Land swap proposal goes to State Minister
By Kai Ianssen
TORCH Newspaper – 02/06/1999
Bankstown Council has decided to apply to the Minister for Land and Water Conservation for final approval to swap a portion of Airport Reserve with Bankstown Airport land adjacent to the Bankstown Basketball Stadium.
The land swap decision was described as a “low point for the community” by an airport activist after the meeting.
A council report said the swap would be to “facilitate improved traffic access to a number of proposed development sites and the Bankstown Aviation Museum located in the south west corner of the airport.” The proposed developments include a motel and fast food outlet.
Environmental groups saw the land swap as a threat to native species and said it also posed traffic risks, while an airport group was concerned an access road would lead to further development or expansion of the airport.
Bankstown Airport Community and Environment Forum spokeswoman Miss Sonya McKay said later of the decision “community members have give their all, only to be slapped in the face by those who should be helping them”.
“In voting to continue with the land swap, council has effectively aided in the further development of Bankstown Airport,” she said. “Council is well and truly ignoring the community.”
Bankstown Bushland Society spokeswoman Miss Irene Jones told the meeting of the rare species on the land and that “it is the society’s contention that this access road will generate enough traffic to cause a hazard at this location”.
Miss Jones said “there is also no doubt that the airport will be sold. There is no guarantee that the new owners will not try to acquire more of the reserve in the future.”
“The society considers it is not in the public interest to remove this portion of land from the reserve for any purpose,” she said.
Cr Kevin Hill said “this has been very long and drawn out with an enormous amount of public consultations. We’re talking about a piece of road that used to be Milperra Road”. “I couldn’t see a problem with allowing the airport access through that road, especially to reach the museum, one of the real assets for the community over many, many years and right into the future.” Cr Hill said.
“I see this as a win win situation. We’re swapping a parcel of land which we’re protecting through our resolution. I’m seeing that the parcel of land has been swapped where we can improve and increase the facilities for young people in this area. The airport is the largest employer of people in this area – over 3000 people.”
Cr David Blake said the council should approach the FAC and ask them to put in place measures to retain the bushland into the future.
A council officer told the meeting a dirt road on Airport Reserve was not being used as an access road but mayor Ian Stromborg said it has been used unofficially as an access road.
Cr Grant Lee said rare bushland on the site should be preserved for future generations.
General Manager Mr Richard Colley said the reason for the swap was to allow the basketball court to expand.
Cr Taylor said the land swap would mean a benefit to the community considering it would mean and expansion of the basketball stadium.
Meanwhile, a community group representing more than 30 anti aircraft noise groups from across Sydney has “unanimously rejected further development at Bankstown Airport and called for the government to abandon Badgery’s Creek”.
The chairman of the Sydney Airport Community Forum Inc. Mr Dick Tanner, said the government was now intensifying the use of Bankstown Airport and now wanted to inflict a third blight on Sydney.