Govt, Sydney Airport begin talks over Badgerys Creek

Looking west over Badgerys Creek. (Seth Jaworski)
Looking west over Badgerys Creek. (Seth Jaworski)

The Commonwealth and the owners of Kingsford-Smith Airport have begun discussions over the size and layout of a proposed second Sydney airport, a Senate estimates hearing has heard.

The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has started preliminary talks with Sydney Airport about the proposed new airport at Badgerys Creek. However, the discussions are not part of the formal negotiations over Sydney Airport’s the first right of refusal to build and operate a second Sydney airport, the executive director of the Department’s Western Sydney unit Brendan McRandle said.

“There is a dialogue occurring with Sydney Airport at the moment,” McRandle told the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs Committee’s estimates hearing in Canberra on Monday.

“It is not under the formal consultation part of the process.

“That’s going to start some weeks or months down the track to initiate that.”

When the Commonwealth sold Sydney Airport in 2002 it included a 30-year first right of refusal to build and operate any second airport built within 100km of the existing terminals at Mascot. Under that provision the federal government is required to offer a formal consultation period with Sydney Airport’s owners of not less than five months and not longer than 12 months.

“There has been a very useful dialogue with Sydney Airport at the moment in what is known as the preliminary phase of the formal consultation process,” McRandle said.

“That will include elements around how the process will operate and broad agreement about the parameters and expectations about the kind of work and sequence of work that will occur.

“The consultation phase will focus on a number of issues – the airport layout, including elements like the way the transport system will connect to it, the size and nature of the first-stage operation of the airport and the economic and commercial aspects.”

At Sydney Airport’s annual general meeting on May 15, chairman Max Moore-Wilton said the first right of refusal was very valuable and discussions with the government would occur on a good faith basis.

The Senate Rural and Regional Affairs Committee also heard the NSW government had started reserving land for a rail link to the new airport.

The Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development Mike Mrdak said his department had done some planning work relating to rail connections through the airport site.

“We have certainly looked at the issue of what happens with the rail link in terms of the airport design,” Mrdak said.

“We are engaging in discussions with New South Wales officials in relation to their corridor reservation process.”

The federal government has allocated $77.8 million over the next four years for planning and development of the Western Sydney airport project.

However, the Abbott government has ruled out providing any funding support to build a rail link to the Badgerys Creek airport.

Comments

  1. BH says

    Just putting a question out there…
    What’s better for the general public, two airports owned and operated by the same corporation or two airports each owned and operated by different corporations…?

  2. Craig Simpson says

    2 airports regardless of who owns them because the airport will stimulate the building of new roads and public transport which western Sydney needs. You see it isn’t just about the planes. It is also about the jobs the airport will create and the public transport. 24 hour operation should be viable only for the new modern aircraft that are quiet. Loud aircraft should still have restrictions and curfews on them.

  3. Peter says

    I’m surprised and disappointed that the Abbott Government has ruled out providing any funding support to build a rail link.
    It seems his idea to be known as The Infrastructure Prime Minister is not going to take flight in Western Sydney.

    Without a commitment of Federal funding, even if on a 50/50 basis with NSW, Abbott’s decision will make it harder to make the numbers for the whole project to stack up. Does he want us all to use our cars, so after a few years of operation, the 2nd airport will become as traffic clogged as the current one ? Does this decision show any commitment to “Green Credentials” ?

    Is this his idea of progress / jobs for the West ?

  4. michael9 says

    this is almost comical , after how many years? They are going to discuss how big it will be . you have got to be joking, talk about money wasting shiny bums wandering around with no idea how to operate on a commercial scale.
    The Brisbane west Airport outside of Toowoomba has gone from planning to almost completion in a little over 2years, all approvals in place including airspace requirements.with the nearby Oakey Airbase.
    Full size commercial Airport able to take Jumbos, DONE
    I would like to get these public servants running this circus be dragged before a private enquiry , not government !! a private televised enquiry and made to justify their position.
    this saga will go for years more and slowly come to fruition at about 20 times the cost of letting private enterprise build it and that includes the rail link.