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WESTERN SYDNEY'S $8.9B GIFT Featured
27 July 2017 Posted by 

WESTERN SYDNEY'S $8.9B GIFT

How Badgerys Creek will roll out
CRAIG HINGSTON
THE announcement by Sydney Airport that it will not build and operate Western Sydney Airport has been met with the expected response from the Federal Government that we the tax payers will be funding the $5.3B project at Badgery's Creek.
 
The first steps will be the formation of WSA Co. at the start of the incoming financial year, followed by earthworks scheduled to start in the latter part of 2018. 
 
WSA Co. Will have a board and management team which include extensive private sector experience. They will be selecting a private sector consortium, or construction company, for the main construction works. It will most likely be a design-and-construct contract. 
 
Ahead of them is a monumental task: the construction of a 3.7-kilometre single runway capable of handling all types of passenger and freight aircraft including the huge Airbus A380, as well as the terminals capable of handling 10 million passengers a year. 
 
During construction, more than 22 million cubic metres of soil will be redistributed across the expansive 1800-hectare site. 
 
That is equivalent to nine thousand Olympic size swimming pools, or twice the size of Sydney Airport.
 
Before this can take place though the Federal Government, in tandem with TransGrid, will have to come up with a plan to relocate more than three kilometres of high voltage power line which crosses the airport precinct. The overhead lines are to be placed underground. 
 
Stage 1 of construction, between next year and 2026, is expected to generate 11,346 jobs and add $1.9B to Western Sydney's economy. 
 
The other employment predictions are that by the year 2031 there will be 4440 people working in adjacent business parks, another 8730 jobs in Western Sydney as a direct result of the airport project, and 6900 new positions in surrounding areas. 
 
The long-term forecasts, for another 30 years later on, are for 27,000 people working in the WSA business parks, and more than 90,000 new jobs created near the airport. 
 
One factor which will help to accelerate jobs growth is the fact that Western Sydney Airport will be a precinct that "never sleeps" because it will operate without a curfew. 
 
The Badgery's Creek site is more than 10 kilometres from suburbia which makes this the most remote major airport in the nation. The next closest to housing is Brisbane, which has a 6.7 kilometre buffer, followed by Melbourne at 4.4 kilometres.
 
When the single runway airport opens in 2026 it is expected to see five million passengers transit through the terminal from domestic and international flights.
 
That figure is expected to double by the early 2030's and jump to 35 million two decades later when there will be a second runway in operation. Fifty years from now the expectation is 80 million passengers preferring WSA over Sydney Airport.
 
In addition to passenger activity the precinct will house a business park, or several of them. The types of industries which are expected to want to locate themselves next to a major airport include transport, logistics, pharmaceutical, life sciences, biotech, medical manufacturing, medical research, electronics, aerospace, defence, digital industries, advanced manufacturing, agricultural research, food processing and packaging, building and construction materials and, of course, aviation. 
 
In an historic announcement, the first corporation to publicly announce that it is moving to Badgery's Creek is US aerospace giant, Northrop Grumman.
 
It has plans to construct a $50M advanced electronics maintenance and sustainment centre (an Electronic Sustainment Centre of Excellence" in Northrop terminology) to service both the aerospace and defence industries. 
 
Federal Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne reported back from his recent trip to the US saying that another five major defence companies have indicated they might expand their operations to Australia. Maybe here? 
 
Whilst all this activity is good news for the West the stakeholders are faced with a major challenge: how are passengers and workers going to get there?
 
Workers in Sydney's West already know the frustration of travelling for at least an hour to and from work each day. With an airport expecting to attract millions of passengers and thousands of workers the existing road and rail infrastructure is going to be inadequate. 
 
The Federal Government's initial response has been to allocate $3.6B to road development. This will go towards the creation of the 16-kilometre M12 Motorway between The Northern Road and the M7, upgrading The Northern Road and Bringelly Road to at least four lanes, diverting The Northern Road out of the airport site to go around it, plus a Werrington arterial road. 
 
There are eight variations of the proposed M12 being reviewed with up to six lanes to cope with future capacity. The preliminary road design is expected to be released for public display later this year.
 
In addition, many rail options are being scrutinised but as yet there is no funding for them. The six lines being considered are a connection to Leppington, an eastern line to the Liverpool CBD, a route heading northeast to either Blacktown, Westmead or Rouse Hill, or a southern line to Macarthur region. 
 
The NSW Government's underground rail line connecting Parramatta to the Sydney CBD, intended to commence operation not long after the opening of Western Sydney Airport, might solve some of the anticipated infrastructure pressures.  
 
Details of the Government's transport plans are available to the public at (future roads) www.rms.gov.au/projects/sydney-west/infrastructure-plan/
 
 
Craig Hingston is President of the Cumberland Business Chamber.


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