Third runway ‘soul destroying’

(Picture supplied)

By Tate Papworth

Melbourne Airport’s third runway plans have been described as a ‘demolition order’ for Keilor.

The airport last week announced that plans to build its third runway as east-west facing had been put on hold because a possible north-south runway could “deliver superior outcomes”.

However, Keilor Residents and Ratepayers Association president Susan Jennison said it would be far from a superior outcome for Keilor.

“It’s a demolition order. It’ll destroy Keilor. There’s no consideratiom – it’s soul destroying,” she said. “I honestly can’t believe it. I can’t believe the amount of work put in over the years and suddenly there’s a change of mind.”

The airport has long planned to include four runways in a hashtag formation and had resolved to build its third runway on an east-west alignment.

However, Melbourne Airport chief executive Lyell Strambi said new data had prompted a re-think.

“Our review provides strong evidence to suggest the north-south parallel could now provide a superior outcome in terms of availability, capacity, long-term investment profile and community impacts.”

Mr Strambi said it had been determined an east-west runway would allow for significantly less traffic than first thought.

If the airport opts to build in a north-south direction it would mean an increase in traffic over Brimbank suburbs.

Mr Strambi said a decision on the best option would be made as soon as possible.

“We really need the runway capacity and the sooner we can build it, the better,” he said.

The airport anticipates a three-month review period during which 18 community workshops will be held.

Mr Strambi said it was imperative the airport made the correct decision, but was conscious of its responsibility to neighbouring communities.