The federal government has announced that a second Sydney airport will be built at Badgerys Creek.
Planning for the new airport is to start immediately, with construction beginning in 2016. The government says most of the cost will be met by a private sector operator.
The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development, Warren Truss, made the announcement at a press conference in Canberra this afternoon.
They said the initial construction phase is expected to generate around 4,000 jobs. The airport development should provide 35,000 jobs by 2035, increasing to 60,000 jobs over time. An increase of almost $24 billion in Australian gross domestic product (GDP) is predicted by 2060.
Abbott presented the decision as an infrastructure package for western Sydney and stressed that his focus was on “roads first, airport second”.
Abbott said the government was not proposing a curfew similar to the one that applies at Kingsford-Smith. This is likely to be a contentious issue for Liberal and Labor MPs in the new airport’s vicinity.
The decision to build at Badgerys Creek brings to an end a debate which began in the 1960s. The Hawke government acquired the land at Badgerys Creek in the 1980s.
- Listen to Abbott and Truss (22m – transcript below)
- Listen to the ALP’s Anthony Albanese comment (19m)
- Listen to NSW ALP Opposition Leader John Robertson comment (8m)
Media release from Tony Abbott, Prime Minister, and Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. [Read more...]