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  • The Federal Government is working to develop a new international airport in Western Sydney at Badgerys Creek, around 11kms from Penrith’s City Centre. The proposed airport would be operational in the mid-2020s, with construction expected to begin in 2018.

    Planning for stage one

    In December 2016, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, approved the Western Sydney Airport Plan to guide the delivery of stage one of Sydney’s second airport. The first stage will see a single 3.7 kilometre runway constructed, servicing up to 10 million passengers per year. In the long term the Federal Government has indicated a second parallel runway will be constructed once demand reaches 37 million passengers annually, which could occur in 2050.

    The Western Sydney Airport Plan details 40 environmental conditions imposed on the construction and operation of the airport including principles for flight path determination, mitigations to minimise noise impacts, directives to identify options for a fuel pipeline corridor, and biodiversity offsets as informed by the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) finalised in 2016. Council lodged its own submission on the EIS and conducted an independent review with 10 other Western Sydney Councils late 2015 (see below).

    Read Council's formal submission to the EIS (1.36MB pdf) 

    On 9 May 2017, the Federal Government announced that it will establish a company, to be called WSA Co, to develop and operate Western Sydney Airport. The 2017 Budget includes a commitment of up to $5.3 billion over 10 years for WSA Co to build the airport.

    Assessing rail options

    The Federal Government and State Government have undertaken a Western Sydney Rail Needs Scoping Study, to assess the need for passenger rail investment to support Western Sydney and the Western Sydney Airport. The final report of the study is due mid-2017 and will provide a shortlist of preferred rail options for further investigation. The Federal Government is also undertaking a Rail Feasibility Design to be presented mid-2017, providing guidance on the costing and operation of rail infrastructure, including the consideration of rail alignment and station options.

    Community consultation

    As a condition of the Western Sydney Airport Plan, the Forum On Western Sydney Airport (FOWSA) has been established as the main community consultation group to provide feedback on the flight path design process. Penrith Mayor John Thain has been appointed to the Forum alongside residents of Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, and a range of representatives from state and local governments, industry and major airlines.

    FOWSA met for the first time on Friday 26 May, and toured the Western Sydney Airport (WSA) site.

    For the latest information on the Western Sydney Airport visit the Federal Government’s airport webpage . For information on planning and development of the airport read the  Western Sydney Airport Plan and to view all members of the Forum On Western Sydney Airport visit the Federal Government's FOWSA page

    Council's position on the airport 

    Council has made a detailed submission to the State and Federal Government’s  Scoping Study into rail needs in Western Sydney. Council’s submission calls for prompt action to preserve a corridor and ensure rail is in place when the Western Sydney Airport (WSA) opens and outlines how Option 6 (North-South rail) is the only option that will:

    • Create a new, connected '30-minute' outer metropolitan growth city;
    • Add $44.7 billion to the economy (from 2024 – 2040) reaching $3.6 billion per year by 2040;
    • Support and improve access between the Growth Centres, the Western Sydney Priority Growth Area (including the proposed WSA) and the Regional City Centres of Penrith, Liverpool and Campbelltown;
    • Provide an unrivalled catalyst for employment, innovation and economic growth in the region to deliver the jobs of tomorrow;
    • Integrate with current rail plans to form an orbital network, supporting the existing east-west corridor with Penrith as the gateway between Sydney and the Central West; and
    • Reduce the >90% reliance on motor vehicles for journeys to work in Western Sydney, significantly reduce commuting times and improve quality of life. 

    For more go to our North-South Rail page 

    Council is committed to working with the Federal Government to deliver a new airport that fully integrates with Western Sydney and delivers maximum benefits to the region in terms of transport and infrastructure provision, employment and economic development. However, we believe there is still considerable work to be done to ensure the Western Sydney Airport achieves this with minimal impact on our City.

    Read Council's formal submission to the EIS (1.36MB pdf) 

     In the submission Council called for:

    • More equitable distribution of the noise impacts of aircraft movements and, in particular, consideration given to alternative flight paths and merge points, noise sharing to limit noise exposure for any single community and changes to the Sydney Airports Curfew Act to ensure it applies to both Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport (KSA) and the WSA;
    • Full and effective integration of the airspace in the Sydney Basin for the shared operations of KSA and WSA;
    • Important transport connections and supporting infrastructure in place before the opening of the WSA, particularly rail from the airport to the Main Western line;
    • Special arrangements or mechanisms, involving all levels of government to develop and deliver a decades-long, funded program of infrastructure for the WSA; and
    • Economic offset arrangements by the Federal Government for Western Sydney if there are planning and land use implications affecting the economic potential of the Western Sydney Priority Growth Area.

    Importantly, Council also firmly believes that all economic, social and environmental benefits and impacts must be fully addressed in the EIS and proposed mitigation measures detailed in any approval to ensure the health and well being of our community is maintained. Our submission also highlighted many important issues identified in an independent peer review overseen by WSROC and MACROC were minimally or inadequately addressed in the draft EIS. 

    EIS independent review report

    Penrith and 10 other Western Sydney councils co-funded an in-depth, independent review of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by a range of experts in fields such as biodiversity, noise and social impacts. 

    Download Western Sydney Airport EIS Peer Review Report - Part A (4.93MB pdf)

    Download Western Sydney Airport EIS Peer Review Report - Part B (6.73MB pdf)

    Background

    In 2015, after much consideration of the facts, Council agreed to support the Federal Government’s decision to build an airport at Badgerys Creek. Council took this position because the airport offers great potential as a catalyst for increased infrastructure, jobs and investment in our City and the Western Sydney region. These are the things we have long been advocating for. 

    It is vital these opportunities are realised from the airport, so we've been actively speaking to Federal, State and other local Government representatives about the community’s key priorities.

    Western Sydney Airport - Maximising benefits and minimising impacts (20.4MB pdf) defines our position on the airport and sets out a clear and concise program of advocacy which the community can rely on us to focus on. Our campaign around these issues will be wide reaching and include direct contact with decision makers and politicians. For maximum impact, we need the community speaking with the same voice. 

    Read Western Sydney Airport - Frequently Asked Questions


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