Big demonstration against Holsworthy airport

August 6, 1997

Big demonstration against Holsworthy airport

By Simon Frew

WOLLONGONG — Twenty thousand people rallied on July 27 against the construction of Sydney's second airport at Holsworthy, south-west of Sydney.

The action was boosted by news that the Australian Heritage Commission has given the area an interim listing, due to the presence of many rare species of flora and fauna, including Sydney's last surviving koala colony.

The area also contains hundreds of Aboriginal sites, including paintings and carvings that have been untouched since invasion.

The construction of an international airport at Holsworthy would cause massive environmental destruction, not only by the airport itself, but by the associated infrastructure and industry.

The airport would severely effect Sydney water supply from aircraft emissions, erosion and sedimentation caused by construction. Both the Georges River and Woronora River catchment areas are expected to be affected. The noise from an international airport is expected to affect approximately 1 million people.

Councils and Residents Against the Selection of Holsworthy (CRASH) spokesperson Lorraine Rodden told the rally that the federal government had concealed the plans just days after it announced that Holsworthy was being considered. "The people of Sydney have a right to know who and what is behind the government's push to develop Holsworthy and why the government moved so quickly to conceal the developers' plans."

In a 1990 study by Federal Airports Corporation into the most suitable site for a second Sydney airport, Holsworthy rated second last of eight options.

The option which received the most support at the time was to build the airport on the Goulburn plain, linked to Sydney with a very fast train. The low residential density, lack of dangerous industries and good wind patterns make this option at least worthy of further investigation.

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