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Max the Axe continues to rubbish Sydney’s airport needs

Sydney Airport's natural constituency 1845: NSW State Library

Putting aside the possibility that it was a faux Max Moore-Wilton that spoke to 2GB yesterday and repeated absurd claims about Sydney Airport’s capacity, his comments are grossly insulting to those who may take their business out of Sydney because of his airport’s chronic inability to provide the entire Sydney basin with reliable air transport links.

When the existing airport was privatised in 2002 and for years afterwards the airport’s now chairman, Mr Moore-Wilton, was repeatedly insistent on the public record that Sydney Airport would never have a problem complying with the limitations engraved into the granite of the sale legislation and contracts.

These comprise the jet curfew, the cap of no more than 80 movements an hour and the requirement to protect rural community access at peak periods so that country travellers could, like interstate travellers, make useful day return trips to Australia’s no longer convenient major gateway.

Now Moore-Wilton is blaming everthing from Labor ideologues to unfair legislated restrictions on on Sydney Airport for its very obvious problems.

Are these the same Labor ideologues, if the plural is relevant after last Saturday’s federal election, that until yesterday always condemned and opposed Badgerys Creek? Or has there been the sudden origination of an entirely new species of Labor ideologue totally at odds with the previous species of Labor ideologue?

Which is another way of asking the rhetorical question, how stupid does Mr Moore-Wilton think the people, and the business communities of greater Sydney really are?

Sydney Airport is an expensive asset which is painfully irrelevant to the needs of anyone, indiviually or as an enterprise, that has to struggle for  longer than it takes to fly from Sydney to Melbourne, or Brisbane, or Adelaide, just to make it from the rising business centres in the west and north and northwest of the Sydney basin to the existing airport.

This, Mr Moore-Wilton, isn’t about your asset. It is about the city’s need for decent air access in that great unknown west of Strathfield that you apparently think is required to grind its way to your airport where you repeatedly complain without a flicker of irony about how all that traffic that comes to or past the airport causes so much congestion.

The solution is to actually put an airport at Badgerys Creek where it would be more relevant by distance, and quite possibly, more convenient by price and scheduling,  than an airport so ready to ignore all but the original scope of the colony based on Port Jackson.

The only useful take away from Moore-Wilton’s diatribes is that with Badgerys Creek being claimed to be such a huge waste of money is that Sydney Airport couldn’t possibly even think of exercising its first right of refusal to develop the site.

This is a most welcome take away. If we wanted to see Sydney really stuffed up, the monopoly pricing regimen at the existing airport would be extended to the Sydney West airport as well.

PS It is to be hoped that the West Connex road project, which sets out by design to deliberately fail to connect the M4 to the CBD, isn’t paraded as some sort of cure for the general commuter and airport access problems of the western two thirds of the Sydney Basin. That would so motherlessly stupid in terms of the current and future transport needs of Sydney that no one would suggest that for a minute. Would they?

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  • 1
    wordfactory
    Posted September 13, 2013 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The least punctual airline in the country, Tiger, has led the way in blowing out the MEL-SYD block time to 1:35 in both directions in an attempt to right the ship. How long before the standard block time is 2:00 or more — mostly because of congestion at the Sydney end? MEL is already activating plans for a third runway, which will be achieved without a 10-year pitched battle with residents (Tullamarine’s surrounds apparently have a better class of NIMBY). When the block time gets to 2:00+, CBD-to-CBD in 2:45 by train will look very attractive indeed.

  • 2
    George Glass
    Posted September 14, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Those of us who work on the operational side things just dispair. Not one airport facility in Austalia is world class. Brisbane could be if it builds the proposed new runway but it will take atleast seven years to complete. Melbourne could be if they built the originally planned (i.e. back in the 70″s!!!) parallel runways but one short runway parallel to 27 will probably slow operations , not speed them up. The less said about Perth the better. Why the travelling public puts up with it all is one lifes great mysteries.

  • 3
    Dan Dair
    Posted September 14, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    George,
    What’s the alternative.?
    No HSR, no other airports.
    Australia’s a big place (like you didn’t know.!!) & the travelling public has to use what’s available to get around.
    In Europe there’s a lot more competition. Block time for London to Manchester, city-to-city, is marginal between air & rail and the bus is only half as long again.
    In a part of the world where 200 miles is just a ‘cock-stride’, you’re not going to take the bus to that business-meeting are you, so you take what’s available.?

  • 4
    Aidan Stanger
    Posted September 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    George,
    I was under impression that Melbourne was planning a new long E-W runway and extending the existing one. Is that not the case?

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