plan for SWA. New subsection 96B(2) requires the Infrastructure Minister to give a draft airport plan to the Environment Minister.29 Under new subsection 96B(3), the Environment Minister must, within 30 business days after receiving the draft airport plan, give the Infrastructure Minister a notice. The Environment Minister has three options in relation to this notice. The notice can state that:

• the Environment Minister considers that the airport plan should not be determined (subparagraph 96B(3)(a)(i)) — the Explanatory Memorandum suggests that the Environment Minister might give such a notice, for example, ‘because it is unacceptable from an environmental perspective and that there are no conditions or other provisions that could mitigate the unacceptability’.30 If the Environment Minister gives this notice, the Infrastructure Minister is prohibited from determining the airport plan without giving a new draft to the Environment Minister and the Environment Minister giving one of the two notices discussed below (new subsection 96B(8))

• the Environment Minister considers that one or more specific conditions or provisions should be included in the airport plan for the purpose of protecting the environment (subparagraph 96B(3)(a)(ii)).31 Those specified conditions or provisions must be carried through into Part 3 of the final airport plan (new subsection 96B(9)), no inconsistent conditions or provisions may be included (subsection 96C(8)), and the Environment Minister’s agreement will be required for any subsequent inconsistent variations (subsection 96D(3))

• the Environment Minister is satisfied with the airport plan (subparagraph 96B(3)(a)(iii)).

26. Ibid.

27. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 1. 28. A new definition of Infrastructure Minister is inserted into subsection 5(1) of the Airports Act by item 2 of the Bill. 29. The Environment Minister is to be defined in subsection 5(1) of the Airports Act as the Minister who administers the EPBC Act: see item 2 of the Bill.

30. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 13. 31. New subsection 96B(6) provides that environment has the same meaning as in the EPBC Act.

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In considering the draft airport plan, new subsection 96B(5) provides the Environment Minister must have regard to the SWA environmental impact statement and such other matters (if any) relating to the environment as the Environment Minister considers relevant. The Infrastructure Minister must wait for the SWA environmental impact statement under the EPBC Act to be finalised and the Environment Minister’s notice to be given before determining the airport plan (new subsection 96B(7)).

Subsection 96B(10) provides that in determining an airport plan for SWA, the Infrastructure Minister may have regard to such matters as he or she considers relevant. As such, apart from anything in a notice from the Environment Minister, the determination of an airport plan for SWA is at the Infrastructure Minister’s discretion.32

Contents of the airport plan New section 96C provides that the SWA airport plan must be divided into three parts:

• Part 1: a title—such as ‘Airport Plan for Sydney West Airport’33

• Part 2: the concept design for the airport, which may include airport development objectives, proposals for land use and related development, a map showing contours of projected aircraft noise and indicative flight paths at the airport; and other details as specified in regulations. Note that under new section 96E, Part 2 of the airport plan is a transitional part which is automatically omitted from the airport plan and becomes redundant (along with the provisions in this Bill relating to Part 2) once both the airport plan and a final master plan for the airport come into force and

• Part 3: details of specific developments34 for the airport development (which must be consistent with Part 2 of the airport plan). Part 3 may set out the details of ancillary developments35 that may be carried out on an associated site. Part 3 may also set out conditions to be complied within in relation to either of these developments.36

Under subsection 96C(9), the airport plan is not limited to Parts 1, 2 and 3: it may set out other matters or contain material that sits outside the three parts.

Subsections 96C(10)-(12) deal with interests in land that the Commonwealth does not own at the time the airport plan is determined. According to the Explanatory Memorandum, there are some areas that the Commonwealth may intend to be part of the airport site, but because the areas are not yet owned by the Commonwealth, they cannot be declared to be part of the airport site. Subsection 96C(10) provides that the airport plan may cover these areas. The airport plan will have effect in relation to the areas when they become part of the airport site (subsection 96C(12)).37

Variation of airport plan New section 96D gives the Infrastructure Minister the power to vary an airport plan for SWA. If there is no airport lease for SWA, this power can be exercised on the Infrastructure Minister’s own initiative. If there is an airport lease, the plan may be varied on the application of the airport-lessee company for airport.38

Under new subsection 96D(3), if the airport plan includes a condition or provision which was required by the Environment Minister before the determination of an initial airport plan, then the Minister must not make a variation of the airport plan that is inconsistent with that condition or provision, unless the Environment Minister agrees to the variation. While there is no specific requirement in this provision that the Environment Minister be consulted in relation to that variation, new subsection 96D(7) provides that the EPBC Act has effect as if the airport plan variation were an authorisation of an action under subsection 160(2) of the EPBC Act.

32. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 14. 33. Ibid., p. 15. 34. New section 96M defines development to include a major airport development; a building activity or an activity of a kind prescribed in the regulations. Major airport development and building activities are currently defined in existing sections 89 and 98 of the Airports Act

respectively. Item 31 extends the definition of building activities in section 98 to include an activity of a kind prescribed by the regulations. 35. An ancillary development is defined at new subsection 96L. 36. See further new subsections 96C(3)-(8). 37. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 16. 38. Note that new subsections 96D(5) and (6) permit the execution of contractual provisions for any transaction for SWA that would limit or

affect the capacity of an airport-lessee company to seek a variation.

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Section 160 of the EPBC Act requires a Commonwealth agency or employee to consider advice from the Environment Minister before authorisation of certain actions under section 160. This subsection means that the Environment Minister’s advice would need to be sought on the variation before it was made, as is currently the case for major development plans. The Explanatory Memorandum explains that this is ‘to ensure that relevant environmental considerations are factored into any variation in the same way they are considered for major development plans’.39

New subsection 96D(8) provides that Part 3 of the airport plan must not be varied after the Sydney West Airport completion day so as to set out the details of any additional developments. The Explanatory Memorandum explains that this recognises that after the SWA completion date, all new development activity must be undertaken in accordance with the standard requirements of the Airports Act, which include the requirement for a major development plan for certain developments.40

The concept of the Sydney West Airport completion day is contained in new section 112B, which is inserted by item 44 of the Bill. This new section allows the Minister to declare that a specified day is Sydney West Airport completion day. The declaration will be published on the Department’s website and is not a disallowable instrument. As noted above, the Sydney West Airport completion day marks the point after which Part 3 of the airport plan can no longer be varied to include new developments or ancillary developments. As will be noted elsewhere in this Digest, it is also relevant, for example, to the consideration of master plans and major development plans.41

Publication of airport plans New section 96F sets out publication requirements for the airport plan and variations to airport plans. Until there is an airport-lessee company, the Infrastructure Minister is responsible for ensuring that the airport plan, variations and up-to-date copies of the airport plan are published on the Department’s website. Once an airport lease is granted, the airport-lessee company is responsible for ensuring that the airport plan, variations and up-to-date copies of the airport plan are published on the company’s website.

Airport plans are not legislative instruments New subsection 96B(11) provides that an airport plan for SWA is not a legislative instrument.42 This means that the provisions for disallowance by Parliament and sunsetting under the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 will not apply to the airport plan.

The Explanatory Memorandum notes that this is consistent with major development plans and master plans, which are also not legislative instruments:

This is appropriate because, like master plans and major development plans, an airport plan does not determine the content of the law; it just triggers particular legal effects such as an authorisation to implement the airport plan and a sanction for not complying with its conditions. It is the Act, and not the plan, that creates these legal effects. For this reason it is highly likely that, even in the absence of subsection (11), an airport plan would not be a legislative instrument: it is of an administrative character. Subsection (11) is thus declaratory and is designed to make the legal status of the airport plan clear to a reader of the legislation.

43

However, the Scrutiny of Bills Committee expressed concerns about this aspect of the Bill, noting that:

Although it may be accepted that the plan ‘just triggers particular legal effects’ it remains the fact that the legal obligations which are created by the [Airports] Act are given substance by the plan, that is their content is filled out by the determination of the plan. As such, the determination of a plan is a decision that arguably has legislative elements thus it is one which is difficult to clearly categorise as having only a legislative or administrative character (the courts have recognised this is a difficult line to draw in the context of such cases).

44

39. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 17. 40. Ibid.

41. Ibid., p. 22. 42. Note also that a variation of the airport plan is also not a legislative instrument: see new subsection 96D(4). 43. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 14. 44. Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, op. cit., p. 1.

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For this reason, the committee has sought the Minister’s advice as to whether consideration has been given to providing at least some level of parliamentary scrutiny of the plan (such as a tabling requirement), even if it is considered that it should not be subject to disallowance.45

Review of airport plans and variations Subsection 242(1) of the Airports Act provides that applications may be made to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) for review of decisions made by the Minister under the Act. However, certain decisions are excluded from such review under subsection 242(2), including, for example, decisions to approve or refuse to approve the grant or transfer of airport leases.

