Badgerys Creek airport and the aerotropolis adjacent to it will not provide a silver bullet on jobs.
Much more will need to be done to keep up with large scale population growth north and south of the airport, says MP Greg Warren.
In a major speech to parliament last week during debate on the establishment of a Western City and Aerotropolis Authority, the state member for Campbelltown said 200,000 new jobs predicted would not be anywhere near enough.
“Western Sydney Airport will be a catalyst for significant job creation, but even the government is predicting that we are looking at a maximum of 200,000 new jobs as a result of the airport development and commercial investment in the surrounding aerotropolis,’’ Mr Warren said.
“Creating 200,000 jobs for 500,000 new residents as well as the existing local residents clearly will not be enough and more needs to be done.
“Fewer than half of the local residents in the eight council areas of the Western City are employed in Western Sydney compared to more than 90 per cent of residents in the eastern suburbs.
“The Western Sydney jobs deficit is an enormous economic drain on economic activity and productivity,’’ Mr Warren said.
“It also contributes enormously to the huge congestion issues experienced across Western Sydney and south-western Sydney as local residents are forced to travel increasingly further to get to work.’’
Mr Warren said the government cannot “put all its eggs in one basket’’ when it comes to job creation in Western Sydney.
He said it was critical the government also focused on investment in major regional city centres throughout the Western Parkland City area such as Campbelltown, Liverpool and Penrith.
“That will stimulate job creation in those centres,’’ Mr Warren said.
“We must not rely solely on the Western Sydney Airport to act as a silver bullet.’’
Mr Warren told parliament the delivery of infrastructure such as roads was as important as the creation of jobs close to where people lived.
“While the Western Sydney City Deal includes a vital commitment to deliver rail services connecting the future Western Sydney Airport to the existing western line at St Marys, it is missing the equally vital commitment to connect the Western Sydney Airport to Camden, Campbelltown and Macarthur,’’ he said.
“I was disappointed to see Campbelltown and the Macarthur region overlooked in the rail connections as part of the City Deal.
“I acknowledge the contribution of Campbelltown City Council to the City Deal, but ultimately it is a matter for the federal and state governments, with councils having no choice other than to take part.’’
Mr Warren warned that unless there was a change of heart from the government it would mean that Western Sydney Airport would be at a disadvantage when it opens in 2026.
“Today, one can board a train at Campbelltown station and be at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport in 45 minutes without needing to change trains.
“If the government fails to deliver a rail connection between Campbelltown and the future Western Sydney Airport, it will be easier and quicker for someone to access the Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport by public transport than the Western Sydney Airport.
“That is despite the Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport being approximately twice as far away from Campbelltown.’’