Prime Minister Albanese says flight paths are fair – proving once again his word is not the truth

Today I am releasing my submission to the Australian Government on the draft EIS for Western Sydney International Airport’s flight paths, following Prime Minister Albanese’s statement in the media today that the flight paths ensured noise sharing, and appropriate consultation has occurred.  

My submission, which is drawn from the flight paths documented in the draft EIS and my community’s concerns, clearly shows that the community of Lindsay is the most impacted, the flight paths are not fairly distributed, and we have had inadequate consultation. 

The Albanese Labor Government has let down Western Sydney again, and this time it is by the Prime Minister directly. He states his word is his bond, but the truth of the flight paths is very different to what he has declared to the Australian people today, and in particular the people in my Western Sydney community. 

In responding to a Marrickville listener from his own Grayndler electorate on ABC Sydney radio about the flight paths, the Prime Minister said:  

“I think, look, the responsibility that we have is to make sure that, one, there's noise sharing and I've ensured that. Secondly, that there's appropriate consultation about the flight paths and that's underway . . . But we want to minimise the impact on people, whether it be around Sydney Airport or around the new Western Sydney Airport when it opens.”  

Noise sharing is not occurring under the preliminary flight paths for Western Sydney Airport released under the cover of darkness to the media by Labor’s Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Catherine King.

The flight paths released clearly show there is one community bearing the brunt of the flight paths, and that is the Lindsay community. From Luddenham to Londonderry and Emu Heights to Colyton, residents will have on average 220 flights across a 24-hour period, 18 flight paths, and planes flying as low as 750 feet over Twin Creeks in Mulgoa.   

The concentration of flight paths is not fair, and my submission calls for fairer and more evenly distributed flight paths. 

Appropriate consultation has not occurred. Only four of 56 community information and feedback sessions were held in Lindsay, despite our community being the most impacted, which is highlighted in my submission as being a key concern.  

In drafting the EIS, the Department of Infrastructure found that ‘most residents interviewed in Luddenham had a limited understanding of how flight paths would change their way of life.’ This is hardly surprising considering the level of communications. 

Residents deserve genuine consultation, particularly those that are substantially impacted. At the least, in towns like Luddenham, community feedback and engagement sessions, rather than pop-up stalls at shops and markets should take place. Their issues are many, from having limited understanding of the flight paths, to noise mitigation, town planning as a result of the Airport, and water quality concerns. 

I gave the following key recommendations on behalf of my community and based on their feedback, which is clearly very different to the Prime Minister’s statement today: 

  1. The current flight path EIS is not equitable. Flight paths need to be more evenly distributed across communities.  
  1. The policy for noise mitigation measures discriminates between homes within a boundary and homes outside a boundary. All homes of equal noise impact should receive the same noise mitigation if they meet the required decibel levels.  
  1. The EIS states that property values are going to be negatively impacted. More investigation is required into the impacts of property values and the communication of these impacts needs to occur with the community.  
  1. Three months is not an adequate time frame for a community to absorb complex flight path information, when they have not had to consider this issue previously. Further consultation should be provided to the community of Lindsay, especially those who are significantly impacted, to ensure residents understand the complex flight path information.  

We hope the concerns of the people in my community are taken seriously, and the Prime Minister himself is straight with the Australian people, because it is clear the Albanese Labor Government doesn’t care about Western Sydney. 

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