Chapter 4: Transport—Continued

Programme 2.4—Air Transport

In Focus

Implementing the Australian Government's Aviation Policies

  • On 18 December 2014 the Adelaide Airport Curfew Regulations 2000 were amended to revise the schedule of jet aircraft less than 34,000 kilograms permitted to take-off or land during the curfew. Similar changes were made under the Sydney Airport Curfew (Curfew Aircraft) Instrument 2015 on 13 February 2015 as a legislative instrument under the Sydney Airport Curfew Act 1995. Both these changes enable newer, quieter aircraft to operate during the curfew and will phase out noisier aircraft.
  • On 3 December 2014 the Deputy Prime Minister released the Australian Government's response to the Aviation Safety Regulation Review Report which examined the Australian aviation safety system, its governance and structures, and safety regulatory development framework. The response supported 32 of the report's 37 recommendations, and agreed to undertake a more detailed examination of a further four of the report's recommendations. Implementation of the Australian Government's response has commenced.
  • On 3 July 2014 the Australian Government announced the commitment of $4.6 million to extend the Indonesia Transport Safety Assistance Package for 2014–15. This builds on the first two phases of the package where in 2007 the Australian Government committed $23.9 million over three years following the Garuda air crash in Yogyakarta, and in May 2010 when a further $14.5 million was committed over four years to June 2014.
  • The Australian Government announced an extra $39.6 million for remote airstrip upgrades and additional essential air services for remote communities. This funding includes $33.7 million over four years for further grants under the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Programme and an additional $5.9 million over three years to support existing essential flights to remote communities under the Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme. On 15 September 2014, the Deputy Prime Minister announced commencement of funding assistance for commercial airline services to regional and remote areas under the Enroute Charges Payment Scheme. Funding to assist aeromedical services under the scheme continues. The Australian Government has allocated $8.0 million over four years for the scheme.
  • The Australian Government is providing financial assistance to Hobart International Airport to extend the runway and undertake associated works. The Australian Government's total funding allocation for this project is $38.0 million over three years. The project is to support inbound tourism and to further entrench Hobart's status as an international gateway for Antarctic and marine research.
  • In December 2014 the Deputy Prime Minister chaired the inaugural meeting of the Aviation Industry Consultative Council, providing a forum dedicated to aviation matters and ensuring ongoing and open dialogue between aviation industry members and the Australian Government. A second meeting was held in May 2015.

Addressing the Need for Additional Aviation Capacity in the Sydney Region

  • Planning for a second Sydney airport passed a significant milestone with the conclusion of the nine month formal right of first refusal consultation phase on 30 June 2015. This consultation phase is a contractual requirement under the right of first refusal over any second Sydney airport, which was part of the 2002 Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport sale agreement. As part of the sale agreement, the purchaser (Sydney Airport Group) was given the right of first refusal over the development of any Sydney second airport.
  • The Airports Amendment Bill 2015 was passed on 24 June 2015. The amendments provide for the creation of an airport plan that streamlines planning and approval documents into a single approval process appropriate to a greenfields airport development. The amendments also remove common ownership requirements for the proposed airport and Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport, and remove relevant airport cross ownership limitations on the proposed airport.
  • On 4 December 2014 the Department referred the airport proposal to the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for the Environment, initiating a new environmental assessment under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Subsequently, on 29 January 2015, the Minister for the Environment issued guidelines for a draft environmental impact statement.
  • Nine community pop up information stands were held in western Sydney and three newsletters were released to the community. The Department held more than 50 meetings with councils, the New South Wales Government, industry participants, industry groups and academics.
  • In November 2014 the Department commenced a tenancy transition plan involving the termination of 163 leases for properties rented from the Australian Government on the proposed airport site.
  • Following an open tender at the start of the year, a panel of contractors was formed to remove buildings and other structures at the Badgerys Creek site. Buildings and structures on 48 properties were demolished during the year.

Maintaining Aviation Safety

  • Australian representatives were extensively involved in many ICAO panels and working groups. The Department contributed to an ICAO Taskforce on Risks to Civil Aviation arising from conflict zones, set up following the MH17 tragedy to identify strategies to address concerns about the risks of flights over conflict zones. 
  • The Department completed a review into the two wheelchair policies of some Australian airlines. Following a public consultation process and consideration in the Aviation Access Forum, the Department has changed the guidelines relating to disability access facilitation plans to encourage a more flexible approach, rather than the imposition of a strict limit of two passengers requiring wheelchair assistance per flight.

