Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss has told ABC TV that Badgerys Creek in western Sydney is the “frontrunner” site under consideration for Sydney’s second airport, with the new government now expected to make a decision on the airport’s location early in 2014.
Asked during an interview with the 7.30 program on Monday night if Badgerys is the government’s preferred location, Minster Truss replied: “Well we’ll make that decision as a part of this process, but it was the site that was chosen a long time ago and it is still obviously the frontrunner.”
Continued the Minister: “Yes, I anticipate that we will make a firm decision. And we’ll also provide information about when the project will start. And I think that will settle this issue once and for all.”
It is not the first time the new Coalition government has flagged Badgerys Creek as the likely second airport site. Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs told Airservices’ Waypoint conference on November 6 that “the Australian government, after years of delay, will finally make a decision on whether to proceed with a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek”.
Former Infrastructure and Transport Minister, and now opposition spokesman Anthony Albanese has indicated bi-partisan support for the new airport. “Well I’ve made it very clear that bipartisanship is important. I can’t give commitments based upon theoreticals. What I’m prepared to do is to sit down with the government and the opposition will be constructive about this,” he told 7.30.
The former Hawke Labor government purchased land at Badgerys Creek for a second Sydney airport in the late 1980s, but a decision to proceed has been deferred by successive federal governments.