Central Coast on radar for airport windfall

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This is a major growth area, and residents resistance can be expected. The coastal area is subject to future sea-level rise, which must be considered.

Coast on radar for airport windfall


Sydney Airport generic shots of terminal & jets landing..13/11/04..pic John Grainger Picture: John GraingerSource: The Daily Telegraph

AN airport on the Central Coast would provide an economic windfall to the region and be capable of handling 65 million passengers a year, a federal government report has found.

As Premier Barry O’Farrell and some western councils rail against a second airport for Sydney, Wyong Shire Council mayor Bob Graham said the report had put a 1676ha site at Wallarah on the shortlist for a second Sydney airport.

Despite Wallarah having “some major shortcomings”, the two-year joint study into aviation capacity for the Sydney region found it was the most suitable site on the Central Coast.

It found Wallarah’s closeness to an existing railway station and the F3 meant it would be cheaper to link road and rail to the next big airport.

The report costed road construction at $110 million and $740 million to link the proposed airport site to rail.

“Given the distances to existing infrastructure, the surface transport connection costs were … lowest for sites in the Central Coast, such as Wallarah,” the report said.

Mr Graham said it could open the Central Coast to “the world”. “If, down the track, they decide to locate the airport at Wallarah, and if the issues around environmental protection and amenity for residents can be adequately managed, then it would be a wonderful opportunity for the Central Coast,” Mr Graham said.

“Investment in major infrastructure of this type is rare.”

The study said the airport could create about 100,000 jobs during and after construction.

“Certainly, that doesn’t take into account the potential flow-on economic benefits to the region by having the Central Coast immediately accessible to the rest of the world,” Mr Graham said.

Mr O’Farrell stood by his dismissal of a second Sydney airport in favour of a high speed rail link to an expanded Canberra airport, despite opposition from his own MPs and infrastructure experts.

“We took to the last election campaign a view that we shouldn’t dump aircraft noise in Sydney’s west and Sydney’s southwest,” the Premier said.


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