Western Sydney airport moves another step closer

Media Release

WT187/2015

25 June 2015

The passage of the Airports Amendment Bill 2015 through parliament overnight brings an airport for Western Sydney another step closer.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Bill reflects the Australian Government's commitment to build an airport for Western Sydney.

“The Airports Amendment Bill 2015 will allow key planning documentation to be prepared for Western Sydney Airport in conjunction with the environmental assessment process, which is currently underway,” Mr Truss said.

“The Bill will allow for an airport plan to be developed for Badgerys Creek which will authorise the initial development for a Western Sydney airport and specify the Australian Government's requirements for the proposed airport.

“A finalised airport plan will be dependent on the Environment Minister's assessment of the environmental considerations raised in the environmental impact statement, and will be bound by conditions imposed to protect the environment.

“The Government is committed to undertaking a robust environmental approval process with the opportunity for community consultation.

“The Bill recognises the unique requirements of a greenfield airport by combining separate approval processes that could take years to complete into one streamlined and transparent approval process, while guaranteeing the community's right to be fully consulted.

Mr Truss said the Bill will also ensure that a range of commercial options remain open when it comes to developing a new airport in Western Sydney.

“Under Section 18 of the Airports Act 1996, Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport and Sydney West Airport—as it is known in the Act—must be under common ownership,” Mr Truss said.

“The Airports Amendment Bill will remove this requirement, providing the Australian Government with the commercial flexibility to deal with third parties or develop the airport itself if agreement cannot be reached with Sydney Airport.

“This is supported by the removal of airport cross ownership restrictions on the Sydney West Airport, which will help maximise the success of any market offering should Sydney Airport Group choose not to exercise their option to develop and operate the proposed new airport.”

Mr Truss thanked the Opposition for supporting the measures, and noted the importance of ongoing bipartisanship to the development of an airport for Western Sydney.

The Government is currently undertaking complex and detailed planning towards an operational airport by the mid-2020s that will generate long-term economic benefits, thousands of jobs and meet the needs of Western Sydney's growing population.