Major earthworks contract awarded for Wester Sydney Airport

Western Sydney Airport has awarded its major earthworks contract, with jobs during the construction phase to go to locals, apprentices and trainees.

A joint venture between Lendlease and CPB Contractors has won the contract with works expected to begin early 2020.

Western Sydney Airport CEO, Graham Millett, said that at least 30 per cent of jobs during the construction phase will go to Western Sydney locals, with that figure increasing to 50 per cent when the airport opens. In addition, 20 per cent of jobs must go to apprentices, trainees and other learning workers.

“Not only are we focused on ensuring the airport creates jobs for the Western Sydney community, but it’s important we play a part in upskilling and training locals so they have skills that will set them up for life.”

Around 25 million cubic metres of earth needs to be moved around the site, up from the originally predicted 22 million cubic metres due to improvements to the terminal’s layout requiring additional earthwork.

“Work to build Western Sydney International began in September last year with initial earthworks, which are also being carried out by Lend Lease CPB,” Mr Millett said.

“Initial earthworks cover only around six per cent of the site and are about testing the earth and ensuring we are ready to move into the crucial major earthworks phase efficiently and effectively.

“More than 1.5 million cubic metres of earth have been moved on the site so far as part of initial earthworks.

“Visitors to the site often comment about the immense scale of work underway, but I tell them this is nothing compared to the major earthworks phase.”

Mr Millett said that the positive response to the tender from the infrastructure market meant the task has been awarded as a single contract.

“After considering pressure on construction market resources and personnel, we had originally intended to split major earthworks into two contracts,” Mr Millett said.

“It was encouraging to see the appeal that working on the airport carries across the construction industry, with the market participants putting their hand up to take on the entire major earthworks project under one contract.”

Both parties in Lend Lease CPB joint venture have extensive experience delivering major infrastructure, including Sydney Metro, many of Sydney’s motorways, the new Western Sydney Stadium and aviation projects such as Brisbane Airport’s third runway.

The architectural contract to design the terminal precinct is set to be awarded by the end of 2019. Western Sydney Airport put out a global call for registrations of interest to construct the terminal precinct earlier this month, with a tender to be released in 2020. 

Market soundings for more job-creating contracts are due in coming months to test the market’s interest in runway construction and the airport’s landside facilities package, which includes construction of the almost 200-hectare on-airport business park.

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said, “This is a game-changer for Western Sydney and things are starting to take shape.

“The airport is going to mean more jobs for local workers and more opportunities for Western Sydney.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said this was an important first step in the construction of a once-in-a-lifetime infrastructure project.

“The construction of a major airport comes around once in a generation and this infrastructure project will not only provide job opportunities west of Sydney during the construction phase but also beyond 2026 when it opens.

“When complete, the Western Sydney International Airport will ensure greater connectivity to other Australian cities, regional hubs and of course the world, which benefits all Australians and visitors.”

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