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Jan 1, 2013

A Hockey government will build Sydney a Badgerys Creek airport

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey steps into Abbott's no-policy hole to announce coalition will build a 2nd Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.

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Hockey looking for flat land at Wilton for Albo, or is he over the Kimberley?

For the first time since 1986 an Australian political party, the Liberals, will go to a Federal Election promising to build a second Sydney airport at the site the Commonwealth owns at Badgerys Creek.

The commitment, made by shadow Treasurer and senior coalition frontbencher Joe Hockey, puts the Federal side of the Liberals in opposition to the party line of their NSW counterparts, where Liberal Premier Barry O’Farrell is adamant that Sydney’s second airport will be Canberra Airport via an unbuilt fast rail link but won’t be needed until 2049 anyhow because the airport owner’s told him so.

O’Farrell and coalition leader Tony Abbott appeared to have been caught out by Hockey’s candid handling of the issue, in that the Premier has been given what amounts to an ultimatum by what appears certain at this stage to be the next government of Australia, and Abbott hasn’t had time to work out how to blame the disharmony on the carbon tax.

There should be some interesting modifications of positions and indignant utterances on or off camera during the day. The stance taken by the Federal Labor Transport and Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese will be of interest too. Albanese is voluminously on the record as being a supporter of Badgerys Creek, but has to toe the party line, which appears to be to protect the site not for the airport it says Sydney needs immediately, but for other interests or purposes it has never explained, while pursuing a site at Wilton which doesn’t exist anymore, thanks to topography and new housing estates.

Hockey has gone directly to the need, and the existence of a site that will be developed as an airport by whomever it is sold to, rather than get diverted by out of date arguments that have prevented it being used ever since it was selected almost 26 years ago.

As he says, it won’t harm western Sydney. It’s a city in its own right. Having its own airport will make it prosper.

Ben Sandilands — Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands

Editor of Plane Talking

Ben Sandilands has reported and analysed the mechanical mobility of humanity since late 1960 - the end of the age of great scheduled ocean liners and coastal steamers and the start of the jet age. He’s worked in newspapers, radio and TV in a wide range of roles as a journalist at home and abroad for 56 years, the last 18 freelance.

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10 comments

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10 thoughts on “A Hockey government will build Sydney a Badgerys Creek airport

  1. “So it is alright if Keating suggests it and does nothing but not ok if the Libs do the same.
    Didnt Keating buy the land?”

    It took 5 or more years to acquire all the parcels of land and amalgamate them into one site. Every single federal government since the early 90s and every single state govt (Labor and Coalition alike) has duck-shoved the issue and handed it on to their successors. As well as Hawke and Keating, we’ve had 11 years of the Howard government doing stuff all except spend millions on studies of stupid sites like Holsworthy, and decades of interference and political one-upmanship from state governments (both Labor and Coalition). However I don’t think any state government has been quite so oblivious to the increasing volume of calls to act on this and the increasingly broad range of parties calling for action as the O’Farrell government.

  2. Hockey will get over-ridden by the bully Abbott. He doesn’t even let the Liberal MP’s have a conscience vote on gay marriage because he is so dictatorial.

  3. OFarrell represents the Sydney ruling class and they want the airport at Mascot. Botany Bay will be filled in for extra runways long before Badgerys Creek is taken seriously.
    And by the way, one of OFarrells ministers has already talked about the airport being built at Towra Point (Kurnel). Isn’t it convenient that the Kurnel oil refinery is being closed.
    Jim

  4. I thought that the Abbott policy was that if a policy isn’t in writing, then it’s not a policy. Even then, I suppose, it might be a non-core policy.

    Heaps of wriggle-room, so Hockey’s “policy” will, with regret, have to be dropped. Terribly sorry and all that, but the economic conditions…

  5. I wouldn’t get too excited about a paper report about a “proposal” which has has more hedges that a steeplechase course. But what a good pic of Joe all dressed up: No budgie smugglers for him, even at high summer.As you say Ben the interest will quickly shift to the other actors in this play and looks like ther could be bits flying off [poor pun] in every direction.

  6. “Hockey looking for flat land at Wilton for Albo, or is he over the Kimberly?” – That’s Kimberley Ben, but if Canberra is a good site for a second Sydney airport surely Kimberley is in there with a chance? You could call it West Brisbane.

  7. As a long term observer of Hockey, when he talks about ‘no barrier’ that includes even from his own ranks. The qualifications seem like an afterthought.

  8. ‘there should be “no barrier” to a hub at Badgerys Creek’ and “Mr Hockey would not comment on whether the western Sydney proposal would be taken to the election” hardly sounds like a commitment. I think their no policy policy still stands!