Item 45 of the Bill adds three new paragraphs to subsection 242(2) to provide that the following decisions are also not reviewable by the AAT:

• a decision to determine an airport plan for SWA

• a decision to vary an airport plan for SWA and

• a decision to declare that a specified day is the Sydney West Airport completion day.46

The Explanatory Memorandum explains that:

The economic and national significance of the Western Sydney Airport project mean that any decision to approve a plan that would provide for the development of an international airport or any variations to that plan, is such as to make them unsuitable for ordinary merits review processes. 47

The Explanatory Memorandum also states that whereas for existing airport lessees, major development plans and master plans are submitted for Ministerial approval and that a lessee should be able to seek merits review of the Minister’s decision on such a plan, the airport plan for SWA would be different:

It will be prepared and determined by the Commonwealth itself, and will be developed in a way as to ensure the Commonwealth’s policy objectives for the proposed airport - economic, social and aviation - are achieved. The airport-lessee company that is granted the airport lease for Sydney West Airport will have entered into a contract with the Commonwealth that will require the lessee to implement that plan. Subjecting the plan to independent merits review would cut across the commercial relationship between the Commonwealth and the airport-lessee company and would jeopardise the capacity of the plan to deliver the Government's objectives. It could also result in substantial delays to the project timeframes: susceptibility to litigation in a no-cost jurisdiction would almost certainly mean that construction of the airport could not commence in accordance with the government’s preferred timeframes.

48

The Explanatory Memorandum also notes that ‘the usual courses of judicial review would be available for the Infrastructure Minister’s determination of an airport plan or a decision in relation to its variation’.49

In relation to the declaration of a day as the Sydney West Airport completion day, the Explanatory Memorandum states that:

The effectiveness of the Act requires that once such a decision is made, there is certainty as to its operation. Further, the kinds of considerations that underlie the making of such a decision are uniquely adapted to assessment by a Commonwealth Minister as opposed to an independent tribunal. 50

The Scrutiny of Bills Committee noted these provisions and the explanation given in the Explanatory Memorandum, and left ‘the question of whether the proposed approach is appropriate to the Senate as a whole’.51

45. Ibid.

46. As noted earlier, new section 112B, inserted by item 44 of the Bill, allows the Minister to declare that a specified day is Sydney West Airport completion day. The declaration will be published on the Department’s website and is not a disallowable instrument. 47. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit. p. 23. 48. Ibid.

49. Ibid.

50. Ibid.

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Compliance with conditions in airport plans

New section 96J creates an offence regarding non-compliance with a condition set out in an airport plan. If an airport-lessee company contravenes a condition of an airport plan, a maximum penalty of 2,000 penalty units applies. If a person other than the airport-lessee company contravenes a condition of an airport plan, a lower penalty of 400 penalty units applies.52 These offences mirror offences in section 90 of the Airports Act regarding non-compliance with a condition set out in a major development plan. The Explanatory Memorandum notes that:

This is intended to ensure consistency across relevant offence provisions of the Act and ensure, as with major development plans, that airport-lessee companies and others comply with any and all conditions set out by the Infrastructure Minister. This latter aspect is necessary to ensure the integrity of the regulatory regime as applicable to the airport plan for Sydney West Airport.

53

Master Planning for Sydney West Airport Ordinarily, under section 75 of the Airports Act, an airport-lessee must give the Minister a draft master plan for the airport within 12 months after the acquisition or grant of the airport lease (unless the Minister permits a longer period). However, the Bill would exclude the first SWA master plan from this requirement.54 Instead, item 17 inserts a new subsection 75(1A) into the Airports Act which provides that, within five years after the grant of the first airport lease for the airport, a draft master plan for SWA must be provided to the Minister by the airport-lessee company, unless the Minister permits a longer period.55 The Explanatory Memorandum states that:

This five year timeframe recognises the greenfield nature of the Airport and the expectation that there will be an airport plan for Sydney West Airport covering much of the same ground that a master plan would ordinarily cover. In this context, it would be undesirable to apply the usual 12-month requirement (subsection 75(1)) for a first master plan.

