News That’s Fit To Punt 10/May/2013

Not Wilton, Surely Not Wilton

The Federal Government and transport minister Anthony Albanese in particular has been leading a strange crusade of his own to put an airport at Wilton. To that extent his department has somehow deleted references to an old study done into Wilton which categorically rejected Wilton as a site for Sydney’s second airport; then commissioned a new study based on the fact that Wilton was about the 9th best candidate in a field of 9, and then finally released those findings to find that there is yet another reason to do another study.

Chief executive of Urban Development Institute of Australia Stephen Albin, who is backing another airport at Badgerys Creek, said the further studies into Wilton were a waste of time and the public had ”report fatigue”.’

‘They don’t believe what they are hearing from the politicians,” Mr Albin said. ”Decisions need to be made to ensure that community confidence in government plans is not eroded.”

Mr Albin, as well as the NSW Business Chamber and the Tourism and Transport Forum, said Badgerys Creek was clearly the best option.

”The biggest surprise out of this report was that they’ve said they’re going to do another report,” Mr Albin said.

That’s exactly it.

It’s all pretty strange with its fixation on Wilton if it didn’t keep costing millions in tax money to keep conducting these studies that basically keep saying Wilton is a bad idea. Even if it were an average idea, the Federal Government already owns land to what everybody knows is the right idea, which is Badgerys Creek. But no. They’ll do another report into Wilton. So here’s another one of those facepalm moments you can chalk up with this ALP government.

Anyway. Crikey has this piece here, thanks to Pleiades.

Labor is under suspicion of protecting someone’s pecuniary interests in not building Badgerys Creek, which a brand new suburban railway line, the SW Rail project, could be extended into at trivial cost  on its completion to Leppington in less than two years time.

It can’t possibly be acting to protect the public interest in depriving western Sydney from having its own airport, and the jobs and additional public transport infrastructure that come with it.

Labor even sponsored a supposedly independent federal/state study into a site for a 2nd Sydney Airport which overwhelmingly endorsed Badgerys Creek, which the Commonwealth owns, and the minister, Anthony Albanese, trashed its independence in about 20 minutes after its official release by rejecting the finding as incompatible with party policy. That development, a year ago, then lead to today’s ridiculous and useless quest to ‘independently’ come up with a Wilton answer that would justify turning over the Badgerys Creek site to whatever private interests will benefit from such a decision.

Minister, the answer is not another or further studies. The answer is change the policy.

That about sums it up. But of course this government is pathologically incapable of doing the obviously correct thing. As with the other white elephant study – the one into a high speed rail link they have no intention of building – this one has sucked a lot of government money and public confidence. I’m amazed that Julia Gillard gets given so much credit for her policies when in fact her ministers are off creating this miasma of nonsensical studies and non-decisions.

For those of you short of a laugh, here’s something you might like: Some black-humoured wags are saying that the reason Anthony Albanese is insisting on Wilton is so that Badgerys never gets built. The reason why they don’t want to build on Badgerys Creek is because that’s where all the corpses are buried by hitman Lucky Gatellari and hitman-hirer-about-town Ron Medich, so it would be a terrible thing to dig anything up out there. That sort of thing just might fit the bill of pecuniary interests, no?

Jokes aside, you do wonder what on earth the ALP is up to with this charade. If they want to build the second airport in Badgerys, they should just come out and say so. Everybody knows it’s the only real choice.

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