Labor flying into trouble on airport


Labor flying into trouble on airport

The Daily Telegraph
February 21, 201312:00AM

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BESIDES being a passionate advocate of the Labor cause, Anthony Albanese has proved himself a very competent minister in the transport portfolio. It’s when transport becomes airborne that Albanese runs into a few problems.

As the member for Grayndler in Sydney’s inner west, Albanese is obviously conflicted when it comes to the city’s much-needed second airport. The minister must know, as Labor politicians since Paul Keating have known, that the best possible option for a second Sydney airport is in Badgerys Creek. Yet Albanese dare not declare his hand due to the perceived electoral danger of such a move. The anti-airport lobby has effectively silenced several generations of politicians on this vital issue.

But as The Daily Telegraph reports, modern jets are quickly becoming even quieter than a politician in a marginal seat. Aircraft noise is fading and so in turn is the previously reflexive rejection of a second airport.

As polls have shown, the public is now far more welcoming to the concept of a second airport than ever before. Instead of running from the issue, it might be politically timely for Labor’s western Sydney representatives to actually get behind it.

Sell the second airport as a genuine employment opportunity for the area, which it undoubtedly will be. Sell it as a chance for western Sydney to show its full potential. Sell it as an exercise in nation-building.

Albanese is in a difficult position. He’s bound to a party policy that precludes him from advocating Badgerys Creek as the best option for our second airport, even though he must know that to be the case.

The upcoming election might provide Labor and its transport minister with a chance to change some outdated views.

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