Summary of Performance

Table 4.10 Programme 2.4 key performance indicators

Key performance indicatorTargetResult
Policy advice is influential in the Australian Government's response to current and emerging international and domestic aviation industry issues. Advice to the Australian Government on aviation policy issues and initiatives and work on implementation of policy directions. 2014–15
Achieved
2013–14
Achieved
2012–13
Substantially achieved
2011–12
Substantially achieved
Advice has been provided to the Deputy Prime Minister on a range of policy and implementation issues in aviation, in addition to advice on whole-of-Government policy positions such as the White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.
Aviation regulation, policies and administered items effectively support future investment in safe, efficient and environmentally responsible aviation infrastructure. Ongoing investment in infrastructure by government agencies and industry. 2014–15
Achieved
2013–14
Substantially achieved
2012–13
Achieved
2011–12
Achieved
Policies and regulatory decisions supported investment.

Airservices Australia completed a number of major infrastructure projects in 2014–15 including commissioning new aviation rescue and firefighting stations at Ballina and Coffs Harbour, and upgrades to the stations at Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Airservices Australia, in partnership with Defence, also entered into an advance work contracting arrangement with Thales to progress the development of a multi-million dollar civil–military air traffic management system. Airservices Australia is continuing with its ongoing capital programme worth more than $1.0 billion over the next five years for new and enhanced air traffic, aviation rescue and fire fighting infrastructure and services.

The aviation industry also continues to invest in aircraft equipped with satellite-based technology consistent with the wider application of this equipment in our airspace to enhance air traffic safety, efficiency and capacity.

Australia's major airports have continued investment, including in major new runway projects at Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.
Access to air services for remote communities is maintained or improved. Funding is provided and projects are progressed in accordance with contractual requirements. 2014–15
Achieved
2013–14
Achieved
2012–13
Substantially achieved
2011–12
Achieved
The Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme provided 260 remote and isolated communities across 10 geographical regions with access to a regular air service for passengers and goods. This included medicines, fresh food and educational materials.

Air operator contracts were managed according to contractual requirements.

Grants to communities under the Remote Airstrip Upgrade Programme were managed in accordance with funding agreements in place.

Technical safety inspections at 32 remote aerodromes were managed under the work order.

Result Key
Achieved All targets for 2014–15 were met or exceeded.
Substantially achieved Targets were mostly met, and any issues are being managed.
Partially achieved Some targets were met, and any issues are being managed.
Not achieved None or minimal progress was made against targets in 2014–15.

Table 4.11 Programme 2.4 deliverables

DeliverableTargetResult
Aviation industry operates within a clear and robust regulatory framework. Aviation safety agency governance arrangements operate effectively. Implement Australian Government aviation policy initiatives. Key Australian Government aviation safety initiatives were implemented including the consideration of a response to the Aviation Safety Regulation Review. The Department and portfolio entities have commenced implementing the agreed recommendations from the review.
Businesses and consumers have access to competitive international and domestic air services. Agreements which provide increased flexibility and capacity are established, consistent with Australian Government policy. Air services talks with key countries. Air services talks, both face-to-face and by correspondence, with a number of countries resulted in expanded opportunities for airlines to develop new and existing markets.

Discussions continued with the European Commission on the proposed comprehensive air services agreement with the European Union.
Leased airports are regulated in accordance with the Airports Act 1996. Master Plans and Major Development Plans assessed in accordance with legislative requirements and advice provided to the Minister. Master and Major Development Plans assessed in accordance with legislative requirements. The Department assessed three master plans, three major development plans and one minor variation to a major development plan, and advised the Deputy Prime Minister in accordance with the requirements of the Airports Act 1996.
Aviation environmental impact on communities including aircraft noise is monitored to ensure operator compliance with airport curfews and aircraft noise certification requirements, and appropriate noise disclosure in Airport Master Plans. Dispensation reports tabled, compliance with airport curfews and continued improvements in aircraft noise information tools. Dispensation reports were tabled for all airports with curfews. Compliance with curfew requirements was monitored and enforced.
Air access to regional and remote communities is supported (Payment scheme for Airservices Australia's en route charges and Regional Aviation Access administered items). Costs of airlines providing regular public services to designated remote communities reduced and cost of air operators providing aeromedical services to regional and remote areas reduced. Safety and access at remote airstrips improved. The Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme funding component under the Regional Aviation Access Programme provided 260 remote and isolated communities across 10 geographical regions with access to a regular air service. This included for passengers and goods including medicines, fresh food and educational materials.

