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Badgerys Creek gets $115 million in federal budget for site preparation and rail study

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 3, 2016

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

Western Sydney Airport has been allocated $26 million over the next two years to study design options for a train station and rail links at the proposed airport.

The funding commitment, which also included $89 million for “critical preparatory activities” at the Badgerys Creek site, was outlined in the 2016/17 federal budget published on Tuesday night.

In total, the federal government has provided $115.1 million over the next two financial years to “progress preparatory works” at the proposed airport.

“The funding will be used to provide specialist advice on planning and development of the project, ongoing management and security of the site, minor land acquisitions and design work for the provision of utilities,” the budget papers said.


“The concept design for the provision of rail services to the site will be prepared with assistance from Transport for New South Wales and will recommend and preparatory works to ensure the WSA side is rail ready.”

In November 2015, the federal and NSW governments announced a joint-study on train links to the proposed airport, as well as the broader transport network that would support growth in Western Sydney.

The “rail options plan” was expected to take 12 months to complete and consider the economic, population and commercial factors, as well as map out costs and timeframes.

The scoping study would also consider funding and financing issues, including whether value capture techniques could assist meeting the funding requirement.

In August, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss confirmed the proposed airport would be designed “rail ready”, with provisions for a station within the terminal facilities, as well as rail tunnels linking that station to the Sydney rail network, included in the design plans.

Further, the cost of the rail tunnels and cavity for the railway station would be about $500 million and that cost was being included in the design plans.

However, buses were expected to be the only form of public transit available when the proposed airport was scheduled to open some time in the mid-2020s.

In November, Labor transport spokesperson Anthony Albanese called for Badgerys Creek to be served by rail from the day it opens.

Road upgrades have already begun around the Badgerys Creek site as part of the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan.

In February, Sydney Airport said it expected to receive a “Notice of Intention” – effectively a sales contract to build and operate the proposed airport – from the federal government some time around June.

Sydney Airport has a right of first refusal (ROFR) to build and operate a second airport within 100km of the Sydney CBD.

The government said on Tuesday night the environmental impact statement and airport plan were expected to be finalised in the coming months.

There were about 5,000 public submissions to the draft EIS and airport plan, which were published in October 2015.

While the draft airport plan outlined a 24-hour, curfew-free airport that would begin with a single 3,700m runway configured in a north-east/south-west orientation, in April Labor proposed creating a “no fly zone” between 2300-0600, where all aircraft during that seven-hour period would depart in a south-west direction on Runway 23, while arriving flights would approach from the south-west to land on Runway 05 to avoid residential areas.

The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA), the union representing Qantas pilots, said the Labor proposal would place a heavy restriction on the airport’s operations.

“It would not be possible to have simultaneous operations in an opposite direction on a single runway unless those operations were separated by 15 to 20 minutes,” AIPA treasurer and Qantas Boeing 747 first officer Adam Susz said.

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Comments (10)

  • deano


    Is it just me or is $26 million a lot of money for a study that essentially drawing a line on a map
    Yea I get there is more to it than that but come on $26,000,000.00
    Put the station design out to tender and let the bidders design it, this seems to be the biggest ticket item and most complicated
    The rail link would seem as simple as drawing a line on a map, put a bridge over this road and a tunnel under the terminal

    $89 million is prep studies etc
    How much did they build Wellcamp for again ???????

  • Adrian P


    Yes it is a lot, but it is more than drawing a line on a map.
    Railways have so many constraints regarding incline of track, radius of curves which impact on cut and fill, tunnels, bridges. Then there are huge power requirements. Costs a fortune
    After this is all built, a locomotive break down, a signal failure and the system grinds to a halt.
    The only reason trains were invented to run on tracks was because at the time roads were mud, at best cobbled. Bus lanes with express coaches are much more flexible and can take you everywhere not just to the Sydney CBD.
    When a train fails you get a bus replacement service, if a bus fails you do not get a train replacement service.

  • inherentchoice


    @deano it’s the price of hiring private consulting firms with expensive consultants that got expensive Uni degrees so they know how to collect analyse data for a few years and then write it into a 300 page report with 20 appendices.

    Then again, these days $26 million is only enough to buy about 26 houses in Sydney.

  • Mike


    $115.1 million over 2 years for progress preparatory works. Wellcamp started RPT only 19 months after the council gave approval, for a cost of $100 million.

  • NJP


    They’ll need a rail link from day 1 if Macquarie Bank are running the car parking like they do at SYD – no one will be able to drive and afford the parking there

  • Marc


    LOL at Labor landing and take off policy proposal. They really have no idea!

  • gaga


    NGP – MAQ bank or similar operate the syd airport train stations too. I’m guessing you’ve never actually caught the train to ysyd or you’d have been slugged the $12 ‘station access fee’ – which is added in addition to the actual train fare

  • Clifford


    I am speechless!

  • Here we go again! Sydney KSA revisited with curfews built on retaining political seats rather than science. The Sydney KSA “jet” curfew is built on science going back to the Boeing 707 “coal burners” yet here we are with noise efficient aircraft being judged on emotion rather than science..
    If Badgery’s Creek can’t be curfew free with normal arrival and departure techniques based on the latest ATC technology and only open to the A380, A350, A330, A320 and Boeing 787, 737 and comparable noise efficient aircraft then we are better not to build the airport and send the traffic to BNE and MEL along with the thousands of jobs and economic flow ons. Maybe when the jobs look like being lost to Sydney’s South West and all the economic benefits with them will politicians grow balls and stand up to the lobbyists. If they don’t airport curfews will form part of the 3 year election cycle just like Sydney KSA. The Minister is just weak as he hasn’t even looked at or understood the science . Easy for the voters if you don’t want a 24 hour airport vote for the airport not to be built. It will be on less Albo political football!

  • Wombat


    Landing and taking off from the same direction, what could possibly go wrong. It about wraps up Labor’s aviation policy when in power, lacking common sense and suitable direction

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