Council calls for ’balance’ on airport


Hannah Hammoud

Brimbank council will make a submission to the Aviation Green Paper, advocating for residents who are significantly impacted by the noise associated with existing and future flight paths.

The Aviation Green Paper was released by the federal government on September 7, and will inform the preparation of the Aviation White Paper – setting the policy direction for Australia’s aviation sector to 2050.

Council endorsed the submission which includes 30 recommendations to the Green Paper at its November meeting.

The Green Paper submission is part of council’s advocacy on the future development of the Melbourne Airport. Over the past 18 months this has included the ‘Know the Facts on the Third Runway campaign’ calling for the federal government to commission a ‘thorough independent investigation’ into the potential health impacts of the proposed third runway before it decides on Melbourne’ Airport’s proposal. Council is also calling for the health impact assessment to be made public, so it can be shared with potentially impacted households and communities.

Brimbank mayor Ranka Rasic said the submission is calling for greater regard to be given to the health and wellbeing of communities that surround airports, and that are impacted by aircraft noise.

“There needs to be a balance between facilitating the growth and development of an airport, while protecting the health and wellbeing of the communities that surround it,” she said.

“In Brimbank alone there are 23,750 homes impacted by Melbourne Airport flight paths along with multiple community facilities, early childhood centres, and education facilities.”

A Melbourne Airport spokesperson said the airport has been ‘transparent’ about the benefits and impacts of the third runway proposal.

“Our comprehensive study into the health and social impacts of the project is presented in the project’s Major Development Plan, which was consulted widely with the community in 2022,” the spokesperson said.

“During the public exhibition period we provided Brimbank councillors and the mayor with extensive briefings on the project and the opportunity to thoroughly interrogate our staff and the project.

“We know that council and the mayor understand the critical role Melbourne Airport plays in connecting Victoria and its exporters with Australia and the world.”

The spokesperson said the airport supports council’s initiative in contributing to the process of shaping the Aviation White Paper.

The federal government is expected to release the White Paper sometime in 2024.