BUDGET 2017 – Govt funds Western Sydney Airport Corporation

written by Max Blenkin | May 9, 2017

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

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.

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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.

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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.”

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13 Comments

  • Mike

    says:

    Wagners have said they could built it in 3 years for under $1 billion.

  • deano

    says:

    If it was with government money it would cost Wagners $0 and save the feds $5-7 billion
    Just give Wagners a billion and and walk away

  • john

    says:

    a decade ?

    Are we getting public servants to build it.

    It’s an airport, not Rome.

    Where are the Wagners ? (Wellcamp builders). Surely, to start with an airport like Wellcamp would suffice ?

    Wellcamp can take Boeing 748 freighters now.

  • Rodney Marinkovic

    says:

    Let hope investors will take best people at tender. But as usual so big pressure for contacting business at future on Western Sydney Airport. Development will goes in phases. Will be plenty work to most. Happy in wayting officials opening on this mega project. Rodney Marinkovic, at winters residence. Qantasville home I. Kings Park NSW Sydney Australia.

  • Holden

    says:

    Pay Wagners $1 billion and get it delivered in 3 years (whilst spending a billion dollars on keeping unions, eco groups and every other special interest group away from the project), and still be $3-4 billion in front!

    So if Wagners can do this must faster, much cheaper then:

    1. Why are Government projections so completely wrong? (given Wellcamp, Wagners would appear to be in the box seat for understanding costs)
    2. If Wagners can do it for much less, what does that say about infrastructure spending for a whole range of other projects? Who is getting fat on the public purse?
    3. What agenda do Governments follow that makes them want to spend more money for longer whilst getting less overall (trickle feeding money into a limited range of projects)?

    If Western Sydney can be delivered for $1-2 billion, imagine what good the other $3-4 billion in underspend can do for other projects.

  • Patrick Kilby

    says:

    Note the need for a level playing field. I do not think the Wagners had to do anywhere near as much land levelling. That is where the real cost is.

  • Mike

    says:

    The real cost in this is the torturous government procurement process. So much of the “cost” of this will be bureaucracy.

  • Mac Carter

    says:

    Hopefully, when it is eventually built and in service, our Government wont give it away this time.
    Competition with the incumbent can only be a good thing.

    When comparing with Wagners airport at Toowoomba, the dissimilar soil types will require different methods of preparation and compaction required for runways, aprons, ect to support heavy aircraft operations.
    Brisbane second runway project springs to mind.
    I believe Wagners could present the finished project much more quickly and at a more realistic cost than any Government owned company.

    To those vested with the responsibility of delivering this project,, Please Consider.

  • Ian Morris

    says:

    Seriously? Up and operational in 10 years? If that is the best the government can do they really should just forget about it. How come a private company can do it in 3 years???? Government inefficiency at its best, no doubt horrendously overpriced in comparison to what a private company can do.

  • Raymond

    says:

    The 10 years is probably mostly due to being able to spread the cost out over this time. As we know, it has been a struggle to return the federal budget to surplus.

  • Derrick

    says:

    What Wetsern Sydney councils should do is engage the Wagner’s to build the airport and bypass the federal government.. just a thought

  • Craig

    says:

    @ Derrick. How can Councils bypass the Federal government? The land is owned by the Commonwealth.

  • teddy

    says:

    If Wagner’s are honestly able to deliver the project for around $1 billion, then obviously privately-owned private enterprise is vastly cheaper than both Government enterprises and publicly-owned companies operating under contract.

    Cutting out multiple layers of management, consultancy, shareholders etc is obviously a complete win for pricing and efficiency.

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