Media Release of SACF Inc


The peak body for community airport groups, Sydney Airport Community Forum Inc (SACF Inc), this week unanimously rejected the Government's pre-emptive support for the Badgerys Creek proposed airport site. SACF Inc represents over thirty airport community groups from Randwick to the Blue Mountains, and from Hornsby to Sydney’s South-West extremities. It was established as an alternative to the government-appointed committee of a similar name which is not representative of the communities affected.

Mr John Dale VP of SACF Inc is both a representative of residents north of KSA and the communities’ representative on the Standards Australia committee for fixed wing noise emissions. Mr Dale said "Given the threat of privatisation for a 99 year lease, without protective legislation, it makes a mockery of the whole EIS process to have the Minister responsible coming out before the report is completed and saying the Government will proceed with the site, regardless of the fact that there are less damaging sites and his Government’s reports highlight significant problems. Previous EIS assessments of Badgerys Creek have described the site as an environmental disaster. The Minister’s statement demonstrates a further wasting of taxpayers’ money, abuse of privilege and contempt for the plight of people affected by the damaging impact of airport operations for decades. The record of government dealings with those affected by KSA’s operations has been dramatically exposed in various enquires with no redress."

Graeme Harrison, VP of SACF Inc representing groups East of KSA said "The community should have no faith in the EIS process when the Government announces that it already knows the recommendations that will appear in the final report and instructs us to ‘read between the lines’. The community deserves better than an EIS where non-independent contractors were instructed to ignore alternatives, contrary to the legislative requirements of an EIS. The Government is now seeking to diminish its responsibility by saying it will proceed even if Badgerys is a ‘near-disaster’. We’ve seen just how corrupt the Government can be in its management of KSA."

The peak community group has unanimously rejected the Badgerys Creek site because of the clear lack of independence in the contractor, because of the refusal to consider alternatives in the EIS process, because the communities’ submissions to the EIS were ignored, because the Government has failed to consider the fundamental air quality issue of locating the airport outside the Sydney Basin instead of at the deepest part of Sydney’s smog sink, because the government has refused to consider major detrimental aspects, because the number of people affected will be an order of magnitude greater than for other sites, and because the site cannot provide long-term relief for residents adversely affected by KSA, as those living around Badgerys Creek will be as deserving of a curfew as those affected by KSA (refer attached sheet).

Mr Tanner said "The Badgerys Creek site just doesn’t stack up against the alternatives such as Wilton, which are located outside the basin and no further by road or train. That is the reason the Minister directed the contractor to ignore in the EIS the most prudent and feasible alternative. The Government has spent millions on this pro-Badgerys EIS work, but refuses to mention the site short-listed with Badgerys Creek by the Minister in 1984. The EIS work has compared Badgerys to only the seventh-ranked site (Holsworthy – since dropped) and a ‘do nothing’ option. The Minister is engaging in complete obfuscation by saying that the alternatives to Badgerys are the very distant sites of Goulburn etc."

Mr Harrison said "The official 1985 study noted that the rail distance to locate the airport at a suitable site outside the Sydney Basin was 71km from the CBD – only 15km more than for Badgerys, but Wilton is right on the proposed Very Fast Train route. An outside-the-basin would be much better for Sydney’s smog. If the Government proceeds with its plan, Badgerys will stand as a permanent reminder to countless future generations of Sydney voters of the crass disregard for their welfare by a coalition Government. The air quality decrease, aircraft noise problems and crash risk will forever come back to haunt the Liberal Party at future elections when people say ‘Remember, these are the people who forced the airport to be located in the worst smog area so that three million people could breath the emissions, when it would have cost no more to put the site outside the Sydney Basin’."

Contacts: Mr Dick Tanner, President Sydney Airport Community Forum Inc

  • Phone: (02)9953-8250, –2250, (02)6377-4534 Email:
  • Mr John Dale, VP Sydney Airport Community Forum Inc

  • Phone: (02)9519-1035 Email:
  • Mr Graeme Harrison, VP Sydney Airport Community Forum Inc

  • Phone: (02)9349-7470, (0500)UGETME Email:

    Supporting information for SACF Inc’s rejection of the Badgerys Creek site:

