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Greens’ Brisbane Airport noise bill fails to win government support

written by Jake Nelson | October 16, 2023

Aircraft parked at Brisbane Airport. (Image: Brisbane Airport)

Labor will reportedly not support a Greens bill that would introduce caps and curfews at Brisbane Airport.

The Brisbane Airport Curfew and Demand Management Bill 2023, introduced as a private member’s bill by Greens transport spokesperson Elizabeth Watson-Brown, has not won the backing of the government or of Transport Minister Catherine King, the Greens said.

According to Watson-Brown, the bill was in line with similar legislation which “successfully manages flight noise over Sydney”.

“The Greens put forward a simple, common-sense Bill that would have legislated three things: a curfew from 10pm to 6am, a cap on total flights per hour, and a long-term plan for more flights over the water,” she said.

“But despite these being similar regulations fought for by both Anthony Albanese and Kevin Rudd in the past, Labor has failed to support them today.”


Arguing against the bill, Brisbane Airport Corporation has released economic modelling by economist Nick Behrens of Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions, which claims that caps and curfews would cost 16,414 jobs in regional Queensland, cut regional economic activity by $1.5 billion, and reduce regional Queensland flights by 3,100, translating to 239,000 fewer passengers, in FY2026.

According to Stephen Beckett, head of public affairs at Brisbane Airport, the modelling shows this loss would increase to 11,200 flights and 915,600 passengers by FY32.

“This would be devastating for Queensland tourism. 75 per cent of international tourists to Queensland arrive via Brisbane Airport, and the loss of thousands of flights to regional Queensland would restrict the flow of visitors,” he said.

“We know when Brisbane Airport is busy, Queensland is busy. If you cap Brisbane Airport, it is a cap on Queensland jobs.

“But it’s not just tourism. Regional Queensland relies on flights for the delivery of parts and critical supplies, as well as the exports of their goods. The impact of flight caps would be felt hard from Moranbah to Mt Isa.”

Noise issues have been a flashpoint at Brisbane Airport since the completion of its new parallel runway in July 2020, which allowed more flight paths to open up, but affected nearby communities in the process.

The airport last week had a breakthrough when Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Cathay Pacific agreed to fly in tailwinds of up to seven knots at the airport, allowing more nighttime flights over Moreton Bay rather than populated areas.

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