Bankstown Bushland Society objects to the Plan for the Bankstown Business Estate on the Airport precinct on the grounds of its impacts on the public open space of Airport Reserve. It is clear from the Stakeholder Briefing Paper and Development Plan Concept that Airport Reserve is very much a part of the development plan, and that it is intended for it to accommodate a major new road entry into the development site, a 200 metre long slip lane giving access from the west, and a bus embayment. These impacts will destroy the integrity of the open space provision of Airport Reserve. This public open space should not be made to accommodate any of the infrastructure associated with the Business Estate.
Airport Reserve contains a significant remnant of Cooks River/Castlereagh Ironbark Forest which is listed as an Endangered Ecological Community under the schedules of the Threatened Species Conservation Act. The significance of this site was recognised by the New South Wales Government Environmental Trust when it made Bankstown Bushland Society the recipient of a $43,588 grant in 1992 [Restoration of Swamp Woodland Remnants: Airport and Ashford Reserves, NSW Environmental Trust 92/RR/G23]. Subsequently the society has undertaken volunteer bush regeneration work in support of the grant. More recently, in 2013, the Society was awarded another $54,000 by the Environmental Trust to continue bush regeneration work at Airport and Ashford Reserves, work which is now well underway and due for completion next year.
This work is in support of Bankstown City Council’s Bushland Plan of Management: Reserves in Immediate Vicinity of Bankstown Airport, 2004 (p.16), which recognises the conservation values of the site. In approving the Bushland Plan of Management in 2004 Council endorsed the policy of protecting the bushland in the reserve, as well as the “revegetation of the cleared area in east of Airport Reserve with Wetland Paperbark Swamp Woodland”, with the intention of putting 8,000 plants in the ground (PoM Appendix 8).
Approval of the Major Development Plan Concept for the Business Estate will effectively annex Airport Reserve for the purposes of private development on the Airport precinct, destroying the integrity of the open space provision as a consequence. The ecological and aesthetic values of Airport Reserve should not be compromised in this way.
The Society believe that access to the development site should not go through Airport Reserve, but via Tower Road in the west, and the existing multi-lane entry point at Bunnings on Milperra Road in the east which was built specifically to give access to development sites on the Airport precinct. The bus stop should also be located on the development site itself.
Given that the proposal is inextricably linked with negative impacts on open space integrity of Airport Reserve, we believe that the proposal should be withdrawn and reconsidered only when the intended impacts on the reserve are deleted.
Bankstown Bushland Society