    1. The clear lack of independence of the contractor (Rust-PPK has admitted that its parent company is a very large landholder around the proposed site at Badgerys Creek).
    2. The refusal by the Government and its contractor, contrary to the Environmental Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974 (Cth), to consider prudent and feasible alternatives including the other site (South of the hamlet of Wilton) which was formally announced (with Badgerys Creek) as short-listed by the then Minister on 18 September 1984 as being the two sites warranting further study.
    3. Contrary to the above Act, the community groups’ input to the EIS was ignored.
    4. The Government has failed to consider the fundamental air quality issue of locating the airport outside the Sydney Basin instead of in the deepest part of the smog sink. This is not a new concept as the Draft EIS entitled "Second Sydney Airport Site Selection Programme" prepared by Kinhill Stearns in April 1985 noted of Wilton: "The site is located on the margin of the Sydney air basin and has relatively good air dispersion characteristics compared to the closer sites." Subsequent US research has highlighted that airports rank number one with petrochemical refineries as the largest point sources of hydrocarbon emissions. With the replacement airport site, there is the potential to relocate 5-10% of Sydney's total air pollution to a location where emissions do not enter the Sydney Basin. Three million additional residents will breathe the emissions from a Badgerys site, compared to any site outside the Sydney Basin air-shed.
    5. The Government has refused to consider major detrimental aspects including wind-shear from the Blue Mountains and potential crash-risk disruption to Sydney’s electricity grid, water supply and gas pipeline, with major infrastructure concentrations close to Badgerys.
    6. The Government’s own figures of fifteen years ago confirm that (even then) the number of residents adversely affected by Badgerys Creek would be fourteen-fold compared to Wilton (say). Since then there has been extensive residential development up to the very boundary fence of the Badgerys site.
    7. Badgerys Creek does not offer the ability to be a long-term replacement for KSA, nor will it provide long-term relief for the over one million residents currently affected by noise from KSA. Badgerys will have limited capacity and be environmentally constrained.
    8. The Government has used obfuscation to portray that only long distance sites are alternatives, ignoring the middle distance sites. The Minister was reported in last week’s SMH as saying "Sites outside the Sydney basin will suffer from the disadvantage of distance from Sydney Airport and the city centre, with associated costs and inconvenience for passengers." But the 1985 study noted Badgerys was 68km from the CBD by rail (assuming the year 2015 network), whereas Wilton was 83km away (using the same assumption of a 2015 network) but Wilton is on the Very Fast Train route, so the trip time may actually be less than for Badgerys.
    9. The Government has used intentionally misleading information on jobs creation. Whether the second/replacement airport is built at Badgerys or Wilton, the construction workers would be sourced primarily from Sydney’s South-West and/or Western suburbs. It is a moot point whether Sydney’s South-West or Western suburbs are more deserving of such jobs.
    10. There is the problem of interoperability of the Sydney airports, in that Wilton would only impact Camden airport (source: 1985 study) whereas Badgerys will clearly restrict the half-million annual aircraft movements at Bankstown and any noise sharing of the quarter-million annual aircraft movements at KSA. With forecasts of continued strong growth in air travel, it is inappropriate to intentionally have a conflagration of aircraft above the heads of the residents of Sydney, and the (soon) million-plus annual aircraft movements in the Sydney Basin will introduce avoidable crash risk as well as having a serious detrimental impact on air quality.

    The community is justified in rejecting any moderate population density site, due to the aviation bureaucracy’s long history of pandering to aviation interests above the interests of the community. The bureaucracy has continually refused to provide data to allow community groups to monitor the operations of Sydney’s existing airports. A more open and accountable approach is required to restore credibility.



    Media Release of The Greens


    A meeting of the peak community organisation representing over thirty anti-aircraft noise groups from across Sydney has condemned the Government’s proposal for an airport at Badgerys Creek. Last night (Wednesday night) a meeting at Sydenham of groups from the Eastern Suburbs, the Inner West, the North Shore, Bankstown and Western Sydney unanimously called for the Government to abandon the Badgerys Creek site and to begin a search for a location that could one day be a replacement for Sydney Airport.

    The Greens have welcomed the community groups’ decision. Lee Rhiannon, newly elected member of the NSW Upper House said "It’s great to see residents rejecting the ‘divide and conquer’ tactics of the major parties. Badgerys has been falsely portrayed as the solution to the problems of Kingsford-Smith Airport, but it never was and never will be." Ms Rhiannon said "An airport at Badgerys Creek will exacerbate KSA’s problems and then duplicate them."

    Dick Tanner, President of the Sydney Airport Community Forum Incorporated, as the alliance of the airport groups is called, said "Three EISs since 1985 have said that Badgerys Creek airport will worsen the environmental impacts of Kingsford-Smith." Mr Tanner went on to say "The groups were united in their resolve to pressure the Federal Government to find a genuine solution to the noise, air pollution and crash risks of KSA. The government is intensifying the use of KSA, intensifying the use of Bankstown airport and now wants to inflict a third airport blight on Sydney. The only long-term solution is a replacement airport outside the Sydney Basin air-shed." Mr Tanner said "The government was ignoring the legislative requirements that all prudent and feasible alternatives be considered." "The Government is flouting its own law." he said.

    Contact: Ms Lee Rhiannon, MLC Elect

  • Phone (02)9519-0877 (018)976707

    Mr Dick Tanner, President Sydney Airport Community Forum Inc

    Phone (02)9953-8250, (02)9953–2250, (02)6377-4534


    last update 24 Oct 1999

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