The debate about a second airport for Sydney again shows our failure to look at transport issues as a whole instead of making isolated decisions about one problem at a time. Had the Federal and New South Wales governments taken an overall view, they could have avoided the current farce.
Sydney is already an over-crowded city that should not be strangled by building another airport in its immediate vicinity that will further destroy its fading lifestyle. Australia needs to develop two regional airports that will take pressure away from Sydney.
These airports already exist — at Newcastle (Williamtown) and Canberra — and would be airports of preference for those living in the northern and western suburbs of Sydney, as they will be saved a long overcrowded journey to Mascot.
They must be at least doubled in size, and linked to Sydney by very fast trains. Once those VFTs are operational to both airports, they can be expanded to Brisbane and Melbourne soon after. This will cause a rapid decrease in flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and considerably reduce pressure on the airports of all three cities, not just Sydney.
Travelling by plane is one of the least pleasant experiences of life. Who in their right mind would choose a plane as a means of travel when you know that it is just a glorified cattle truck, and you have the alternative of riding on a train between our eastern capitals cities in around three and a half hours — while holding meetings and functions during the journey, operating your office on board or reading a good book and enjoying peaceful views of the lovely country side of Australia.
If there are international airports and fast trains operating from Canberra and Newcastle to and from Sydney, thousands will decide to sell up in Sydney and live in the surrounding countryside of rural New South Wales. What would be nicer than a pleasant home at Nelson Bay and a short relaxing car trip to the VFT or Williamtown airport.
What I fail to comprehend is why every action of our politicians is designed to further over-crowd capital cities, which are already at the point of being unlivable. We possess a vast land mass of great untapped potential and yet we occupy only a tiny fraction of it. Please God, save us from the boring mediocrity of the visionless perpetuators of obsolete thinking.