WSA Co will be at arm’s length from government

The federal government has officially "declared" Badgerys Creek as the site for a second airport in Sydney. (Jordan Chong)
The federal government officially “declared” Badgerys Creek as the site for a second airport in Sydney in August 2015. (Jordan Chong)

Canberra says the company charged with building and operating the proposed airport in Sydney’s west will be “at arm’s length of government”.

Minister for Finance Senator Mathias Cormann said the federal government has issued its statement of expectations for WSA Co, which states the government-owned company will be run with “private sector principles and at arm’s length from the government”.

Further, the statement also confirmed WSA Co would have its head office in Liverpool and the majority of staff based in Western Sydney.

“WSA Co will ensure transparent and efficient use of public resources, and establish effective engagement with the Western Sydney community in delivering its airport,” Senator Cormann said in a statement on Wednesday.

“WSA Co must also capture opportunities to innovate in the airport’s design, reflecting the government’s vision for a truly 21st century airport, which reflects the confidence and aspirations of Western Sydney.”

This year’s federal budget showed initial funding for the new 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.

But over the next 10 years the government plans to inject up to $5.3 billion in equity into WSA Co to build the new airport at Badgerys Creek.

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.

The statement of expectations from the Commonwealth comes as WSA Co has issued a second tender for works at the site.

Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher said the tender was for land surveys of the 1,780-hectare site including mapping site boundaries, a survey of utilities and aerial photography.

The Minister noted the difference in height between the lowest point and the highest point on the greenfield site was the equivalent of a 12-storey building.

The tender closes on November 27.

Expressions of interest for the first tender, which covered geotechnical investigation services, closed recently.

The federal government has said previously construction was expected to start in 2018, with the airport to open in 2026.

Comments

  1. Adrian P says

    If the low spot is in the terminal area no need to excavate a basement for the baggage handling equipment or under ground bus/train station.

    If the low spot is between the runways where there is a cross field taxiway no need to excavate a tunnel/cutting for vehicle access to the central area.

    With good design the changes in elevation can sometimes be made to work for you.

  2. Ronald Spencer says

    Forget about forming a company just ask the Wagner boys from Toowoomba to build it they built their own at a fraction of the cost that is being bandied around

  3. Beech76 says

    The arms length company model has worked so well with NBN. I agree with Ronald …give it to the Wagner boys.