Call to honour Illawarra flight pioneer Lawrence Hargrave

Lawrence Hargrave successfully experimented with a box kite flying machine.
Lawrence Hargrave successfully experimented with a box kite flying machine.

A Wollongong councillor pushing to have Sydney's new airport named after Illawarra flight pioneer Lawrence Hargrave will ask Prime Minister Tony Abbott to support a Facebook naming competition for the Badgerys Creek site.

In May, Liberal councillor Leigh Colacino asked the council to write to the federal and NSW governments suggesting the airport be named Lawrence Hargrave International in recognition of Hargrave's wing invention, which helped the Wright Brothers to take their first flight.

He hopes next week's council meeting will agree to ask Mr Abbott, NSW Premier Mike Baird, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for the Illawarra John Ajaka to get behind a social media push for the new name.

"I've had a lot of feedback from politicians and people in the community, not only in Wollongong but around Australia, who say 'Yes that's a great idea, why don't we push it further'," Cr Colacino said.

"So this is the next step, calling for a competition to be organised by the federal government."

He said the competition would allow the community to come up with different options for the proposed international airport.

"Lawrence Hargrave stands out as the primary choice in my book because I recognise how important he is to the world of aviation," Cr Colacino said.

However, he said others may like to suggest female pilot Nancy Bird Walton or early Aboriginal fighter pilot Len Waters as alternatives.

"If someone doesn't take the lead, maybe nobody will and then it will just get named the Greater Western Sydney Airport, which is horrible," he said.

"LHX is what I want. That would be the greatest thing, to see that stamped on the suitcases of people who are coming to Australia: Lawrence Hargrave International."


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