This change only applies to the first master plan for Sydney West Airport. After the first master plan, the airport-lessee company will be subject to the usual five-year cycle for master plans under section 76. 56

Item 19 of the Bill inserts a new section 81A which deals with the relationship between an airport plan for SWA and a draft master plan. New subsection 81A(1) provides that if an airport-lessee company for SWA gives the Minister a draft master plan, and an airport plan is in force, the Minister may refuse to approve the draft master plan if the Minister is satisfied the draft master plan is inconsistent with the airport plan. The Explanatory Memorandum states that:

This is intended to ensure that the Minister can require a master plan for Sydney West Airport to be consistent with the development objectives and other matters set out in the airport plan. 57

However, new subsections 81A(2) and (3) provide that the Minister may approve a draft master plan, even if it is inconsistent with parts of the airport plan, in certain circumstances. For example, new subsection 81A(2) permits the Minister to approve the draft master plan notwithstanding the inconsistency if the draft master plan is accompanied by an application to vary the airport plan and the Minister is satisfied that the draft master plan

51. Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, op. cit. pp. 2-3. 52. Under section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth), a penalty unit is $170, which means that the penalty is worth $340,000 for an airport-lessee company and $68,000 for other persons. Note that at the time of writing, a Bill was recently passed by parliament to increase the penalty unit rate to $180, effective 31 July 2015: Parliament of Australia, ‘Crimes Legislation Amendment (Penalty Unit) Bill 2015 homepage’, Australian

Parliament website, accessed 22 June 2015. Section 4D of the Crimes Act provides that a penalty specified for a Commonwealth offence is to be taken as the maximum penalty unless the contrary intention appears. 53. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 19. 54. Amendments relating to master planning for SWA are set out in items 15-20 of the Bill. 55. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 12. 56. Ibid., p. 7. 57. Ibid.

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(if approved) and the airport plan (as proposed to be varied) will be consistent with each other. This subsection only applies before the Sydney West Airport completion day.58

There are equivalent provisions in new subsection 84AA, which is inserted by item 20, to deal with the relationship between an airport plan for SWA and a variation to a final master plan for the airport. For example, the Minister may refuse to approve a variation to a final draft master plan if the Minister is satisfied the draft master plan is inconsistent with the airport plan.

Major development planning and Sydney West Airport Section 90 of the Airports Act currently provides that a major airport development59 must not be carried out except in accordance with an approved major development plan or the development is of a kind declared by the regulations to be exempt from Division 4 of Part 5 of the Airports Act. Items 21-29 of the Bill make amendments to the Airports Act relating to the relationship between major development planning and the SWA airport plan.

Items 21-27 amend section 90 to allow a major airport development to be carried out at SWA if it is carried out in accordance with Part 3 of the airport plan for SWA. As a consequence, developments at SWA covered by the airport plan will not be required to go through the major development planning process in the Airports Act. The Explanatory Memorandum states:

This recognises that the airport plan for Sydney West Airport will provide authorisation for the initial development of the airport and is intended to ensure that developments are not subject to duplicate approval processes. 60

However, developments at SWA that are not covered by the airport plan will be subject to the generally applicable requirements such as those relating to major development plans.61 This is made clear by new section 96H in item 30, which provides that the new Division 4A of Part 5 of the Airports Act, relating to the airport plan for SWA does not, by implication, prevent the approval of a major development plan that relates to a major airport development that is not covered by Part 3 of an airport plan for SWA. The Explanatory Memorandum states that:

This is intended to preserve flexibility for the airport-lessee company for Sydney West Airport by permitting major development plans to be submitted for developments not covered in the airport plan. As the airport plan is only expected to cover the initial airport development, the airport-lessee company may wish to propose other developments for the airport site that are not covered by the airport plan. This could include, for example, the development of a business park or hotel. In such circumstances the development would be subject to the usual provisions in the Act, including that major airport developments are subject to major development plans and an environmental assessment process.

62

Indeed, given that some existing airports have facilitated commercial developments on their leased land, similar proposals might be expected for shopping centres, hotels and business parks for location alongside the new airport construction. It might be assumed that such developments would provide strong returns, as has occurred at other airports.63

Item 28 of the Bill inserts a new section 94AA which clarifies the relationship between an airport plan and a draft major development plan. This provision is in equivalent terms to new section 81A for master planning as outlined above. For example, new subsection 94AA(1) provides that if an airport-lessee company for SWA gives the Minister a draft major development plan, and an airport plan is in force, the Minister may refuse to approve the draft major development plan if the Minister is satisfied the draft major development plan is inconsistent with the airport plan. Item 29 inserts a new section 95AA which contains similar provisions dealing with the relationship between an airport plan for SWA and a draft variation to a major development plan for the airport.

