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 RDA Sydney chief executive, Bob Germaine. RDA Sydney chief executive, Bob Germaine. Featured
02 May 2017 Posted by 

NEXT SNOWY MOUNTAINS PROJECT

Airport crucial to attracting investors
AN airport at Badgerys Creek is the key to unlocking crucial investment dollars in Western Sydney, a new report has found.
Development organisation Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sydney says while a diverse range of strategic industries are already doing business in Western Sydney, good infrastructure and the new airport would only enhance that.
 
But the airport must be “world class leading edge”, capable of expansion and operate 24/7, RDA Sydney chief executive Bob Germaine said.
 
“This is important not just for Western Sydney but the whole of Australia,” he said.
 
“It will allow Australia to do business with India and China and frankly will be massive if we get it right.”
 
The Strategic Industries Development around the Western Sydney Employment Area report said manufacturing was the largest industry in Western Sydney, worth almost $13 billion in 201-2014.
 
And an airport in the region would further drive more of that investment in Western Sydney.
 
“By 2051 there will be four million people living in Western Sydney. If we get the planning right, the region’s economy could be at least 15 to 20 per cent more than the GDP of Sydney,” Mr Germaine said.
 
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something incredibly important. This is another Snowy Mountains project. But if we fail, we forgo enormous opportunity in investment and jobs.”
 
Among the challenges facing Western Sydney, Mr Germaine said, was connecting people to jobs and industry (“we need a circular transport service”) and the need for better freight connectivity (“at the moment we’re missing out on exports because we don’t have an efficient freight system. That is why we support intermodals”).
 
Mr Germaine said the ability to plan for Western Sydney’s growth and defy the challenges could best be done by defining a long-term vision for the region.
 
“We start by imagining what we want Western Sydney to look like in 60 years and work back,” he said.
 
With an airport at Badgerys Creek featuring front and centre of Western Sydney’s economic triumph, does the decision by Sydney Airport to decline the first option to take on the project set the region back? 
 
“I believe there will be other interested parties,” Mr Germaine said. “I believe (Urban Infrastructure minister) Paul Fletcher when he says the government already has a plan B in place. 
 
“But I would also say let’s not stuff around. We need to get moving and keep the momentum going.”
 
See the June edition of WSBA for a more detailed story on Regional Development Australia Sydney’s report.
 


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