The NSW Business Chamber has weighed into the second Sydney airport debate, issuing an economic report that shows more than 28,000 jobs could be created in western Sydney by the development of an airport at Badgerys Creek.
Prepared by Deloitte Access Economics, the report examined three growth scenarios modelled for economic impact on the local region. Significantly, it said the airport could generate more than $6.5 billion in output for western Sydney.
By 2050, the report suggested an airport in western Sydney beginning operations in 2027 could support up to 33 million passenger movements. It could generate around 20,000 jobs related directly to the airport and around 10,000 additional jobs in western Sydney resulting from stimulated economic activity in the region.
Stephen Cartwright, CEO of the NSW Business Chamber said both major political parties should be using the federal election campaign to detail their plans for major infrastructure planning and spending.
“A second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek should be an absolute priority of the next federal government – we now have the proof that there are 28,000 jobs ready to be created.
“In some parts of western Sydney, youth unemployment is around 30 per cent, so a decision to proceed with a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek will provide a clear-cut boost to the economy of Western Sydney.
David Borger, Western Sydney Director of the Sydney Business Chamber, said the report, ‘Economic Impact of a Western Sydney Airport’, demonstrates that Western Sydney would receive significant economic benefits if an airport is built at Badgerys Creek.
“The Badgerys Creek site is not only the preferred location for Sydney’s second airport from an aviation perspective; it would also stimulate the surrounding local government areas through creating new business opportunities and more local jobs.” Borger added.
He said the growth scenarios were based on real-world growth profiles of primary and secondary airports within Australia and overseas including Gold Coast, Glasgow Prestwick and Luton Airport in London.
Accounting for planning and construction times, an airport at Badgerys Creek could commence operation in 2027 accommodating around three million passenger movements per annum, similar to the current capacity of Canberra or Darwin Airport. It would then take on a phased expansion process, expanding to around 7 million passenger capacity in 2033 (similar to Adelaide Airport or Gold Coast Airport) before further expansion to accommodate around 22-30 million passengers in 2040 (similar to Brisbane Airport or Tullamarine Airport).
“It is time that we start having a sophisticated and informed debate about what an airport would actually mean for the region.” Borger said.
While business calls on the government to make a decision on the basis capacity constraints at Sydney Airport are curtailing state and national economic growth, in the initial stages of a new airport being operational, economic output would likely simply be displaced from the Botany and Mascot areas to western Sydney. True economic growth would only eventuate when the level of activity at a new airport exceeds that of Sydney Airport in its current state.
In the lead up to the federal election both major parties have indicated they would be prepared to make a decision on a second airport during the first term of government. While the intention may be sound pre-election, the elephant in the room has thus far eluded successive political leaders for the last 60 years the issue has been under consideration.