PM talks jobs and economy boon of Western Sydney International airport project, claims full credit for Coalition

By Melissa Coade

March 28, 2022

Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison claims 1,600 jobs will be created over four years. (AAP Image/Pool, Michael Wilson)

As work on the 3.7 kilometre runway of the Nancy-Bird Walton airport gets underway, prime minister Scott Morrison has taken a swipe at the opposition for getting in the way of major infrastructure initiatives. 

Morrison claimed only his government had the ‘proven track record of getting things done’, announcing the runway construction milestone at Western Sydney International Airport. 

“It is only because of the actions of our government that the Western Sydney Airport is being built,” he said. 

The airport project is now about 30% complete according to the federal government, and due to open in late 2026. 

In a joint statement that served as a bare-faced election pitch from finance minister Simon Birmingham, foreign affairs minister Marise Payne, and minister for communications, urban infrastructure, cities and the arts Paul Fletcher, the PM said the $5.3 billion airport would change Wester Sydney for generations. 

About 11,000 jobs will be created to complete the project and it will support many more employees once it is operational.

“After six years of inaction by Anthony Albanese, Labor’s federal minister for transport and infrastructure, it took our Coalition government to get Western Sydney Airport off the ground,” Morrison said. 

“Our government is backing this project and the people of Western Sydney, as part of our plan for a stronger future for Australia.”

The runway and other rapid-exit taxiways at the airport will be lined by 3,000 LED aeronautical ground lights.

Fletcher said that more than 23 million cubic meters of earth had been shifted in the major construction project so far, and once complete would be capable of receiving the world’s largest passenger aircraft. 

The airport has been designed to receive about 10 million passengers each year and a further $9 billion investment has been made by the federal government to connect it to more road and rail links.

“[This positions] Western Sydney as an international gateway and providing a significant economic boost to the region,” Fletcher said. 

Senator Birmingham said the project would ‘unlock’ billions of dollars into the economy and labelled the airport a ‘once-in-a-generation project’. 

“The rapid-exit taxiways will ensure WSA runs efficiently while allowing more traffic through the airport and giving travellers more peace of mind when heading off to their destination or returning home,” Birmingham said. 

Also commenting on the construction of 40-kilometres-worth of airside roads at the airport, Senator Payne said the runway would have multiple access points for better manoeuvrability.

“The runways will be able to handle a full spectrum of aircraft models, including international, domestic and freight services,” she said. 

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