Federal Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg has released a set of 40 environmental conditions relating to biodiversity, noise, and heritage that must be adopted if the Western Sydney Airport development is to continue.
Mr Frydenberg said the conditions were as comprehensive as any of those placed on airports across the country.
The recommended conditions were created from a thorough and rigorous review of the environmental impact statement and draft Airport Plan, a site visit and meetings with key local leaders to hear firsthand the issues important to the community.
Extensive consultation was carried out during the development of the environmental impact statement where there were around 5,000 submissions and 16 community information events across nine different council areas in Western Sydney.
The set of 40 conditions to protect the environment will:
- Ensure the airspace design explicitly addresses a range of environmental factors, including minimising the impact of noise on residential areas, the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and other sensitive locations
- Build on the measures and plans outlined in the environmental impact statement, to ensure a comprehensive environmental management framework to minimise and manage environmental impacts during construction and operation of the airport
- Provide a comprehensive package of up to $180 million in biodiversity offsets in consultation with ecology experts
- Ensure that fuel supply options compare the social, economic and environmental costs, savings and benefits of road transport to alternatives including a fuel pipeline with a review of this matter to commence by the end of 2017
- Require a $10 million contribution to a native seed program run by Greening Australia. This innovative program will future proof seed supply in Western Sydney to support conservation replanting programs on Western Sydney’s Cumberland Plain
Mr Frydenberg said with these conditions and the existing regulatory regime, he was confident the first stage of the development could now proceed.
After including these important environmental conditions, the Minister for Urban Infrastructure, Paul Fletcher, will now be in a position to finalise the Airport Plan and authorise Stage 1 of the development.
Mr Frydenberg said he looked forward to continued involvement in the project, which he expected would include receiving the Biodiversity Offsets Delivery Plan and, in future years, the final proposal for flight path and airspace design.