BASSENDEAN MLA Dave Kelly will support community calls for an extension to the Perth Airport new runway project public consultation period but Perth Airport says enough time has been given.
Prompted by comments made by Perth Airport chief executive Kevin Brown in Airport noise concerns come from minority, (Echo News, July 7), resident Graeme King urged Mr Kelly and councillors to not only extend the consultation time but also to support a curfew on the Airport.
“While I support the construction of another runway, I feel with the increasing air traffic and close proximity of residential areas, a night time curfew should be introduced to manage noise pollution,” he said.
Earlier this month similar concerns about noise were raised by the Stop the New Flight Corridor Action Group in objection to the proposed flight corridor over Darlington and hills surrounds.
“Impacts to the community are immense expecting Aircraft noise so loud it will pitch to a point where you will not hear the person shouting beside you,” a group statement said.
They listed interruption to school learning activities, hydrocarbon fall out and social, health and tourism impacts as reasons to object to the Airport’s Major Development Plan.
Mr Kelly said one of the unfortunate consequences of the Howard government privatising Perth Airport in 1997 was that decisions such as consultation periods were outside of government control.
“But I would be happy to write to Perth Airport seeking more information in order to protect the interests of Bassendean constituents,’’ he said.
Mr King said curfews were common at many major airports.
“In Australia there is a 11pm to 6am curfew at Sydney, Adelaide, Essendon (inner Melbourne) and Coolangatta (Gold Coast) while major international airports which handle six times the number of passengers as Perth such as Heathrow (London), Charles de Gaulle (Paris) and Haneda (Tokyo) also have 11pm to 6am curfews [or restrictions],’’ he said.
“The Airport made what appears to be exaggerated claims to defend its position, ‘an elimination of 24-hour operation would see a loss of $36 billion to the state’s economy and a loss of about 40,000 jobs across the state by 2040’, according to an independent report,’’ he said.
A Perth Airport spokeswoman defended the allocated public consultation time and the report findings.
“The public consultation period for the New Runway Project opened on May 31 and is scheduled to close on August 24, providing nearly three months for the public to provide a submission,” she said.
“During this time, Perth Airport has been undertaking an extensive community consultation process for the project – we have written to 300,000 residents and held more than 25 community expos and shopping centre visits in the past few months.”
By the end of the consultation period the Airport will have provided more than 150 days of face-to-face opportunities for the public to learn about the project and raise concerns, not including the Airport Experience Centre which is open six days a week.
“Perth Airport is committed to considering all public submissions to the New Runway Project Major Development Plan.
“All public submissions are also presented to the Federal Government as part of the MDP approvals process,’’ she said.
International consultants Jacobs Group found restricting operations between 11pm and 6am would account for $43.4b in GDP and more than 40,000 jobs across WA.
Mr King said he was refused access to the entire report, the Airport spokeswoman said the findings were included in the MDP documents available during the consultation period.
By Claire Ottaviano