Sandstone removed from below Sydney’s WestConnex is being repurposed to construct sections of the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport, including construction of the runway.
The agreement between the two mega-projects will mean 4.5 million tonnes of sandstone will be used at the airport.
The sandstone is being extracted from two of the WestConnex tunnelling sites, the M4-M5 Link and the Rozelle Interchange.
Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure, Alan Tudge, said it was an exciting, innovative and sustainable agreement between two game-changing projects.
“This sort of innovation is not only environmentally and economically beneficial but helps progress two mega projects that are creating thousands of jobs,” Mr Tudge said.
“Western Sydney International is one the biggest earthmoving projects in Australian history and recycling the sandstone from the WestConnex tunnels helps deliver world-class infrastructure.”
Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, said the opportunity to reuse resources across the projects and recycle the sandstone at the airport helps the environment and conserves Australia’s precious resources.
“Construction and demolition waste is an increasing issue in Australia as our cities and towns grow so it is wonderful to see a practical on the ground solution for the reuse of this sandstone between the projects,” Ms Ley said.
“It makes both economic and environmental good sense.
“The Australian Government is strongly committed to significantly increasing the use of recycled content by both governments and industry.”
The high-quality sandstone is used as a supportive layer beneath the runway, taxiways and roads.
This sustainability initiative provides an innovative option to reuse resources and increase efficiency across both projects.
Western Sydney’s population is expected to grow by one million people by the early 2030s and projects like Western Sydney International and WestConnex will support the growing population.
Western Sydney International is being delivered through a $5.3 billion Australian Government investment and remains on track to commence operations in 2026.
Western Sydney Airport Chief Executive Officer, Simon Hickey, said almost 983,000 tonnes of sandstone had already been transported to the airport site since March 2020.
“This high-quality sandstone will be used as a strong foundation to support the construction of the runway, taxiways and roads on the airport site,” Mr Hickey said.
“This is another example of how Western Sydney International is delivering world-class infrastructure, while also saving taxpayer funds and reducing waste.
“It’s about proven and sensible sustainability and efficiency, reusing resources and reducing carbon emissions.
“Western Sydney International is one of the biggest earthmoving projects in Australian history, and we’ve already moved more than five million cubic metres of earth across the 1,780-hectare site.
“We’re building an airport for Sydney’s future, and Western Sydney International will create thousands of jobs in construction and even more when the Airport is operational.”
Western Sydney International is on track to open for international, domestic and air cargo flights in late 2026.