58. As noted earlier, the Minister may declare a day as the Sydney West Airport completion day under new section 112B which is inserted by item 44 of the Bill. 59. The meaning of Major airport development is set out in section 89 of the Airports Act. 60. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 9. 61. Ibid.

62. Ibid., p. 18. 63. See, for example, ‘Flying high [Investing in airports]’, The Economist, 6 June 2015, p. 56, accessed 19 June 2015.

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Environmental approvals and the role of the Environment Minister As noted above, the Environment Minister plays a role in the process before an airport plan is determined by the Infrastructure Minister and in the variation of the airport plan. The Bill also recognises the environmental impact assessment process that commenced in December 2014 under the EPBC Act for a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek and requires the environmental impact statement to be finalised before the plan can be determined. As such the Explanatory Memorandum states that:

The airport plan process in the Bill ensures that relevant environmental considerations are taken into account before the plan is determined. It recognises the environmental impact assessment process that commenced in December 2014 for a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek and requires the environmental impact statement to be finalised before the plan can be determined. The airport plan process also requires the input of the Environment Minister, who has the capacity, for environmental reasons, to prevent the determination of an airport plan or to require specified conditions or other provisions to be included in the plan.

There will be consultation on the airport plan as part of the environmental impact statement consultation, given that the environmental impact statement is assessing implementation of the airport plan and its impacts on the environment. As with master plans and major development plans, building activities at the airport will be required to be consistent with the airport plan.

64

As noted in the Appendix to this Digest, environmental impact assessments have been previously conducted for a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek. However, since that time the EPBC Act has commenced with a new set of environmental assessment requirements and a focus on matters of national environmental significance. In addition, the Greater Blue Mountains was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000 and the Greater Blue Mountains was one of 15 World Heritage places included in the National Heritage List on 21 May 2007.65 As noted earlier in this Digest, the impacts of the SWA on the heritage values of the Greater Blue Mountains, along with a number of listed threatened species, are being assessed under the EPBC Act process.

However, new section 96G provides an exemption from Parts 3 and 9 of the EPBC Act by stating that those Parts do not apply to the determination, variation or implementation of an airport plan for SWA. This means that developments outlined in Part 3 of an airport plan can be undertaken without the need for further approval under the EPBC Act. This mirrors existing provisions in the Airports Act for major development plans, which are approved following an environmental assessment process under the EPBC Act and are thus excluded from each of the offence provisions in Part 3 of the EPBC Act. 66 The Explanatory Memorandum notes that, although the implementation of an airport plan will not be subject to the offence provisions in Part 3 or the approval process in Part 9 of the EPBC Act, failing to comply with an environmental condition set out in Part 3 of an airport plan will be an offence under new section 96J (discussed above).67

While new sections 96G and 96J mirror existing provisions in the Airports Act for major development plans,68 it is worth noting that there is a question as to whether the offences and penalties under the Airports Act are comparable to those under the EPBC Act. For example, under new section 96J if an airport-lessee company contravenes a condition of an airport plan, a maximum penalty of 2,000 penalty units applies; and if a person other than the airport-lessee company contravenes a condition of an airport plan, a lower penalty of 400 penalty units applies. This compares to the penalties for breaching a condition of an approval under the EPBC Act, which are up to 10,000 penalty units for a body corporate and 1,000 penalty units for an individual.69 Another issue is whether the enforcement and compliance provisions in the Airports Act are equivalent to the EPBC Act. For example, the EPBC Act contains third party standing provisions allow ‘interested persons’ to apply to the Federal Court for an injunction to prevent a possible contravention of the EPBC Act.70 However, this is perhaps an issue

64. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 12. 65. Department of the Environment, ‘World Heritage places - Greater Blue Mountains’, Department of the Environment website, accessed 17 June 2015. 66. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 18. 67. Ibid.

68. Ibid.

69. EPBC Act, section 142. 70. EPBC Act, section 475.

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related to the interaction of the EPBC Act and the Airports Act more generally, rather than the provisions of this Bill in particular.

