Development of land based on an airport at Badgerys
DateApril 4, 2013 15 reading now
Jacob Saulwick, Leesha McKenny
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Department of Planning and Infrastructure
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Opposed: Barry O’Farrell is against an airport at Badgerys Creek. Photo: James Brickwood
The development of 10,000 hectares of land in western Sydney is being planned on the basis there will be an airport in nearby Badgerys Creek, despite the O’Farrell government’s stated opposition to one.
A draft plan for the Western Sydney Employment Area, a vast tract of undeveloped land north-east of the Badgerys Creek site, is due to be released soon.
The employment area needs to be complemented with roads and other infrastructure, the shape of which would be determined in part by whether an airport is built at Badgerys.
People close to a taskforce set up to decide the future of the Western Sydney Employment Area say consultants on the project have assumed an airport will be built eventually, rather than recommend options that preclude the development of an airport.
A spokesman said the Department of Planning and Infrastructure was not assuming there would be an airport at Badgerys.
But ”we are ensuring that Commonwealth land and its potential future uses are closely considered in the planning process – but this doesn’t mean the employment area requires the airport to proceed,” he said.
Many urban planners and development industry figures say the government will be hard pressed to meet its ambitious jobs targets for western Sydney without backing an airport.
The draft metropolitan strategy, the government’s plan to manage growth in the next two decades, shows the city’s west will absorb more than 70 per cent of Sydney’s additional 1.3 million residents expected by 2031.
The government wants half of the strategy’s 625,000 jobs located in the west, a target many see as unlikely without an airport.
The University of NSW’s City Futures Research Centre head Bill Randolph said the government’s employment targets for the north west and south west would ”make more sense” if there was an airport between them.
”It’s very difficult to see where employment might come from unless Badgerys Creek gets off the ground,” he said.
”An airport is a huge game changer,” Professor Randolph said. ”If you put an airport in that area, then a lot of the problems of western Sydney could well be solved.”
The Urban Development Institute of Australia chief executive Stephen Albin said the Western Sydney Employment Area would take 20 years to develop without an airport at Badgerys Creek. With an airport, the jobs would emerge in half the time, he said.
The University of Western Sydney’s Australian Urban Research Centre director Michael Darcy said that, without strategic decisions about big infrastructure projects such as another airport, ”the job targets in western and south-western Sydney don’t really instil much confidence”.
”My biggest concern in this plan is the neglect of south-western Sydney, which is an area that’s got the largest population growth flagged, the largest housing growth, the largest jobs growth but the least said in terms of infrastructure,” Professor Darcy said.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/development-of-land-based-on-an-airport-at-badgerys-20130403-2h74e.html#ixzz2PRmZ1n4g