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Brisbane Airport feels the heat over pre-paid 3rd runway

Move over Sydney. Brisbane has its own airport war too!

Brisbane Airport's major 2nd runway would be in the dark green belt

After being one of many critics of the pathetic lack of judgement at the Courier-Mail  over its lazy reprinting of a ridiculous UK Daily Mail beat-up about an Emirates A380 door explosion that occurred apparently in the mind of a hysterical passenger it is time to acknowledge an important editorial it has published about Brisbane Airport.

The opinion piece is about Brisbane airport’s owners trying to get the airlines, and that in turn means their passengers, to pre-pay part of the construction costs of a much needed parallel major runway to the north of the existing major runway.

The suggestion has proved as popular as leprosy in a kindergarten. The issue is one that affects the wider economy of Brisbane, and as it grows, has implications for the inevitable discussion of a 2nd major airport for Brisbane too, which just goes to show that if Sydney can have such a controversy, why not Brisbane, in the coming decades?

In fact there are so many critical issues that can be attached to Brisbane Airport, including the vexed question of monopoly pricing, that clever PR strategists could go to the Newman government and sell it a plan to cunningly raise the profile of SE Queensland even higher in the national news agenda by encouraging a blazing row about all things airport, thus ensuring recognition of the status of Brisbane as a real, fully grown up challenger to Sydney. OK, maybe not.

Needless to say, for non-Queenslanders there has to be another side to the story which Brisbane Airport either hasn’t explained, or hasn’t managed to have heard in the outer darkness which begins at the southern border.

Stay tuned. Whatever Brisbane Airport does, it won’t be good news for Sydney!

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  • 1
    ggm
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    After the failure of PPP in two large, publicly visible projects in Queensland, (clem7 and the airport link tunnels) -both based on wildly inaccurate projected levels of usage, and both involving Newman (he tries to arms-length on them, but he knows his hands were on the tiller at Brisbane City Council)…

    The Airport is a venal enterprise. I would say that confirming up-front they have the capital to build the runway is not surprising. I do feel its a rort, and I do feel that I am being expected to pay for it (increased charges now) and yet they intend securing the profit of it, and so I ask myself “surely some risk capital *HAS* to come from the Airport investors” -but, all things being equal, if they do share risk, isn’t this possibly a wise, and predictable move?

  • 2
    Bear
    Posted February 20, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    ggm… The eternal truth of infrastructure projects in this country… PPP stands for Public Pay Perpetually. Understand that, and it all makes sense. Enjoy.

  • 3
    2353
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Ben, Brisbane Airport Corporation is seen in SEQ as an organisation that is more intent on working out how to grab an extra dollar off the public than providing a service for a fair profit.

    I’m with ggm. I use the airport a number of times a year. Why should my ticket price go up because BAC either doesn’t want to or can’t afford to borrow the money (and maybe reduce it’s profitability for a few years?

    The whole airport privatisation thing was only ever done in Australia and the UK under conservative governments with dogmatic ideologies. When you look at Heathrow, Sydney and Brisbane – it can hardly be called a success.

  • 4
    ltfisher
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Bear..I hadn’t seen your definition of PPP but understand that in the military when things go wrong with projects or operations they also speak of PPP: it goes [rude word] Poor Planning.

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