Western Sydney Airport
I rise to talk about the Albanese Labour government's recent release of the preliminary flight paths for the Western Sydney Airport. Under the cover of darkness, at exactly 12.01 am, the infrastructure and transport minister, the member for Ballarat, released the flight paths to the media—a tricky move to avoid early criticism. My community of Lindsay woke up to the news that there will be 18 flight paths over our residential areas, with an average of 220 flights per day—some as low as 750 feet over Twin Creeks and as loud as 90 decibels, which sounds like a lawnmower, food blender or hairdryer. Penrith's High Street and the Nepean River up into Emu Heights will face over 75 flights a day overhead. There will be a 100 or more flights over communities in Castlereagh, Llandilo and St Marys.
On that day I held a press conference with the shadow minister, Senator Bridget McKenzie, to say that my community deserves proper consultation and fair and balanced flight paths. The minister didn't bother to turn up to our forum on the Western Sydney Airport to discuss the flight paths and meet with community members, but, after media pressure, she finally held a small press conference at her Ballarat electorate, many kilometres away from Penrith. These preliminary flight paths come as a shock to my community, as they are significantly different to those of the draft environmental impact statement of 2015 and 2016. Lindsay is now the most impacted community. It is a shame that the first tranche of community information and feedback sessions released by the Albanese government did not have a single session in my local community, even though we are the most impacted. After pushing back, we locked in two; one occurred at the Penrith Panthers club last week, and another one is coming up in St Marys. We had to push really hard for these sessions.
We can now see that the infrastructure and roads packages to service the airport are on the chopping block in Labor's 90-day infrastructure review. The review includes funding for Western Sydney Airport's Sydney Metro line. Putting this line in jeopardy is extraordinary, and state Labor is just as bad. We saw, in question time in the New South Wales parliament today, that the state's transport minister refused to rule out cancelling the Sydney Metro line for the Western Sydney Airport. Additionally, the federal review includes the funding for the Western Sydney city road transport network development and the Western Sydney freight line. These are all needed to enhance the economic prospects that the airport will deliver for Western Sydney.
We said at the federal and state elections that you just can't trust Labor on infrastructure. Now Labor are showing their true colours. All my community of Lindsay is asking for is to have the infrastructure and consultation that we deserve. Western Sydney matters.
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