Air operator contracts were managed according to contractual requirements.

Assistance was provided to six commercial air operators and eight aeromedical operators during 2014–15 under the Enroute Charges Payment Scheme. The Department paid invoices on time.
Implementation of the Australian Government's strategy for additional aviation infrastructure in western Sydney. Progress the Australian Government's strategy for additional aviation infrastructure in western Sydney. The Department:
  • provided advice which supports effective and efficient infrastructure investment, corridor preservation, sound policy approaches and better informed planning, delivery and regulatory approaches to support the Australian Government's broader vision for western Sydney
  • managed the first stage of the right of first refusal process
  • progressed the regulatory reform agenda to facilitate a greenfield airport development
  • commenced the environmental assessment and draft airport plan for the proposed western Sydney airport
  • engaged stakeholders to encourage better informed community attitudes and understanding of the process, and to ensure that relevant information is provided and that their views are understood, and
  • commenced implementation of the tenancy transition plan to deliver a vacant Badgerys Creek site.
Efficient and effective management of administered items. Items are administered in accordance with relevant legislation, published guidelines and ANAO guidance. Refer to the specific reports for each programme above.

Table 4.12 Programme 2.4 administered items

Administered ItemResult
Airport Lessee Companies—reimbursement of parking fines The Department reimbursed participating airports an agreed proportion of parking infringement revenue collected and remitted to the Australian Government.
Hobart International Airport runway extension—contribution The Australian Government's total funding allocation for this project is $38.0 million over three years. A funding agreement was executed with Hobart International Airport on 11 February 2015 to support the planning and approval stages of the project. Payments have commenced against agreed milestones in the funding agreement.
Implementation of noise amelioration for Adelaide Airport Insulation works are currently underway at a public building in Adelaide and are due for completion in early 2016.
International Civil Aviation Organization—contribution Australia participated in the ICAO, with two employees based in the Montreal office representing Australia in ICAO Council matters and on the ICAO Air Navigation Commission. Australia, like other member states, pays an annual contribution towards ICAO's costs.
Payment scheme for Airservices Australia's en route charges Assistance was provided to six commercial airlines and eight aeromedical operators. The Department paid invoices on time.
Regional Aviation Access Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme

Flights were provided to 260 remote communities across 10 geographic regions. Periodic procurements were undertaken to refresh three regional air service contracts. Payments were made to air operators in accordance with contracts and in a timely manner.

Remote Airstrip Upgrade Programme

Funding to upgrade a total of 42 aerodromes in remote locations across Australia was provided under the programme in 2013–14. These projects continued to be managed during 2014–15 and progressive payments were made against agreed project milestones. The airstrip upgrades will improve safety and access for aircraft operators and their passengers, through a range of infrastructure measures.

Remote Aerodrome Inspection Programme

Scheduled safety inspections were undertaken at 32 remote aerodromes.
Sydney West Airport—rental properties The Department effectively administered tenancies to ensure the Australian Government met its obligations as a landlord. This included authorising maintenance and paying water and land rates.

Note: The budget and actual expenditure for each administered item is listed in Appendix A.

Case Studies

Streamlining Transport Security Programs

The Aviation Transport Security Act 2004 requires all regulated airport operators, aircraft operators and air cargo agents to prepare and maintain a Transport Security Program (TSP) that is approved by the Department.

The TSP demonstrates that industry participants understand their responsibilities in maintaining aviation security and have the capacity to meet the obligations imposed on them by the Act and Regulations. It also sets out the measures and procedures that industry participants must implement to safeguard against unlawful interference with civil aviation.

A review of these regulatory requirements found that the process is placing an increasing administrative burden on industry, with airlines obliged to update their TSP every time they introduce a new aircraft on a particular route. While information about an airline's operations used to remain fairly static, the pace of change that now occurs in the aviation industry has made this practice unsustainable.

Further, increased sophistication and security awareness across the aviation industry means that the Department may no longer require certain information. An increasingly complex regulatory framework for aviation security also means that certain information required in TSPs is being provided to the Department through other means.

