Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Questions without Notice
Western Sydney Airport
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Senator Scullion. Can the minister update the Senate on the delivery of Western Sydney Airport and inform the Senate of the benefits that it will provide to the Australian economy?
I thank the senator for that question. I can say the Western Sydney Airport is an absolute game changer for the people of that region. It's another one of those nation-building, job-creating projects that has been in the too-hard basket for successive governments. But, because we brought the budget under control and because we're taking people off welfare on the taxpayer side of the ledger, with one million new jobs created, we can afford to make these investments—just a tip for you guys over there.
The Western Sydney Airport is scheduled to be operational by the end of 2026 with a 3.7 kilometre runway and a terminal with a capacity for 10 million passengers a year. It's not a small investment at $5.3 billion, but, importantly, it's expected to support 11,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction and over 27,000 jobs for Western Sydney after five years of operation—more jobs in Western Sydney and more money injected into the economy. Some two million people will be closer to Western Sydney Airport than to the current airport.
The new competition will be good for consumers and it will be good for airlines. The new airport will also create more options for international visitors, develop new tourism opportunities and create construction jobs and ongoing jobs. This is a $5.3 billion investment, and, indeed, all of our $75 billion transport and infrastructure investment will be at risk if the Labor-Greens alliance gets back into government and trashes the budget that could allow us to afford this sort of infrastructure investment and the creation of this many jobs. I know I don't have to remind the people of Western Sydney of that. They know that, the people along the inland rail know that and the communities benefitting from the northern Australian roads also know that.
I thank Senator Molan for that important question. We are ensuring that Western Sydney Airport Corporation, WSA Co, begins operations quickly and under capable leadership. This is the key to ensuring that the Western Sydney Airport project progresses as planned and includes quality leadership and staff. We've appointed Mr Graham Millett. WSA Co's chief executive officer will bring more than 20 years experience in managing complex operations in the aviation and infrastructure sectors, including Qantas and NBN Co.
WSA Co has been approaching the market for enabling works and, late last year, awarded contracts for land survey services. Early earthworks contracts are also underway. And, in my own portfolio, we have the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council under the leadership of the chair, Roy Ah-See. Roy, great to see you out there, mate! He's only there because he's the deputy of the Indigenous Advisory Council. Cracker job, mate, delivering an Indigenous business and employment hub. He wins contracts from Western Sydney and is making sure we look after our Aboriginal— (Time expired)
Again, I thank Senator Molan for that question. An investment of $5.3 billion will not only improve transport connectivity but create jobs and business opportunities. Local businesses will be front and centre in this project, involved as contractors or subcontractors throughout the life of the project. Industry information sessions have been held about future tendering opportunities. This will result in many new opportunities as well as new major infrastructure that will connect to the airport, such as roads and rail. The Western Sydney airport investment will make Western Sydney a hotspot for employment and small business.
From logistics to advanced manufacturing to education to agribusiness, the coalition government is working closely with the New South Wales government to maximise opportunities for the private sector and for jobs. These efforts are underpinned by the Western Sydney Deal, an unprecedented agreement between all levels of government for the growth of Western Sydney. That's what we're about: one million jobs created and new business opportunities unlocked with our free trade agreements.