Market Access and cross-ownership restrictions As noted earlier in this Digest, under the 2002 sale agreement for Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport, the owners of Sydney Airport have right of first refusal to develop and operate a second major airport within 100 kilometres of Sydney’s Centre. This contractual arrangement has been the subject of criticism.71

The Infrastructure Minister has indicated that if Sydney Airport declines to accept, the offer could be made to third parties, or the Commonwealth can undertake the project itself. However, current ownership restrictions in the Airports Act effectively prevent the Commonwealth from taking either of these actions in the event Sydney Airport Group declines to accept the offer.72

Common ownership The Bill proposes to remove requirements in the Airports Act that the airport-lessee companies for Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport at Mascot and SWA at Badgerys Creek must be subsidiaries of the same company.

In particular, section 18 of the Airports Act currently provides for Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport and SWA to be under common ownership. So for example, under subsection 18(1), the Commonwealth must not grant an airport lease for Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport or SWA unless each of the airport-lessee companies is a subsidiary of the same company. Similarly, under subsections 18(3) and (4) the Commonwealth Minister must not approve the transfer of an airport lease for Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport or for SWA unless the transferee and the airport-lessee company for the relevant airport will be subsidiaries of the same company. Item 5 of the Bill repeals subsections 18(1) to 18(6) and replaces them with a new subsection 18(1) which provides that the airport-lessee company for Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport and the airport-lessee company for SWA may be subsidiaries of the same company.73 The Explanatory Memorandum states that:

The intent of this item is to permit the common ownership of Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport and Sydney West Airport, which is contemplated by Southern Cross Airports Corporation’s contractual right of first refusal and section 248 of the [Airports] Act, but not to require it.

The requirement for common ownership was inserted into the [Airports] Act due to a regulatory imperative at the time to ensure that the two airports were under common ownership. That regulatory imperative no longer exists, so it is considered desirable to convert the requirement into a permission (without affecting Southern Cross Airports Corporation’s contractual right of first refusal).

Removing the requirement for common ownership will provide the Commonwealth with the commercial flexibility to deal with third parties or develop the airport itself if required. The measure does not affect Southern Cross Airports Corporation’s contractual right of first refusal or section 248 of the Airports Act. 74

Subitem 72(1) in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Bill provides that the amendments made by the Bill to section 18 of the Airports Act do not affect a pre-existing right or the application of a law to a pre-existing right that a person has under a contract with the Commonwealth, so as to disadvantage the person. This provision is designed to clarify that the amendments to section 18 do not affect Southern Cross Airports Corporation’s contractual right of first refusal to develop a second Sydney airport.75

Airport cross-ownership restrictions The Bill also removes the airport pair cross-ownership restrictions currently placed on SWA. Part 3 of the Airports Act contains a number of restrictions on ownership of airport-operator companies. Division 5 contains

71. See, for example, A Albanese, (Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport), ‘Second reading speech: Airports Amendment Bill 2015’, op. cit.; see also B Sandilands, ‘Sydney’s 2nd airport ownership raises competition concerns’, Crikey, 23 June 2014, accessed 19 June 2015. 72. W Truss (Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development), ‘Second reading speech: Airports Amendment Bill 2015’, House of Representatives, Debates, 4 June 2015, p. 2, accessed 5 June 2015. 73. A number of other items in the Bill are consequential to this amendment: see for example, items 3, 4 and 6. 74. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 5. 75. Ibid., pp. 28-29.

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limits on cross-ownership of ‘pairs’ of airport-operator companies, and in particular there is a 15 per cent limit on the cross-ownership of paired companies.

Section 49 of the Airports Act contains a table setting out these ‘pairs of airport-operator companies’. So, for example, the airport-lessee company for Melbourne (Tullamarine) Airport and an airport-management company for SWA are considered a ‘pair of airport-operator companies’.

Item 9 of the Bill repeals items in the table in section 49 that, to any extent, refer to SWA.76 As a result, the amendment will remove airport-pair cross-ownership restrictions that apply in relation to three pairs of airports: Sydney West and Melbourne; Sydney West and Perth; and Sydney West and Brisbane.

