Construction on the metro rail link between the new Western Sydney International Airport and St Marys station will begin this year.
The confirmation of the start date came after the federal government announced a $5.25 billion injection into the project, which will also be funded by the state of NSW.
Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, also revealed the line will be six kilometres longer than initially envisaged and will involve putting part of St Marys underground.
The project was first confirmed last year, but now more concrete details of the plan have emerged.
The new link will be named the ‘Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport’ line and consist of six metro stations, two of which will be within the airport’s boundaries at the terminal and the business park.
The project will cost $11 billion in total and it’s hoped will create 14,000 jobs.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison hailed the influence of the new national cabinet in speeding up the decision.
“This is how Australia makes it way back out of the COVID-19 crisis, infrastructure projects like this one,” he said.
In March, Australian Aviation reported that more than 200 earthmoving machines rolled onto a site next to Western Sydney Airport as the next stage of the project to build a new terminal and runway began.
The airport’s head of infrastructure, Jim Tragotsalos, said major works would see 25 million cubic metres of earth transferred to make way for construction of the Nancy-Bird Walton terminal, runway, roads and rail.
Since initial earthworks marked the start of work to build Western Sydney International in September 2018, around 1 million worker hours have been racked up on the project and 1.8 million cubic metres of earth moved around the site.
Initial earthworks also involved realigning 1.6 kilometres of Badgerys Creek Road, which will become one of the gateways to the airport when it opens in 2026.
“On other projects these achievements would be showstoppers, but for Western Sydney International initial earthworks was just the beginning, covering only 6 per cent of the 1,780-hectare site,” Tragotsalos said.