Sydney Airport chairman Max Moore-Wilton says it was “outrageous” for federal Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese to suggest any formal process had begun on politically-sensitive plans for a second Sydney airport.
Moore-Wilton was responding to a media report suggesting the head of the federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Mike Mrdak, had written to him requesting a meeting about the proposal for a second airport.
Moore-Wilton denied any formal process had begun.
“Mr Albanese is taking a huge amount of political and legal licence,” he told the Australian Financial Review (AFR).
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A second airport for Sydney has been a political hot potato for more than 30 years.
A study of aviation capacity in Sydney, commissioned by the government, recommended a new airport at western Sydney’s Badgerys Creek last month, but NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell ruled out the option.
The study predicts the demand for public transport services in the region will double to about 88 million passenger trips per year by 2035, and doubling again by 2060.
Major landholders in the area include property developer Roy Medich, with 344 hectares and Sydney University with 490 hectares. Medich says the land should be released for business use. He told AFR an airport at Badgerys Creek would be “the greatest catalyst for jobs in western Sydney”.
But Penrith mayor Greg Davies said Badgerys Creek needed to be ruled out. “This will also give relief to the people who live there and are suffering with the severe planning restrictions on their properties due to the indecision.”