Brimbank Council has lodged a submission formally opposing the Melbourne Airport Masterplan and Draft Major Development Plan (MDP) for the third runway, because of the unreasonable and unacceptable health risks posed to the Brimbank community.
In Council’s estimation, the most significant shortcomings of the Master Plan and MDP are the:
- failure to recognise the health impacts to existing residents in Brimbank and neighbouring municipalities from the current airport operations.
- significant underestimation of the health impacts from increased aircraft noise on the Brimbank and surrounding community’s wellbeing.
- failure to consider any meaningful ways to reduce and mitigate the off-site impacts of the present and future operations of Melbourne Airport.
Image from Brimbank City Council Submission 2022 (which included a Health Risk Assessment and Air Quality Assessment by Tonkin & Taylor), on Melbourne Airport Draft 2022 Master Plan and Preliminary Draft Major Development Plan for Third Runway.
What we're asking for
We're asking that the Federal Government progress a range of changes to minimise the harm to human health from aircraft noise, and improve airport planning and community consultation, including but not limited to:
- Undertaking an examination of the aircraft noise system to minimise harm to human health and provide health impact guidance to protect community from aircraft noise. This should include the establishment of appropriate noise metrics that accord with health guidance established by World Health Organisation Environmental Noise Guidance 2018 (WHO Noise Guidance), and best practice noise prevention and amelioration measures to address noise exceedances, including the establishment of a noise insulation program and compensation scheme.
- Requiring airports prepare Health Impacts Assessments (HIA), as part of the Master Plan and MDP, that are assessed against WHO Noise Guidance.
- Require that the HIA undergoes an independent and expert peer review to ensure its veracity, and that the HIA and peer review are made available for public review.
- Entering into a bilateral agreement with the State Government in relation to any further development of the 2022 Draft Melbourne Airport Master Plan (or other Master Plan) and or the MDP for the Third Runway, specifically including:
- Appointing a community forum, similar to the composition of that established for Brisbane Airport, or alternatively, appointing an Advisory Committee under section 151 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987, to provide a transparent, independent and public review process that enables impacted stakeholders to present their submissions for independent consideration.
- Requiring an Environment Effects Statement under the Environment Effects Act 1978, including:
- A Health Impact Assessment for off-site impacts, specifically including the assessment of noise impacts against the World Health Organisation Environmental Noise Guidance 2018, and relevant state legislation like the Environment Protection Act 2017.
- Prevention and amelioration measures to adequately address noise exceedances, including options for a Federally funded noise insulation program, a noise curfew, voluntary property acquisition or other measures.
- Requiring a Comprehensive Impact Statement process under the Major Transport Projects (Facilitation) Act 2009.
- Requiring that Melbourne Airport meet Victorian legislation, guidelines and standards in relation to the offsite impacts from the existing and any expanded operations of Melbourne Airport.
What do you think of the third runway plans?