Labor fails Brisbane residents affected by flight noise


Today Elizabeth Watson-Brown, Greens spokesperson for Transport, Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities introduced a Private Member’s Bill into federal Parliament. The Bill introduces hourly caps on flights, a late night curfew on non-emergency flights over Brisbane and brings in a long-term plan to move more flights over the water rather than over the city — in line with similar legislation that successfully manages flight noise over Sydney.

The Labor government did not support the Bill. After refusing to meet with affected residents, Transport Minister Catherine King has again failed to act on Brisbane flight noise by refusing to support the Greens Brisbane Airport Curfew and Demand Management Bill 2023.

Two Labor Prime Ministers, Anthony Albanese and Kevin Rudd, have campaigned on addressing flight noise in the past but they have since abandoned the issue.

Since the establishment of the second runway at Brisbane Airport in 2020, complaints have spiked, making Brisbane now the most complained about airport in the country. A 2022 survey run by local community group Brisbane Flight Path Community Alliance showed that 74% of the 2000 respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they experienced mental distress related to aircraft noise.

Brisbane Airport intends to double the number of flights through Brisbane Airport by 2035, which will lead to even more residents being affected by excessive flight noise unless the federal government acts.

Lines attributable to Elizabeth Watson-Brown, Greens Spokesperson for Transport, Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities:

“Labor has failed people struggling with excessive flight noise in Brisbane yet again.”

“The Greens put forward a simple, common sense Bill that would have legislated three things: a curfew from 10pm to 6am, a cap on total flights per hour, and a long-term plan for more flights over the water. But despite these being similar regulations fought for by both Anthony Albanese and Kevin Rudd in the past, Labor has failed to support them today.”

“If it weren’t apparent already from the fact that Minister King has refused to meet with the community affected by flight noise, it’s clear now: the Minister and her government has chosen the side of Brisbane Airport Corporation’s profits over those of people just wanting a decent night’s sleep.”

“The Greens and the community won’t stop our fight for real action on excessive flight noise.”