Badgerys Creek airport really starting to take off

Opinion Piece

PFO-009/2016

13 December 2016

WESTERN Sydney Airport will bring big benefits for Western Sydney, for Sydney and for the nation.

It will offer convenient new travel options to residents of Western Sydney. For some two million people it will be closer than Kingsford Smith Airport.

The new airport will be a major generator of jobs and economic activity for Western Sydney, both during construction but also once it is operational. By 2030 it is expected to generate around 9,000 jobs.

Much as building a new house requires plans to be prepared and approved, so we need to complete the necessary approvals for Western Sydney Airport before physical construction can commence.

Securing those approvals has been a priority since the decision was taken to commit to the new airport after the federal Coalition came to government.

Just a few weeks ago — following a process which took some eighteen months and included extensive community consultation — final approval was obtained for the environmental impact statement for Western Sydney Airport.

Today we are marking another important step. Together with Prime Minister Turnbull, I will sign the ‘Airport Plan’ — the legal document which authorises the construction of stage one of Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.

It provides for a single runway of 3,700 metres — sufficient for planes up to and including the Airbus A380 — and for a terminal building to take up to 10 million passengers a year.

There is a concept plan for the terminals and airport layout — including ground transport connections.

The airport will be ‘rail ready’, meaning that space will be reserved for a station, corridors will be set aside for rail tracks, and the terminal and other developments are planned around these.

Another major focus has been very detailed work between the Commonwealth Government and Southern Cross Airport Corporation, the owner of Kingsford Smith Airport, regarding its ‘first right of refusal’ to build and operate the new airport.

The next important step will be when the government issues a “Notice of Intention’ — some 1,000 pages of legal documents — with Southern Cross, in turn allowing that company to decide whether or not it will exercise its legal right to build the new airport.

In the meantime, we are building ground transport connections to the airport under the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan. Already work is underway on the Northern Road, which will be upgraded to four lanes all the way.

Just over a week ago the Turnbull and Baird Governments announced the corridor for the new M12 which will connect the airport to Sydney’s motorway network.

It is a complex project with much work ahead of us — but as 2016 draws to a close, several key milestones have been met as we work towards the delivery of Western Sydney Airport.

This article orginally appeared as Badgerys Creek airport really starting to take off in the Daily Telegraph.