3 Aug '23
August 3, 2023
On 2 August 2023 members of the No 3rd Tulla Runway Coalition met with Melton Council Mayor Lara Carli & CEO Roslyn Wai to discuss concerns about the third runway at Melbourne Airport.
- Pollution: toxic emissions from vehicles, trucks and increased passenger and freight flights.
- Urban heating. Clearing of 319 hectares, or approximately 3 square kilometres of grasses and trees, Melton’s tree canopy being the lowest of all LGA’s in a 2018 study comparing tree canopy across Greater Melbourne, increased emissions, a drying climate puts this municipality at extreme risk from Urban Heating and threatens its residents.
- Ultra Fine Particles Increased burden of poor health already recognised in airport communities. Aircraft emissions are a significant source of Ultra Fine Particles (UFPs) and current research reports prevailing winds carry these particles up to 20 kilometres from airports. Short-term, and low level exposure to UFPs can be deadly.
- Health impacts Melton residents of Diggers Rest and Plumpton are in direct path of aircraft departing north west, and most residents are located in the noise zones which will cause annoyance and sleep disturbance. These events are associated with heart and cardiovascular disease, sleep deprivation, anxiety and mental state. In addition, evidence from the health assessment by Taylor & Tonkin for Brimbank City Council, concluded that the M3R MDP, failed to adequately demonstrate that the runway expansion would not result in significant impact to community health, amenity and environment.
- Community concerns unaddressed by APAM Australian Pacific Airports Melbourne (APAM), the operator of Melbourne Airport, has known of community concerns since its 2013 Master Plan was released. So it has been afforded more than ample time to incorporate measures in its M3R MDP that respond to these community concerns.
- Climate emergency Local governments at the very, very least should be advocating against approval of increased emissions. But 3rd runway’s emissions will be substantial. When total flight emissions are counted, they will be an estimated 50 times more in 2046 than the draft MDP reports. By 2030 — when the federal government requires emissions to be reduced by 43% on 2005 levels — emissions from domestic flights enabled by a 3rd runway will have increased by an estimated 55%
Questions on notice and action requests
- What action will Melton Council take to offset the dangers of urban heating to communities, exacerbated by emissions and the development of extensive infrastructure from a third runway and possible airport city?
- How will Melton Council protect its community, especially on their eastern corridor, from the health consequences from exposure to UFPs from increased aircraft emissions and traffic?
- Take action to have the APAM commissioned Quigley & Watts Health Assessment and Peer Review released under FOI.
- Make representation to ensure EPA Victoria air quality monitoring is compliant with the Victorian Environmental Reference Standard (ERS) February 2022, to include NEPM No.2 Standard and more stringent SO2 and O3 Standards. It is unclear from the Brimbank Council commissioned Taylor & Tonkin assessment if APAMs offsite air quality impacts comply with Victorian legislation.
- Commission and publish an independent health assessment, including of noise and air quality, on the plans and forecasts contained in the M3R MDP and 2022 Master Plan.
- Write to the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King, advising that:
- the MP and M3R MDP community consultation process was inappropriate, inadequate and was not consistent with the Airports Act 1996, Part 5, Division 4, Section 92 (2A)(a)(b); consultation was not consistent with the Airport Development Consultation Guidelines 2012; and that communities were not afforded separate public comment periods for the 2022 Master Plan and M3R MDP, as has been the practice at other commonwealth airports in Brisbane and Perth.
- Commission an assessment to: Establish aircraft noise levels within and beyond the ANEF contour areas. Identify the number of dwellings and sensitive buildings requiring noise attenuation treatment. Establish cost estimates for such treatment
- Refer the M3R MDP as a controlled action under Commonwealth Environment Act 1999.
- Engage with the Melton community through public meetings that enable the expression of ratepayer concerns about the M3R at Melbourne Airport to Council.
- Council is a member of the Western Alliance for Greenhouse Action (WAGA https://waga.com.au) — making a transition to a low carbon society. As such, and so that it is accountable to its ratepayers on this commitment, how is Council measuring, and reporting actual emissions reductions within Melton?
- Given Resource use Objective 3.4.7 in Council’s Environment plan 2017 to 2027 is to “Reduce broader greenhouse gas emissions from carbon sources that fall outside Council’s measured emissions boundary”, will Council consider opposing approval of the M3R MDP because it will increase emissions?
- If, despite its WAGA commitments, Council doesn’t oppose the additional emissions enabled by a 3rd runway, then can we ask, seriously, what level of additional emissions from Melbourne Airport would it oppose?