In response to this, the Department implemented regulatory amendments to streamline TSP requirements on 24 July 2015. These are designed to remove duplication and unnecessary information and increase the flexibility for industry participants to address their operational security needs efficiently and effectively. They also remove the need for operational information, which is regularly changing, to be included. This means industry can now simply advise the Department of changes to their operations which do not directly affect security outcomes, such as a new contact number or changed email address, without having to make a formal submission to have their TSP re-approved.

To support the transition, particularly for smaller businesses, the Department developed a set of template TSPs for industry participants. These step regulated businesses through the legal requirements with examples of the information that must be provided. Feedback from industry is that the regulatory changes will significantly reduce the administrative burden of TSPs, while ensuring the Department receives the information it needs.

Transport Security Outlook to 2025

Government and industry now have an evidence-based view of Australia's future transport security environment with the release of the Department's Transport Security Outlook to 2025.

The outlook identifies key drivers in the transport environment over the next five to 10 years and emphasises the crucial role effective and efficient transport security will play in supporting Australia's economic and social prosperity during this period.

A constant theme is the continued growth anticipated across all transport modes. These growing volumes together with major shifts in the patterns of travel and trade will lead to an increasingly complex transport environment.

It also forecasts that threats posed to transport systems by terrorism and other acts of unlawful interference will endure and adapt into the future. In addition, the continued use and integration of new and evolving technologies will be a likely driver of change to the threat environment.

The findings present a compelling picture for the Department and, in particular, the Office of Transport Security. The report highlights that the current prescriptive and largely one-size-fits-all approach to regulation will be placed under greater strain in the future. For the Office of Transport Security, this means increasing the focus on risk-based, proportionate, efficient and cost effective security approaches to maintain sustainable and secure transport.

Responding to these challenges will require increased collaboration across government and industry.

Special Report: Better Regulation

Working towards better regulation for industry, community and individuals has been a central feature of the Australian Government's deregulation agenda. This agenda is set out in the target to reduce red tape by $1.0 billion a year, which is divided between all Australian Government portfolios as ‘deregulation targets’.

In 2014 the portfolio exceeded its deregulation target, and at 30 June 2015 had achieved $134.0 million in savings to industry, community organisations and individuals. The Department's Deregulation Unit has assisted divisions and portfolio entities on approximately 50 items to identify costs or savings, as well as around 200 minor or machinery items with nil cost. This ensured that even where new regulatory costs were introduced based on an identified need; these were offset by removing unnecessary burdens.

Through this process, the portfolio has identified a number of opportunities to reduce costs, particularly for the transport industry. These have included better use of new technology, implementing international standards where appropriate, and removing duplication and uncertainty. Some examples include:

  • removing duplicate requirements for some B-double trucks to be fitted with additional spray suppression devices, saving operators about $8.3 million a year
  • removing the requirement for new motorcycles sold in Australia to be fitted with an Australian specific rear mudguard, saving $14.4 million
  • replacing overly technical requirements for the design and construction of maritime vessels, saving boat designers, builders, owners, and operators $6.0 million
  • implementing better air traffic navigation procedures which enable modern aircraft to fly curved and shorter approaches to land, offering $6.0 million in efficiency gains each year for aircraft operators
  • replacing the current licensing system under the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 with a single permit, saving $21.4 million for industry (shared with the Employment portfolio)
  • removing regulatory barriers prohibiting the use of personal electronic devices during take-off and landing on certain aircraft in line with international practices, saving industry and travellers time worth $17.6 million a year
  • moving to various online platforms for processing of regulatory and quasi-regulatory approvals, including vehicle import applications, grant applications, and National Capital Authority planning approvals, resulting in over $1.0 million in time savings to various applicants, and
  • increasing the flexibility of screening operations at multi-lane passenger screening points whilst improving security outcomes, creating $41.4 million potential savings once implemented.

Work continues to reduce areas of regulation or compliance that have a cost to industry but that offer little safety or public interest benefit.

The Deregulation Unit completed a whole-of-portfolio audit of regulation and quasi-regulation in late 2014 to help regulatory areas with best-practice approaches to regulation, and to assist central agencies in policy development. The portfolio approach has also placed high priority on aligning with international standards as set out in the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, and ensuring regulators are accountable in their dealings with regulated entities through the implementation of the Australian Government's Regulator Performance Framework.