The Explanatory Memorandum states that this means ‘Sydney West will be treated like the majority of airports under the Airports Act and not be subject to airport-pair cross-ownership restrictions’.77 It also suggests that ‘this will help maximise the success of any market offering in the event Southern Cross Airports Corporation chooses not to exercise an option to develop and operate the airport’.78

Regulation Impact Statement The Explanatory Memorandum contains a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) on Western Sydney Airport - Market Access Facilitation, prepared for the removal of airport pair cross-ownership restrictions for SWA.79 The RIS states that, in the context of the part of the Government’s sale of Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport (KSA) in 2002, the purchaser Southern Cross Airports Corporation Pty Ltd (SCAC) was provided with the opportunity to develop and operate any second major airport in the Sydney region. Then, by virtue of the Government’s announcement that the site for Western Sydney Airport will be at Badgerys Creek, this right was activated along with rigid contractual provisions associated with it. Further:

If SCAC did not exercise an option to develop and operate [SWA}, and an offer was then made to the market, the cross-ownership restrictions would unnecessarily restrict the pool of experienced and local investors available to take part in any market transaction and would unreasonably restrict the ability of the market to source capital to deliver the project. To help address these concerns this RIS reviews the ongoing need for the [SWA] cross-ownership restrictions.

80

The RIS reviews the ongoing need for the SWA cross-ownership restrictions by examining three options and after industry consultation, favours the removal of the restrictions as they relate to SWA. The Explanatory Memorandum states that this would enable experienced airport investors with investments in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane airports, and the airports themselves, to invest more than 15 per cent in WSA should SCAC elect not to exercise an opportunity to develop and operate the airport.81

When introducing the Bill, the Minister stated the Government’s position on ownership:

While the government is contractually obliged to engage commercially with the Sydney Airport Group and is not opposed to a common ownership situation, it needs to be legislatively possible for the two airports to be under different ownership in the event that Sydney Airport Group turns down an offer to develop and operate the airport. The Airports Amendment Bill removes the requirement for common ownership, providing the Commonwealth with the commercial flexibility to deal with third parties or to develop the airport itself if required.

82

Other provisions Building Approvals Under Division 5 of Part 5 of the Airports Act, building activities on airport sites require approval. Approval and certification processes for buildings and structures on airport sites are set out in the Airports (Building Control)

76. A number of other items in the Bill are consequential to this amendment: see for example, items 1, 7, 8. 77. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 5. 78. Ibid., p. 1. 79. Ibid., p. 30. 80. Ibid.

81. Ibid., p. 35. 82. W Truss (Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development), ‘Second reading speech: Airports Amendment Bill 2015’, op. cit., p. 2.

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Regulations 1996.83 Items 31-43 of the Bill contain amendments to Division 5 of Part 5 of the Airports Act to set out the circumstances in which building activities may be carried out for SWA. In particular, section 101 of the Airports Act requires approvals for building activities to be consistent with airport master plans and major developments plans. Item 37 amends this section to provide that, in the case of building activities on the airport site for the SWA, the activity must be consistent with a designated SWA instrument that covers the development. A new section 103A is then inserted by item 43 to provide in relation to SWA that for a building activity that occurs wholly or partly before the Sydney West Airport completion day, Part 3 of the airport plan for SWA is a designated SWA instrument; and for a major airport development, any major development plan is a designated SWA instrument for the development

Item 43 also inserts a new section 103B into the Airports Act. This new section clarifies that if a building activity is, or comprises part of, an ancillary development on an associated site for SWA, the activity is taken to be a building activity on the airport site for SWA. This is consequential to the provisions of new Division 4A of Part 5 of the Airports Act (at item 30) that will allow an airport plan to cover certain off-site developments.84

Items 47-69 then amend the Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996 as a result of amendments to the Airports Act. For example, item 47 amends subregulation 2.04(1) in the Airports (Building Control) Regulations by inserting paragraph (ba). This paragraph provides that in the case of SWA an airport-lessee company must not refuse to consent to an application for building approval unless the proposed building activity is inconsistent with Part 2 of the airport plan for SWA (if it is in force) or Part 3 of the airport plan (if it is in force) if the building activity wholly or partly occurs before the Sydney West Airport completion day, and the proposed building activity is, or comprises part of, a development covered by Part 3 of the airport plan.

Another example is item 49, which amends subregulation 2.04(2) of the Airports (Building Control) Regulations to provide that, in relation to SWA, an airport-lessee company must not refuse to consent to an application for building approval if to do so would be inconsistent with an obligation of the company, relating directly or indirectly to approval of the building activity under a contract with the Commonwealth that relates to the airport.

