News National Albanese lets rip into airport chief

Albanese lets rip into airport chief

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Senior Labor MP Anthony Albanese says he was “shocked” by the accusations hurled at him by Max Moore-Wilton during the federal election, and has blasted the Sydney Airport chief for hypocrisy.

Mr Moore-Wilton accused Mr Albanese of having a conflict of interest in his support for a second airport in Sydney, because his electorate of Grayndler was underneath the flight path.

He also accused the former infrastructure and transport minister of breaching the curfew at Sydney Airport so aircraft carrying politicians could land late at night.

In an impassioned speech to parliament on Wednesday, Mr Albanese rejected the claims and said he was shocked by the “the depth of distortion and misrepresentation” made by the Sydney Airport chief.

“There were no breaches, there were no planes, there were no MPs on these fictitious planes,” he told the House of Representatives on Wednesday night.

He said Liberal cabinet members Scott Morrison and Joe Hockey had also been attacked by the airport chief over their support for a second hub.

“For Mr Moore-Wilton, whose company has a direct financial interest in preserving its monopoly, to be attacking members of parliament for alleged conflict of interest tests the limits of intellectual credibility,” he said.

Mr Moore-Wilton had run a “crusade” against the construction of a second airport in Sydney, despite the fact it was a vital infrastructure project that would boost national productivity, he added.

But he questioned why Mr Moore-Wilton, who was a senior public servant when the Howard government sold the Sydney Airport lease in 2002, was now trying to scrap the regulations around that sale.

“Of course that would deliver a windfall gain for the Sydney Airport Corporation,” he said.

He also said Mr Moore-Wilton was on the board of Infrastructure NSW, an independent government advisory group, which had opposed the call from industry heads for a second airport.

“And he accuses me, and Joe Hockey and Scott Morrison of a conflict of interest,” he said.

“Give me a break.”