Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Sydney Airport unreality must end

As Virgin Chief Executive John Borghetti jumps on Treasurer Mike Baird’s bandwagon calling for a fourth and fifth runway at Sydney Airport, it is time for a reality check.

Mr Borghetti is about Virgin’s bottom line and Mr Baird seems hell bent on showing he’s different to his Premier, for his own reasons.

It’s time for this nonsense to stop.

It’s time for the NSW government to get beyond its hindering of the NSW economy by co-operating with the Federal Government to make the obvious and necessary on Sydney's second airport.

NSW State Treasurer Mike Baird suggestion that a fourth and fifth runway should be built at Sydney Airport on reclaimed land is ridiculous. Now Virgin Chief Executive John Borghetti has jumped on the bandwagon for dollar-based reasons.

For 40 years everybody has known that Sydney needs a second airport and in those four decades, successive state and federal governments, of all political persuasions, have dithered and avoided making decisions, costing NSW millions in lost economic opportunities.

The only movement forward was when the Hawke Labor government announced Badgerys Creek in the 1980s as the preferred site and acquired land.

The land is as fallow as the O’Farrell Government’s thinking on this State’s future airport needs.

Qantas Chief Alan Joyce is demanding a second airport lambasting the NSW Premier for his head in the sand attitude.

Every study, every examination, every piece of research demands a second airport for Sydney.

It is acknowledged as the most important piece of infrastructure for the NSW and Australian economies and a State Treasurer who can't even add up his own budget (the Auditor General finding an extra $1 billion due to arithmetic errors) seriously puts up flawed arguments.

Treasurer Baird should ask NSW Infrastructure head, Nick Greiner his opinion. He should ask advice from his father, the former Federal Member for Cook, Bruce Baird, a man who fiercely opposed this type of pie in the sky proposal.

As the Liberal Member for Cronulla Mark Speakmen, SC, pointed out in parliament on Tuesday:

"It is also a proposal discredited by the March 2012 report of the joint Commonwealth-State steering committee on aviation capacity in the Sydney region."

The strategy has always been to delay making a decision for a second airport for two reasons, first, it is too hard politically to make the right decision and, second, vested interests don’t want wish to compete or invest in additional facilities at another airport in Sydney.
The political games must stop and it’s time to put our state and country first.

No comments:

Post a Comment