Council queries land-swap deal
TORCH Newspaper – 13/02/2002
Councillor Ian Stromborg mad the comment in addressing a notice of motion calling for a report reconsidering council’s previous agreement to swap a narrow piece of land it manages for the State Government, near the intersection of Milperra Road and Henry Lawson Drive, for airport owned land near Bankstown Basketball Stadium.
The original purpose behind the 1999 agreement was to allow the airport to develop the council managed land to create a narrow slip road to improve access to fast food outlets near the intersection and to alleviate traffic congestion in the area.
The land swap would enable the basketball stadium to be expanded.
Cr Stromborg, originally a supporter of the proposal, told council he had since changed his mind about the land swap agreement because he believed it would enable future commercial expansion at the airport.
Airport general manager Kim Ellis has denied the land swap will allow the airport to expand, saying that there were no plans to further develop that corner of the airport.
He said the airport wanted the land so it could create a slip road accessing the fast food outlets and alleviating traffic congestion in teh area.
Cr Allan Winterbottom, who moved the motion with Cr Stromborg, echoed his colleague’s thoughts.
“there is real community concern that this land swap will lead to further airport expansion,” he told council.
But Cr Max Parker was vehemently opposed to the move to examine the land swap.
He branded Cr Stromborg’s notice of motion a “political beat up” and accused Cr Stromborg and Cr Winterbottom of “playing politics”.
“The only consequence if we stop this land swap will be to muck up the basketball stadium,” Cr Parker said.
“We should be trying to help the basketball stadium instead of putting the knife into their backs. Why should we be trying to muck around a sports organisation?”
Cr Stromborg’s notice of motion also called for the report to include the views on the land swap dead of the Federal MP for Blaxland, Michael Hatton, and State MP for East Hills, Alan Ashton.
The notice of motion was carried, ten votes to two.