Revelations regarding land deals in and around Western Sydney Airport have raised concerns that there is one rule for the rich and powerful and another for ordinary landowners. We've had the scandal of the Leppington Triangle. We've had ICAC revelations of a former Liberal MP selling access to ministers on behalf of wealthy landowners and property developers. But what about the smaller landowners? Do they get access to the corridors of Macquarie Street? Do they get to set sale prices?
Along with Liverpool Councillor Nathan Hagarty, I met with a small group of landholders in the Aerotropolis in August. They accept the airport and the Aerotropolis are coming. What they don't accept is their treatment by government. Will their properties be acquired? If so, when? Well, we don't know yet.
What we do know is that the New South Wales department of planning are preparing more glossy brochures, while their Wianamatta-South Creek delivery strategy will confirm land uses, access, ownership and management arrangements. However, this strategy is yet to be developed, with consultation not expected to begin till much later this year. In the meantime, small landowners in the Aerotropolis are left in limbo. This is causing unnecessary stress, anguish and mental illness. Landowners' demands are not unreasonable. They want certainty, transparency and confidence in the process and for their future.