Regulation 2.19 of the Airports (Building Control) Regulations currently provides that building approvals under the regulations are generally valid for three years. Item 67 amends this regulation to provide that building approvals for building activities on the airport site for SWA that are part of a development covered by Part 3 of the airport plan that occur wholly or partly before the Sydney West Airport completion day are valid for five years. The Explanatory Memorandum notes that ‘because of the greenfield nature of the development of Sydney West Airport, a period of five years rather than three years is considered more appropriate’.85

Item 68 inserts a new regulation 2.26 into the Airports (Building Control) Regulations, which has the effect that the building control regime in the regulations will also be applicable to building activities that are part of ancillary developments on associated sites for SWA.86

Items 70 and 71 contain consequential amendments to the Airports Regulations 1997.87

Concluding comments While the Government has committed to the new airport, along with funding support, those sceptical that a Western Sydney Airport will ever be built after such a long gestation period, will not be surprised that yet another (third) environmental assessment must be performed, to allow the project to proceed. The Bill facilitates that process, but a further barrier will be the negotiations with the owners of the existing Sydney Airport, and it might be argued that it would be in their commercial interests to delay any new competing airport venture for as long as was possible, notwithstanding that the airport-lessee company for SWA will be required to complete a full master plan within five years of signing the airport lease.

83. Airports (Building Control) Regulations 1996, accessed 18 June 2015. 84. Explanatory Memorandum, op. cit., p. 22. 85. Ibid., p. 27. 86. Ibid., p. 27. 87. Airports Regulations 1997, accessed 18 June 2015.

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Appendix: Badgerys Creek history and studies The planning of a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek has had a very long history of gestation. The Australian Parliamentary Library 2012 Chronology, which built on an earlier version, lists all of the relevant studies up to that time.88 In April 2014, the NSW Parliamentary Library produced a Backgrounder which builds on the earlier two chronologies and provides additional background information.89

Of note is that, on 2 December 1985, the first environmental assessment of the Badgerys Creek and Wilton sites was completed and on 17 February 1986, the then Government announced that Badgerys Creek was to be the site for the second airport.90 After that decision languished and a series of further studies continued, on 30 June 1999 the then Minister for Transport and Regional Services officially released the ‘final’ EIS into the Second Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.91

In November 2009, the then Infrastructure and Transport Minister Albanese announced a new joint study into airport needs which subsequently appeared in March 2012 as an independent report.92 This is referred to in parts as the Joint Study on Aviation Capacity for the Sydney Region.93 Subsequently, in response to the Joint Study on Aviation Capacity for the Sydney Region, the former Government appointed experts to undertake a technical scoping study into Wilton's suitability as a second Sydney airport and to explore the use of RAAF Base Richmond for limited civil operations. This scoping study referred, in turn, to related supporting studies on economic factors.94

Looking to alternative airport economic analyses for guidance, in 2013 there appeared the Economic impact of a Western Sydney Airport, by Deloitte Access Economics for the NSW Business Chamber.95 Looking forward with a regional perspective was the 2013 study by the Tourism & Transport Forum on Sydney’s aviation future: meeting the challenges of growing demand.96

88. ML James, Second Sydney Airport: a decade of deferral 2002-2012, Background note, 2012-13, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 10 July 2012; P Williams and N O’Sullivan, Second Sydney Airport: a chronology, Chronology, 2 2001-02, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 19 February 2002, both accessed 5 June 2015.

89. A Halen, A second Sydney airport: policy developments, reports and key findings, Issues backgrounder, 4, NSW Parliamentary Research Service, April 2014, accessed 5 June 2015. 90. P Morris (Minister for Aviation), Second Sydney airport supplement released, media release, 2 December 1985; P Morris (Minister for Aviation), Second Sydney airport site announced, media release, Minister for Aviation, 17 February 1986. 91. J Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services), Second Sydney Airport environmental impact statement, media release, 30 June

1999, accessed 5 June 2015. 92. A Albanese (Minister for Infrastructure and Transport), Meeting the future aviation needs of Sydney, media release, 2 March 2012, accessed 5 June 2015. 93. Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, ‘Joint study on aviation capacity for the Sydney region’, Department of

Infrastructure and Regional Development website, accessed 5 June 2015. 94. Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, ‘A study of Wilton and RAAF Base Richmond for civil aviation operations’, Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website, accessed 5 June 2015. 95. Deloitte Access Economics, Economic impact of a Western Sydney airport, prepared for the NSW Business Chamber, 2013, accessed 5 June

2015.

96. J Stewart and J Wastnage, Sydney’s aviation future: meeting the challenge of growing demand, Tourism and Transport Forum, 2013, accessed 5 June 2015.

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