LAND SWAP FURY
by TAGHRED CHANDAB
THE EXPRESS Newspaper – 28/05/1999
THE approval for a land exchange between Bankstown Council and Bankstown Airport Ltd at Tuesday night’s council meeting was rowdily condemned by residents.
The gallery of 20 residents began screaming abuse at councillors as Mayor Ian Stronmborg moved to confirm the swap.
The exchange involves council handing over 2320sqm of bushland near the airport for 5485sqm adjacent to Bankstown Basketball Stadium in Third Ave, at Condell Park.
One resident continued to scream “What about us?” as Mr Stromborg tried to address the next issue on the council business papers.
In a unanimous decision councillors agreed the swap would benefit the wider community.
But several airport groups disagreed.
Mr Sromborg told The Express the swap was unrelated to any aviation use and would be in the best interest of the community.
“The benefits outweigh any negative concerns from these groups,” Mr Stromborg said. “There will be better access to the Aviation Museum when it is built and other proposed developments.
“The land swap will also five the basketball stadium an opportunity to expand and create more benefits for youth and increase employment.”
However, Bankstown Airport Community and Environment Forum (BACEF) convenor Sonya McKay said she was outraged by the decision and would apply for an injunction to stop the exchange.
Ms McKay disagreed with Mr Stromborg’s comments arguing the airport intends to expand its facilities across the board.
“Community representatives wasted their time presenting information to council and attending a sight meeting on Tuesday,” she said.
“In voting to continue with the land swap council has effectively aided in the further development of Bankstown Airport.
“Council is neglecting more than 300 written responses against the swap and over 1200 signatures protesting against the Olympic role for Bankstown Airport.”
The matter will be passed on to the Land and Water Conservation Minister Richard Amery before council can proceed with the exchange.