No Aircraft Noise Party launched
By Janet Parker
SYDNEY — More than 1000 people packed out Marrickville Town Hall for the launch of the No Aircraft Noise Party on February 21. The new party is contesting six lower house seats affected by the third runway. Leichhardt Mayor Larry Hand will head an upper house ticket.
In introducing the candidates, comedian John Doyle described the NAN party as being "born of frustration, disillusionment, disenchantment, discontent and distress".
"To Labor we say, 'How do you expect to continue to receive the vote from those who you have treated so shoddily? Your party must be punished.'"
The party was formally launched by independent federal MP Ted Mack, who registered the only vote against the third runway when it was first proposed in federal parliament.
The airport was more than a single issue, Mack told the meeting. It is one of major economic, social and environmental concern. "Private interests are so greedy and politicians so servile, that they are prepared to increase the size of the airport to the extent where loss of life is inevitable."
While a number of state MPs opposed the third runway, their continued commitment to their parties meant that they had "sold their souls".
Outside the launch, Green and Democrat members protested against the decision by the NAN party to rule out preference exchanges with the minor parties and progressive independent candidates who have consistently opposed the third runway.
Marrickville councillor and Greens candidate Bruce Welch described this decision as "destructive". "The incumbent MPs in airport-affected areas must be laughing up their sleeves", he said. "By not even attempting to work cooperatively with other committed anti-airport candidates, the NAN party will fragment the opposition to those parties — Labor and Liberal — who are responsible for the noise."