Tralee approval 'won't affect' airport expansion: NSW

Tralee approval 'won't affect' airport expansion: NSW

The controversial Tralee housing development won't inhibit the growth of Canberra Airport, claim NSW politicians, who could not rule out the possibility of noise complaints from future residents.

But the region's federal Labor members have described the go-ahead as short-sighted, claiming the NSW decision could hurt Canberra's economy in the long term.

Village Building Company director Bob Winnel, Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall  and NSW MP John Barilaro on site at Tralee.

Village Building Company director Bob Winnel, Queanbeyan Mayor Tim Overall and NSW MP John Barilaro on site at Tralee.Credit:Jay Cronan

Rezoning for the 2000 new homes south of Queanbeyan was approved by NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard today, with the stipulation that residents be notified of the potential for aircraft noise in the area.


Canberra Airport has fiercely opposed the development, with managing director Stephen Byron stating it will inhibit future growth.

An artist's impression of the Tralee development.

An artist's impression of the Tralee development.

But member for Monaro John Barilaro said the decision would not rule the facility out as an option for Sydney's second airport in the future.

"We've taken into account Canberra Airport's master plan, which allows it to grow to five times its size," he said.

"That's similar to the amount of aircraft movements we see in Sydney today. We've done nothing that changes that master plan."

However Mr Barilaro said he could not guarantee that future residents would be content with the noise levels from nearby aircraft.

Map showing approved development areas.

Map showing approved development areas.

"We can't say today that in 10 or 15 or 20 years' time, that people aren't going to be concerned about the noise," he said.

A statement from Senator Kate Lundy, and MPs Gai Brodtmann and Andrew Leigh said the trio had consistently opposed the development.

‘‘Planning approval for the development is contrary to every single independent assessment of the development, which recommended that the development not go ahead,’’ they said.

‘‘The new development will be situated under flight paths and compromises the ability of Canberra Airport to provide additional services in and out of the national capital.

‘‘It also has the potential to redirect existing flight paths over long-standing residential areas of Canberra.

‘‘This will have a long-term impact on Canberra’s economy as it has the potential to reduce the amount of business and tourist travel to and from Canberra.’’

The federal Labor MPs said the Tralee go-ahead undermined the call from NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell for Canberra airport to be Sydney’s second airport.

‘‘Given the NSW Planning Minister has said no homes will be built under flight paths, we call on the NSW Government to give a public commitment that they will not stand in the way of future development at Canberra Airport and will not seek to divert future flight paths over Canberra.,’’ they said.

‘‘We remain opposed to the development and will continue to advocate for planning decisions that take into account the need to balance the economic and social interests of Canberra and the broader region.’’

Chief executive of Village Building Company Bob Winnel said he was pleased that the "long, drawn-out saga" was over.

He said he was expecting continued opposition from the airport throughout the planning process, but intended to ignore further allegations against the approval.

"This is not an outcome of some shonky process," he said.

"This process was tested in the Land and Environment Court of NSW. There was an 84-page judgement. That judgement rejected every criticism of the processes ... It trashed the objections."

Mr Winnel also denied the company had made significant donations to the NSW Liberal Party, stating that he had only attended a few fundraising dinners.

He said the project was now looking at a development timeframe of approximately five to seven years, with hopes to start work onsite by November next year.

The development – which will provide hundreds of onsite jobs for workers, as well as boosts to businesses in Queanbeyan and Canberra - will include significant insulation for the homes.


"The insulation will add about $10,000 per home and that simply comes off the land value," Mr Winnel said.

"It won't affect the affordability in any way whatsoever."