Noise concerns around Western Sydney Airport

Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Paul Fletcher, has responded to recent media reports concerning the noise restrictions for housing around the Western Sydney Airport calling them inaccurate.

Mr Fletcher says the reports are inaccurate and the NSW Government policy on the standard for noise around Western Sydney Airport has not changed.

Australian airports use Australian Noise Exposure Forecasts (ANEF) to map areas of higher noise impacts around the airport.

The ANEF index is derived through detailed calculations which take account of factors such as numbers of aircraft movements, time of day and week, aircraft type and the noise generated by that type of aircraft.

The agreement between the Commonwealth and NSW is that new residential development around Western Sydney Airport will not be permitted where the ANEF exceeds 20.

This is the most stringent ANEF control in the country—by comparison at Kingsford Smith Airport development is only restricted at ANEF levels over 25.

This is a strengthening of existing controls already contained in the Penrith City Council and Liverpool City Council Local Environment Plans that limit new residential development where the ANEF exceeds 25.

The new ANEF 20 control will be contained in the Local Environment Plans of all affected local government areas and put into effect through a State Environment Planning Policy.

“The Urban Taskforce’s contention that we have recently changed our standard for noise around Western Sydney Airport is wrong,” Mr Fletcher said.

“Both the NSW and Commonwealth Government recognise the importance of continued certainty for all parts of the community—families, businesses, investors and the airport company itself—on the approach to this important issue. No change has been made, or is being considered, to the standard for noise around Western Sydney Airport.”

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