Coastal Shipping Reform

In May 2015 the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Hon Warren Truss MP, announced that the Coastal Trading (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 would be amended to ensure efficient and reliable coastal shipping services as part of the national transport system.

This announcement followed the release of an options paper on 8 April 2014 which attracted 87 submissions from stakeholders. After these were considered, a small, dedicated team within the Surface Transport Policy division of the Department prepared advice for the Australian Government on a new regulatory framework for coastal shipping. This work culminated in the introduction of the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 to the Parliament on 25 June 2015.

The Bill addresses concerns about the impact of the current regulatory framework on the use of coastal shipping, particularly in terms of administrative barriers and costs created by the current system. Coastal shipping's share of the national freight task in recent years has been falling and is expected to fall further, while the current framework imposes significant administrative burdens on the shipping industry. To address these issues and encourage a more efficient and competitive coastal shipping sector, it is intended that a single permit system will replace the existing tiered licence system, providing unrestricted access to coastal shipping for all vessels, Australian and foreign, for up to 12 months.

These reforms will result in reduced freight costs, making Australian products more competitive in both international and domestic markets and ensuring that coastal shipping is seen as a viable and effective choice in meeting Australia's increasing freight task.

Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme

The Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme provides financial assistance to shippers of eligible non bulk goods between Tasmania and mainland Australia and Tasmanian islands. It is designed to reduce the sea freight cost disadvantage incurred by Tasmanian industries, recognising that Tasmanian shippers do not have the option of transporting goods interstate by road or rail.

In March 2015 the then Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, announced an expansion of the scheme to include goods going to markets not currently covered by the scheme, and for goods that are trans-shipped through a mainland port. This expansion was in response to recommendations by the Productivity Commission and will provide an additional $202.9 million in assistance to shippers over the next four years from 2015–16. The expanded scheme will come into effect from 1 January 2016.

The Department's Surface Transport Policy Division conducted public consultations in Hobart, Launceston and Devonport in June 2015 to discuss the design and implementation of the expanded scheme. Bilateral discussions were also held to allow stakeholders to discuss their individual circumstances. An issues paper was made available on the Department's website, inviting views from current and future claimants. Submissions are being used to inform how the changes can be best implemented.

Waterline

The latest Waterline publication was released by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics in May 2015. Since 1996 Waterline has reported on trends in port productivity in Australia, as well as the cost of importing and exporting containers. This respected resource informs ongoing policy design and implementation, strengthened by its ability to accurately track trends in waterfront container movement over time.

Waterline 56 presents productivity indicators in three groups: wharf-side, landside and whole-of-container terminal. Wharf-side refers to the movement of containers to and from ships at the container terminal, while landside productivity focuses on the capacity of trucks and the average turnaround time of containers and trucks. Whole-of-container terminal measures relate to the time a container ship spends in a port.

Waterline 56 shows that container throughput and wharf-side productivity has increased while costs have progressively fallen. Australia's container ports returned to a long-term trend of four per cent throughput growth, exceeding gross domestic product growth by 1.3 per cent. In the 10 years to 2004, gross domestic product increased by more than 90 per cent while container throughput grew by more than 270 per cent.

There was a substantial increase in the number of larger-capacity ships visiting Australia's container ports in the second half of 2014. While the total number of ship calls to ports declined by 38.2 per cent, ships in the range 20,001 to 35,000 gross tonnes increased by 43.5 per cent. Port visits by container vessels greater than 50,000 gross tonnes increased by 3.8 per cent and such vessels now account for 36.6 per cent of the total ship visits to the five major container ports.

Air Services Talks with the Philippines

Under international law, bilateral air services arrangements must be negotiated to allow airlines to operate flights to and from Australia. The Department is responsible for these negotiations. In 2014–15, significant air services arrangements were finalised with Burma, China, Botswana, Curacao, Uganda, Mongolia, Chile and the Philippines.

The Australian Government's policy for negotiating air services arrangements is to ensure we have the aviation capacity necessary to meet future demand and support the entry of Australian airlines into foreign markets. The Australian Government also works to increase global aviation liberalisation while at the same time recognising the need to protect our national interest. Negotiated arrangements aim to achieve a balance, providing a framework within which airlines make commercial decisions about their operations.

