Council approves Lawrence Hargrave tribute

Leigh Colacino pictured at Stanwell Park Beach with Bald Hill in the background. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Leigh Colacino pictured at Stanwell Park Beach with Bald Hill in the background. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Wollongong City Councillors have given the thumbs up to a suggestion to name Sydney’s new airport after Stanwell Park’s aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave.

At Monday night’s meeting, Cr Leigh Colacino put forward a motion calling on council to write to Federal Infrastructure and Regional Development Minister Warren Truss and NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian suggesting the airport at Badgerys Creek be named The Lawrence Hargrave International Airport.

Cr Colacino said the suggestion - which he said could be shortened to the pleasant-sounding LHX - had a very good chance of being successful.

‘‘When people understand the reasons why I’m progressing Hargrave’s name and they recognise that he is such an important figure in aviation, I don’t really see how anyone could deny that he is in there with a really good shot,’’ Cr Colacino said.

Leigh Colacino pictured above Stanwell Park Beach where Lawrence Hargrave experimented with his kites. PICTURE: KIRK GILMOUR Kirk Gilmour

Leigh Colacino pictured above Stanwell Park Beach where Lawrence Hargrave experimented with his kites. PICTURE: KIRK GILMOUR Kirk Gilmour

‘‘I’ve talked to state politicians about the idea as well as federal and they’re excited about it as well. They don’t see any negatives against it.’’

Cr Colacino said  the airport idea started with a desire to find somewhere in the suburb for a suitable memorial.

‘‘Within Hargrave’s will he’s made it that his house could never be an area that was going to be a shrine to him in any way,’’ he said.

‘‘So it’s always been very difficult to find a place in Stanwell Park to honour him.’’

At a lunch with friends one day shortly after the Badgerys Creek announcement, Cr Colacino wondered aloud what the airport should be called.

‘‘I came up with the idea of Lawrence Hargrave International Airport,’’ he said.

‘‘What a fantastic opportunity to really give credit to this man, without whom no-one would be flying at the time they did.

‘‘At Stanwell Park in the 1890s an Australian developed the wing that every single plane that flies around is based on.

‘‘There are no planes flying that aren’t using the principles he developed at Stanwell Park.’’ 

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