The first leader’s debate of the election has not produced a breakthrough as to when Badgery’s Creek goes ahead as the site for a Sydney West airport.

The leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, did say he would make a decision on the airport in his first term of elected.

He then added that the first thing to do was to improve the infrastructure around Sydney’s existing airport to ensure that it worked more efficiently.

To that end Sydney’s WestConnex project (which would connect the end of the M4  to Port Botany via the airport)  would achieve that efficiency.

Answering the question after Abbott, Rudd said he was ‘sure the right decision would be made by the processes set in place by Anthony Albanese,’ and that he was from Brisbane not Sydney, and that Sydney Airport wasn’t the only airport in the country.

Pausing, he then picked up Abbott’s blind spot when it comes to rail, and launched on a dissertation about ports, rail and productivity but all over the map.

Analysis

Both leaders appeared try to keep to the unofficial truce brokered by Albanese not to make the airport into an election issue.  Both ignored the core question with diversionary references to peripheral, albeit importance broader issues without direct relevance to Sydney’s airport needs.

Rudd may be as ignorant as he professes as to the real life realities of western Sydney and the airport issues, but Abbott has no excuse for not understanding that western Sydney needs its own fully functional airport much sooner than another dysfunctional road project can ever attempt to contribute to solving those issues.

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