In April 2015 the Department negotiated revised air services arrangements with the Philippines during air services talks held in Canberra. In advance, the Department undertook extensive consultation with a wide range of industry stakeholders including airlines, airports, tourism bodies and government agencies. The Philippines is recognised as an important and growing bilateral aviation market for Australia, with average growth in passenger numbers of 10.5 per cent each year over the last five years.

The negotiations provided an immediate increase in capacity entitlements for services to and from Australia's major gateways (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth), from 6,000 seats each way each week to 8,300 seats each way each week for each side. A further increase of 1,000 seats each way each week from March 2016 was also negotiated to provide for future growth. As well as this capacity increase of over 50 per cent, the negotiations improved code sharing opportunities, affording greater flexibility for Australian airlines to expand their global networks and connectivity with airline alliance partners.

The negotiated outcome with the Philippines will allow continued growth in the market for a number of years and recognises Australia's potential as a prime tourism destination within the Asia Pacific.

a combination of images showing the signing and events during the air services talks with the Philippines

Regional Aviation Access Programme

The Regional Aviation Access Programme contributes to economic and social participation in regional and remote communities. It achieves this through funding assistance for access and safety upgrades to aerodromes as well as subsidised flights to ensure residents of remote communities have access to regional service centres. Without this Australian Government support, many remote communities would be left without access to air services to provide mail, supplies, transport and medical care.

Funding is available under the three consolidated components of the programme.

  • Remote Airstrip Upgrade Programme—for works to enhance the safety and accessibility of aerodromes.
  • Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme—subsidises routes to ensure air services to remote communities, for the transportation of passengers and supplies.
  • Remote Aerodrome Inspection Programme—funds annual aerodrome inspections, technical expertise and training to help remote Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities meet their aviation safety obligations.

Remote Airstrip Upgrade funding helps provide safe, operational aerodromes that are essential for the delivery of goods and services in remote and isolated communities. This is particularly important where road access is unavailable, unreliable or disrupted for extended periods due to seasonal weather conditions. An effective and accessible airstrip improves the delivery of health care services, such as those provided by the Royal Flying Doctor Service, improves access to work and education and helps connect residents of remote communities. Funding is generally provided on a matched co-funding basis with applicants. Eligible applicants include local government bodies, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander organisations and state government entities. Funding is only available in areas classified as ‘remote’ or ‘very remote’ in the index used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. In the second round of the programme, funding of $9.1 million was approved for 42 projects.

The Remote Air Services Subsidy Scheme provides communities in remote and isolated areas with better access by subsidising a regular air transport service, typically weekly, for passengers and freight including fresh food, educational materials, medicines and other urgent supplies. A regular air service can be the only reliable means of transport due to the distances involved and the fact that road access into many of these communities is cut off for several months during the wet season.

The scheme services some 366 communities in the Northern Territory; the Kimberley, Pilbara and Desert Country regions of Western Australia; Gulf Country and Cape York regions of Queensland, the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands and Channel Country in South Australia; and Cape Barren Island near Tasmania. A total of 260 communities are directly serviced and a further 106 communities access the service via a neighbouring airstrip. The 260 directly serviced locations include 86 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities.

In 2014–15 flights under the scheme carried 7,255 passengers and 277,001 kilograms of mail and other freight.

Western Sydney Community Consultation

Promoting greater understanding and ensuring the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan meets the needs of this growing region have been key priorities since the announcement of Badgerys Creek as the site of the proposed western Sydney airport.

The Department has been implementing a programme of engagement with the western Sydney community designed to communicate details on the planned airport and associated road infrastructure projects. In February 2015 this included the first in a series of ‘pop-up’ information sessions at the Luddenham Show. As the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan is being delivered in partnership with the New South Wales Government, representatives from the Department were joined by a team from New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services to give locals an opportunity to gather information, ask questions and view maps of the site.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, with visitors to the pop-up particularly interested in the jobs and economic growth the project will create for the region.

Seven other community pop-ups were staged across western Sydney during the year, which attracted about 1,500 people. In addition to these events, a dedicated website, telephone hotline and email inbox have been established, and newsletters were distributed to over 7,000 households around the Badgerys Creek airport site. Residents will have the opportunity to participate in a more formal consultation process for the draft environmental impact statement and airport plan

a combination of images showing the Western Sydney community consultation

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Last Updated: 7 December, 2015