It seems to have been coming forever but now the government is stumping up funds to make the the proposed Western Sydney Airport a reality.
Treasurer Scott Morrison said the Commonwealth will create a government-owned company in the next financial year charged with ensuring the airport at Badgerys Creek is operational in less than a decade.
That will be called the Western Sydney Airport Corporation and it will build and operate the new airport.
He said the new airport project would create 20,000 jobs by the early 2030s and 60,000 over the long term.
“Earth moving works will commence on the 1,800-hectare site in the second half of next year and Western Sydney Airport will be delivered in 2026,” Morrison told parliament in his budget speech on Tuesday night.
The budget papers showed funding for the corporation would be $2.3 million split across the Department of Finance ($1.7 million) and Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development ($600,000) in 2017-18.
Finance will then contribute $300,000 a year and the Infrastructure and Regional Development $600,000 a year for the following three financial years.
Further, Minister for Urban Infrastructure said the government had allocated $73.2 million in 2017-18 for “planning and preparatory work for the airport site and to develop concept design for rail access through the airport site”.
The government opted to go it alone in building Sydney’s long-awaited airport at Badgerys Creek after Sydney Airport Corporation, which operates Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport, chose not take up its right of first refusal to build and operate the proposed new airport.
Morrison said over the next 10 years the government would inject up to $5.3 billion in equity into Western Sydney Airport Corporation.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said this new airport was vital to deliver additional aviation capacity to two million people closer to Badgerys Creek than Mascot.
“This is about building more than an airport. Our decision will transform the economy of Western Sydney,” Chester said.
“The new airport is a significant investment for Western Sydney and will deliver not long term benefits to the Australian economy, returning $1.80 for every dollar invested.”