Airport talks take off to Canberra

Friday, 27 November 2015

Council has taken our concerns about proposed flight paths and transport links to Canberra.

This week Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown, Deputy Mayor Ross Fowler OAM and senior Council staff met with Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and Federal Member for Lindsay Fiona Scott in Canberra, to express concerns over the Government's intention for flight paths to the Badgerys Creek Airport to be unreasonably concentrated over Penrith.

In October, the Federal Government released its draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Airport plan for the site at Badgerys Creek. The proposal would see the vast majority of flights, day and night, channelled over the Penrith area.

"I was proud to represent our community, explaining that while we accept that some impacts will result from an airport, we will not shoulder all of those impacts on behalf of Sydney. Nor will we accept an airport which is short on benefits," Cr McKeown said.

"Mr Truss was very receptive to our view that this must be an airport which profoundly re-shapes Western Sydney. In this regard, we argued that a rail link connecting the North and South West Growth Centres and the airport to the Western Line is critical," Cr McKeown said.

"Already people are spending hours getting to work in other parts of Western Sydney, there is the potential for the new airport to exacerbate this if the right infrastructure is not provided."

While in Canberra, the Mayor and senior staff also met with Minister for Major Projects, Paul Fletcher and Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, Jamie Briggs.

"We made the case that the road infrastructure being delivered will help us 'catch up' - but to bring real benefit to Western Sydney, it needs to go further. A rail line linking Penrith to Liverpool and Campbelltown would transform the entire region," Cr McKeown said.

"It would create proper access for the existing population and also ensure the employment lands around the airport can be developed in a way that delivers maximum job densities for our communities."

Council and the community were given only 60 days to make submissions on the draft EIS.

"60 days is not a lot of time to consider the significant aspects of the proposal, so we are working hard to ensure we have a seat at the table to negotiate the outcomes our community wants such as management of noise, delivery of rail and local jobs."

"It was very pleasing for the Deputy Prime Minister to agree to work with Penrith Council on these issues."

Council will formalise its position on the airport proposal at its meeting on 7 December.

Council has engaged independent experts to assess the EIS - visit the Western Sydney Airport page to read their report. The community is encouraged to use this to help their own submissions.

To lodge a submission go to

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Friday, 27 November 2015.