Mayor says runway is a ‘health risk’

Melbourne Airport. (Damjan Janevski)

Max Hatzoglou

Brimbank mayor Jasmine Nguyen says Melbourne Airport’s third runway current plans present an “unacceptable health risk” to the community.

Speaking on ABC radio last week, Cr Nguyen said she would not support the plans until effective measure were put in place.

“Based on the research and the proposed plans that I have seen so far, the only way I would support the third runway at Melbourne Airport are if there are effective mitigation measures in place to protect the health of the community,” she said.

“I think it’s our responsibility as a council to look into what we can do for the community, so we’ve actually worked with experts to conduct an independent health impact assessment. And unfortunately, so far, the proposed plans don’t have any mitigation or compensation.

“And I think that really presents an unreasonable and unacceptable health risk for our community.

“Why should planes be prioritised over the health of human beings?”

The council released its draft submission on the third runway on Friday afternoon, after Star Weekly went to print.

A Melbourne Airport spokesperson said health and social impact studies have been available to the public.

“Melbourne Airport has been upfront about the benefits and impacts of the third runway proposal, and undertook a comprehensive study into the health and social impacts of the project,” the spokesperson said.

“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.

“Given how early it is in the process, potential programs for noise treatment of homes have not yet been produced because plans are not yet detailed enough to make fair assessments.

“The airport was originally located distant from significant population in the 1960’s, and designed for eventual expansion to four runways.

“Urban planning decisions by councils around the airport have enabled encroachment of residential developments into areas of noise impact and thus directly contributed to the concerns now being expressed by the community.

Melbourne Airport said it was looking forward to receiving Brimbank council’s submission.

“We look forward to receiving them and to working with council to deliver this important piece of state infrastructure that will help generate hundreds of jobs for Brimbank residents.