Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 8 December 2010) . . Page.. 6029 ..
this entire debate—the central theme of it, 90 per cent of the text of Mr Rattenbury’s motion and the substantive issue relate to Tralee—we hear absolutely nothing from the Liberal Party in relation to that matter. It is extraordinary but ultimately they will have to put their position on the record at some point.
In relation to Mr Stanhope’s amendment, though, I think it is important to reiterate the position of the government, of the Labor Party, in relation to the matter of a curfew at Canberra airport. We do not support a curfew at Canberra airport and do not believe that such a policy is appropriate. I repeat: in 2010, it is a solution looking for a problem.
What we need for Canberra airport is the capacity to effectively manage growth. As I say, if we get it right in terms of our planning outcomes, if we get it right in terms of the flight paths and if Airservices Australia complete the work as indeed endorsed on the master planning process by Minister Albanese, we think we have the capacity to ensure that we get both economic growth and tourism growth potential through a curfew-free airport but we also have the capacity to address the concerns that have been legitimately raised by members tonight and in the community in relation to aircraft noise.
We should also note that, as new aircraft are commissioned, they are less noisy than their predecessors and that we are seeing considerable improvements in terms of aircraft noise, with the deployment of new technology. One would hope that that process would continue with the development of new aircraft engines in the decades ahead.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (8.57): I am slightly confused by the approach of the Labor Party. I thought the whole point about the motion was noise abatement. That is what it is about—it is about not sharing the noise. What we have said is that, as a general principle, it does not matter whether it is in Gungahlin, Brindabella, Throsby, or whatever the newer suburb will be—Kenny—that is most directly under the flight path, or whether it is Calwell. Canberrans should not take noise from the airport because of a development in New South Wales, whatever the development or wherever it is, as a general principle. I would have thought everybody would agree with that principle.
We can write as many letters through the planning minister and the Chief Minister as the Greens would like, but to date those letters have not proven very successful. I am not sure I can see a reason for the letter writing to be any more effective now. At the end of the day, all we will have is the ability to legislate for noise protection. We will be back at Mr Seselja’s amendment in some time because that is all we will be left with. The Chief Minister has been totally ineffectual in his efforts. That is the point of our amendment, and we stand by that.
The Chief Minister’s amendment is simply another-self congratulatory “I’ve written letters—aren’t I good?” amendment. Let us look at the effectiveness of that letter writing. Tell us how many responses you got back from people in New South Wales saying, “Yes, we agree; we’re going to change the principle,” Chief Minister. Table the responses to your letters that you have written to people in New South Wales, because by all accounts this process continues, despite your efforts.