Calls for early release of health impacts

Picture Mark Wilson

Tara Murray

Brimbank council is calling information on health impacts from the proposed third runway at Melbourne Airport to be released at the earliest opportunity.

Cr Virginia Tachos raised a notice of motion at the council meeting saying that residents, especially those in Keilor, continue to be concerned about the impact of the runway.

The council will write to Australian Pacific Airports Corporation chief executive Lyell Strambi requesting that Melbourne Airport commences early engagement with the Brimbank community regarding the major development plan for the proposed third runway and commits to releasing health impact assessment reports at the earliest opportunity to enable the community to consider and digest the findings.

Cr Tachos said the runway goes to the heart of community concerns.

“Mainly the impact on the health and wellbeing of people impacted by increased noise,” she said.

“We know that Melbourne Airport has reported its commitment to building the third runway… And announced its preference for a north -south alignment.

“The Brimbank community remains concerned about the probable impacts on the city, in particular the Keilor community.

“Of major concern is the anticipated noise impacts and the resulting health impacts associated with the proposed runway.”

Cr Tachos said when the plan and relevant documents are released that there will be a lot of information to take in.

She said 60 days to provide feedback wasn’t enough.

“It’s very unreasonable,” she said. “Sixty days is simply not enough time are community members to disgust the information and form a view

“It’s fair and reasonable to expect the Melbourne Airport in good faith to release health assessment reports early before they release the MDP, as we can understand them and consult our community.”

Cr Jae Papalia said the runway was already causing anxiety among those in the community. She said the pandemic, which had seen changed conditions for both residents and the airport, made it important to inform residents properly.

“It is hard to understand what the noise impacts and things are now and we’re in a Covid environment and have been for such a significant time,” she said.

“When it’s not front of mind, and you’re not experiencing it every day you tend to forget what that means.

“I think the MPD consultation period is not enough, it takes time to digest. This could potentially affect children.”