More than 50 years after the Commonwealth Government first identified Badgerys Creek as a potential airport site, WSA Co was established, and in the two short years since, we have made significant progress on our vision to be the gateway to the world.
Early earthworks commenced in September 2018 and we have since moved over one million tonnes of earth, designed and constructed a state-of-the-art interactive Experience Centre, and signed more than 10 memoranda of understanding with global freight and logistics partners.
Design and construction
Following a highly competitive tender process we recently awarded the bulk earthworks contract which will see more than 24 million cubic metres of earth moved around the 1780-hectare site in readiness for the construction of the first runway and terminal. In June this year, five architectural teams were selected from more than 40 expressions of interest, for the design of the integrated domestic and international passenger terminal, a transport interchange, and a public plaza. The international design teams, which each have at least one participating practice based in Australia, will put forward their respective visions for Western Sydney International Airport in the coming months.
We have commenced development of concept designs for our 200-hectare on-airport business park with release of our concept designs scheduled for mid-2020, we are working with global logistics companies on the design of our freight and logistics hub, and we recently sought registrations of interest for the construction of the terminal building.
In the past year, we exceeded workforce targets for local employees, diversity (including Indigenous employees) and learning workers. We implemented training development goals across the organisation and entered into a partnership with TAFE for on-site training.
Ensuring strong representation of Indigenous employees and businesses in the Airport development and operation, we have appointed an Indigenous business partner to assist in the development of an Aboriginal Engagement Masterplan and have also commenced development of our Reconciliation Action Plan.
The Australian and NSW Governments business case for investment in the North-South Metro rail link to the new airport is well advanced and planning for a rapid bus network is also underway with local councils.
The $4.1 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, which includes construction of the M12 motorway, upgrades to The Northern and Bringelly roads, realignment of Badgerys Creek Road and local road upgrades is well underway, and will provide reliable and safe access to Western Sydney International.
As part of our commitment to making Sydney’s new international Airport a showcase for sustainability, we are investing significantly in environmental management initiatives, including responsible use and protection of rare vegetation and an extensive planting program at the Australian Botanic Gardens at Mount Annan. We are also including highly-efficient water recycling and energy use in the new Airport design.
Strong support from the local community is critical to the success of the Airport. We continued to engage extensively with local representatives and community leaders and have been delighted with the level of support for the Airport and the jobs and local investment we are witnessing across the region as a direct result of the Airport construction.
Our new world-class Experience Centre, which has an exhibition area and viewing platform for visitors to watch construction first-hand, was officially opened in September 2019. The viewing area will be equipped with augmented reality, allowing locals and visitors to view how the terminal and runway will look and where they will be positioned. The centre features interactive digital videos including the history of the region, the importance of the Airport to Western Sydney and the massive economic benefits.
We also continued our active role in the Commonwealth Government’s Forum for Western Sydney Airport (FOWSA), an initiative designed to encourage the exchange of ideas and information between Government, WSA and the community.
The safety of our people and the community remains our key priority, and through the establishment of extensive safety management and monitoring programs we are embedding a strong safety-focused culture across our organisation and partnering with our contractors to ensure safety is prioritised across all of our activities.
Much has been achieved over a remarkable two years, but there is more to come. On behalf of all the team at WSA, my sincere thanks go to the local community and to our Federal, state and local government partnerships. Thanks to your hard work and dedication, this new international airport in Western Sydney has become a reality and is set to be a world-class leader.
Chair and Non-executive Director