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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Independent Auditor Chosen for Sydney's Second Airport


14 November 1996
(156/96)

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has announced the appointment of an independent auditor for the environmental impact statement (EIS) on the proposed second Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek or Holsworthy.

Internationally respected consultants Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC Australia) will provide a team of specialists in environmental and social issues to undertake the audit. The appointment of the audit team is consistent with the recommendations of the Senate Select Committee on Aircraft Noise in Sydney.

The auditor will provide independent reassurance to the community that the process is technically sound. Functions of the audit include:

The issues to be covered by experts in the audit team include: airport planning and operations, aircraft noise, air quality, land transportation, land use planning community health, water quality, hydrology, risk assessment, flora and fauna, Aboriginal and European heritage, socio-economic issues, hydrogeology and geology.

Specialists in the audit team covering these issues include the Australian Museum which will provide an evaluation of flora, fauna, Aboriginal and European heritage issues.

Ms Rosemary Howell, who has had extensive experience in the field of community negotiation and mediation, will be directly responsible for community consultation.

As well as a significant national profile, SMEC Australia has an international record of over 25 years in multi-disciplinary consulting, environmental assessment, and project management. The company has been responsible for project management for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and AusAID and is currently responsible for some of the largest infrastructure projects in the world in China, Pakistan and Malaysia.

It is planned that the audit report will be released immediately after the Draft EIS is produced. This is expected to occur in March 1997.

Media inquiries: Matt Brown (Minister) (06) 277 7640 - Jim Cannon (Dept) (06) 274 1076

Commonwealth of Australia