Mayoral Statement - Western Sydney Airport Draft EIS


Sunday, 18 October 2015

The Western Sydney Airport draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has been released for public exhibition by the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Development.

The public exhibition period closes on Friday 18 December 2015

Today we open the EIS for the first time like everyone else so I can't comment on specific details. But I can assure you, ever since the airport was announced, we've been speaking to both State and Federal Governments on a whole range of issues we believe relate to an airport. We have also been actively pushing for the opportunities an airport can bring.

I consider the 60 day exhibition period inadequate to address the level of detail involved and the impacts an airport may have - this airport has already been with successive governments for decades.

The draft EIS is approximately 4000 pages. Penrith Council has been calling for a minimum of 90 days to respond to the draft EIS.

Penrith, along with neighbouring Western Sydney Councils (WSROC and MACROC) have appointed an independent team of experts to go over the EIS to inform our submission. This will ensure we can accurately represent the best interests of our community.

We're looking for commitments on jobs, road, rail and other infrastructure to support the airport.

For Western Sydney and Penrith residents to benefit as a result of the airport construction and operation, it needs to be fully integrated and connected with the region - through road and rail. This will stimulate jobs growth beyond the airport. 

We also want to see that our natural environment and the amenity of our community is protected. The EIS must accurately address environmental and social impacts to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community is maintained and our beautiful natural environment protected. A key issue is how noise is to be effectively managed, this is not negotiable.

Each day more than 65,000 people leave our City to go to work - sitting on congested roads and crowded trains, taking them away from their homes and families. We've been consistently talking to both State and Federal Governments on a range of issues including a rail link between the airport and the western line.

Imagine the increased productivity if even before the airport opens, the Western Sydney Orbital was complete and the South West rail line extended through the Broader Western Sydney Employment Area to the western line. This would connect the North and South West growth centres and create access to tens of thousands of jobs within an easy commute.

Councillor Karen McKeown
Mayor of Penrith

Information contained within this news release was correct as at Sunday, 18 October 2015.