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O’Farrell struggles with new Sydney airport realpolitiks

Realpolitiks catches up with Sydney’s 2nd airport debate, and in an SMH story, leaves NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell behind.

There is a shift in sentiment going on in Sydney politics in favour of a 2nd airport at Badgerys Creek, and from this morning’s insights in a Sydney Morning Herald report, it has left NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell stranded in the past.

O’Farrell thinks there are votes in not building the airport. But what if, as the this and other reports have strongly suggested, the reverse is now true because western Sydney needs its own airport, and the existing eastern Sydney airport can’t cope with the task of serving the entire Sydney basin?

What if the connection has finally been made between economic activity and air transport? What if the growth pressure on international transport links to this country from the Asia century results in smarter run states with better airports eating Sydney’s lunch? Why is it that O’Farrell thinks those business and leisure travellers will arrive and depart from the harbour city by a fast train link nobody is building to a Canberra Airport that an apparently disconnected part of his thought processes is happy to cripple by approving a housing estate in NSW at Tralee, creating a barrier to the future expansion of Canberra Airport which is just over the ACT border?

It is a sad reflection on stunted visions past and present, which are also entrenched within NSW Labor.

If noise is the problem, O’Farrell and other airport opponents need to acquaint themselves with two things:- The noise created by new engine and airframe technologies, which is very low, and the noise generated by metal wheel on metal track 320 kmh high speed rail services, which can be very high for the entire length of any such corridor where it is above ground.

In the politics of things, based on material and practical matters, not worn out ideological stances, the situation, when it comes to air transport has changed, and that is not for a moment to detract from a growing need to define the needs for new technology rail corridors that will also enable very significant economic benefits to be realised in this country.

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  • 1
    Aidan Stanger
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    High speed train noise, though worse than thay of many conventional trains, is not at all high when you rate aircraft engine noise as very low!

  • 2
    comet
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    O’Farrell has now dug himself in so deeply that he will never be able to change on this issue.

    It has to wait until O’Farrell has gone, or until a Federal government overrides him. O’Farrell won’t be going anywhere, as his party’s vote was so strong that he will get at least two terms, maybe more.

    There’s a freeway half a kilometre away from where I live. It’s far noiser than the flight path that goes overhead. Trucks put on their compression/air brakes in the middle of the night, which is loud enough to wake up two whole suburbs.

  • 3
    wilful
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Yeah that noise claim is pretty dodgy. I’ve travelled in Japan a bit, and unsurprisingly been to a few airports (even to get there), and there’s no way a fast train is noisier than an airport (though granted I didn’t have a noise meter with me at any time).

  • 4
    Kevin Hill
    Posted December 27, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    The discussion should be about more than just aircraft noise and start to focus on the benefits of having the jobs and infrastructure that will go with a second airport.

    Lets make sure people all noise affected people are fairly compensated and then the vast majority who will never hear an aircraft will be able to discuss the benefits of the 50,000 potential new jobs in the area.

    When will the balanced discussion begin?

  • 5
    Steve777
    Posted December 28, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    A quick quiz:
    Which of the following hypothetical future events is likely to occur first:
    1. A manned landing on Mars
    2. A plane lands at a second Sydney Airport
    If I were a gambler, my money would be on 1. In either case, it would be some decades before I could collect.

  • 6
    Sarah Bingham
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Steve, I’m with you, I live in Richmond & rumours are rife that it’s coming here. We have a train line, we’re close to the M7 (even closer when the extension to Londonderry is built). A runway over the Lowlands & the University farms would bother almost no one – but do I think our beloved leaders will ever agree? Not in my lifetime, and the same goes for Badgerys Creek.

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