SMH gets lost in Sydney’s west trying to find Wilton
Things are bad at the Sydney Morning Herald. The above photo that purports to show Wilton, the Gillard Government’s favored site for a 2nd Sydney Airport, is actually the Picton sky diving airstrip.
To get to where the photo was taken from Sydney, the photographer would have had to drive right past the massive new housing estate that now covers the Wilton site, and then misread a very clear highway sign that says Wilton (left) and instead turn right, to Picton, also abundantly clearly sign posted.
There is nothing wrong with the Sydney Morning Herald’s story which the amazingly wrong photo illustrates. That story is about the determination of the Government, and many in the Opposition for that matter, to get on with the job of getting a second airport for Sydney, and provides an accurate overview of some of the essential steps that the Infrastructure and Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, would take, without impolitely pointing out that he doesn’t actually have much political time left in which to do this.
But misidentifying it in such a gratuitously stupid way as being the open rolling (and pocket sized) Picton strip, complete with a sky diving club sign in the foreground, is a joke, or a very lame attempt to pretend Wilton is not the disaster-in-waiting it will become if those new homes have to be bulldozed live to air because Badgerys Creek, the site favoured by the independent Federal/State inquiry for the 2nd airport is politically unacceptable.
‘Tis a dilemma. Either the SMH is so out of touch with its own city it can’t navigate around it, road signs notwithstanding, or it has such a contempt for its readers that it thinks they will fall for a green fields photo of the Picton strip as being the current housing estate at Wilton that the Gillard Government wants to pull down.
There is a classic video vox pop observation about the Premier Barry O’Farrell claim that the 2nd airport should be Canberra Airport, reached by fast train, shown at the top of the story online.
The traveller concerned, interviewed at Sydney Airport asks ‘why should I get a train to Canberra to catch a plane, when I can catch a plane to Canberra now?’
It is a very good question, and does raise doubts as to whether O’Farrell has thought this through.
If Canberra is really going to become Sydney’s new airport, won’t those global companies who he expects to come to Sydney in preference to Melbourne or BrisVegas in the near future just take their jobs and economic activity to Canberra anyhow? There is a lot of room in the ACT, which is far more conveniently connected to Melbourne and Brisbane as well, and which could have its economy transformed by being chosen as a business centre over Sydney.
C’mon Barry. Concentrate. Get out a map. Read the report into Sydney’s airport options, and pop in to a business luncheon or two to explain your vision for how Sydney copes with hundreds of extra flights a day from China, India, Vietnam, Korea and Japan.
Are you serious about the city’s relevance to business? Without proper air access?
Oh and while we are being picky, when it comes to noise, have you ever heard the noise of a very fast train’s dozens of wheels hitting metal tracks at more than 300 kmh in a set of cars weighing more than 500 tonnes? If you don’t want to dump jet noise all over SW Sydney you won’t want a very fast train either, and the noise doesn’t diminish the further you get from an airport.