Badgerys will make Western Sydney take off

Opinion Piece

WTO-001/2015

27 August 2015

Daily Telegraph

Western Sydney is key to Australia's economic future.

The official declaration of Badgerys Creek as the site for Western Sydney's airport assures the contribution Western Sydney will make to the nation's future prosperity and highlights the opportunities being created in this fast growing region.

The economic heart of Sydney is shifting westward. Western Sydney is, in its own right, Australia's third largest economy and fourth largest city.

An international airport for Western Sydney is a powerful symbol of the extraordinary economic and population transformation that awaits Western Sydney.

With its own airport, Western Sydney will see long-term job and career opportunities from the very beginning.

What makes the project so exciting is both the quantity of jobs—both in construction and operation—but also the range of industries, qualifications and occupations it will require.

Operating an airport requires skilled workers and the easiest way to picture the variety of jobs is to envisage the sorts of professionals you see as you walk through an airport.

The airport itself has been built by tradespeople and a team of tradespeople will also provide its essential ongoing maintenance. The terminal is alive with businesses, airline staff, security personnel, food courts—all supported by accountants, business advisers and human resources staff.

When your plane arrives it unloads tourists, who require a range of specialised services, and freight cargo for local businesses. You and your luggage will then make it safely on board a plane thanks to the on-site expertise provided by engineers, logistics and IT specialists, mechanics, pilots, flight crew and air traffic controllers.

Alongside workers employed at the proposed airport, thousands more employment opportunities become available as Western Sydney's businesses expand because of convenient access to the airport.

Western Sydney Airport will be a catalyst for investment and growth in other industries but it will also expand the opportunities available to existing businesses in the West.

The ability to send freight on a passenger plane transporting visitors to South East Asia, for example, will enable local manufacturing and agricultural businesses to have their product available at early morning markets in other countries.

The Western Sydney Employment Area, located just to the north of the airport site, will provide space for industries to develop a broad-base of skilled employment opportunities.

This will provide a range of occupations drawing on the existing skills of Western Sydney residents, and also offer incentives for students and graduates of the University of Western Sydney.

As the airport develops, it will continue to provide job opportunities that match the skills of local residents and it will create new opportunities in fields not yet dreamt of that will strengthen and diversify the local economy.

Building a new airport is a massive job, and the Australian Government is getting on with business to make sure the right infrastructure is in place to help Western Sydney grow and prosper.

Warren Truss is Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development