Thousands rally against Badgerys


Thousands rally against Badgerys

By Dave Wright and Gail Lord

SYDNEY — On September 21, more than 2000 people packed the Blacktown Civic Centre in Sydney's west to protest against the proposed second airport at Badgerys Creek.

The rally was organised by a coalition of western Sydney local councils — from Parramatta to the Blue Mountains — as well as local anti-airport groups. People held placards, balloons and banners demanding no second airport in the Sydney Basin.

Speakers at the rally included several mayors, the Labor state government's environment minister, Pam Allan, and Kay Vella, a prominent anti-Badgerys activist.

Although Allan attacked the Badgerys plan, it was the previous Labor federal government that first proposed this plan, and many of her federal ALP colleagues still support it.

The major concerns about the airport include noise and air pollution and the impact it would have on hundreds of thousands of residents in many suburbs around the proposed site.

Another concern is the damage the flight path would inflict on the Blue Mountains National Park, which includes large tracts of wilderness. An anti-airport petition circulating in the Blue Mountains has already been signed by more than 5500 residents.

Vella told the meeting: "We have to force the federal government to seek further airport options, for example the Goulburn option. If we do not fight this, western Sydney will become the dumping ground for all of Sydney's unwanted projects."