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Major earthworks contract won for Western Sydney Airport

The Western Sydney International Airport project has hit a major milestone, with contractors moving one million cubic metres of earth. Badgerys Creek Road.

Western Sydney Airport has awarded the major earthworks contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars to a joint venture.

Lend Lease and CPB Contractors will undertake the earthworks project, which is set to be one of the biggest ever infrastructure earthworks projects, creating hundreds of jobs across the 1780-hectare site.

CPB are expected to generate around $323 million in revenue from the contract, which will include topographical and drainage design for the entire airport precinct, detailed design and construction of the earthworks, and drainage for the area.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said work under the contract would move around 25 million cubic metres of earth on the site to support construction of the major elements of the airport, including the runway and terminal.

“With the ink now signed on the contacts, this huge construction work is due to begin in early 2020, and it’ll mean hundreds of new jobs on the airport site,” Morrison said.

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“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.”

Lend Lease and CPB have experience delivering major infrastructure, including the Sydney Metro project, many of Sydney’s motorways and aviation projects such as Brisbane Airport’s third runway.

Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister, 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,” McCormack said.

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

Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, said that in reaching this next milestone the project was entering an exciting new phase.

“Since early earthworks started in September 2018, more than 1.5 million cubic metres of earth has been moved,” Cormann said.

“But construction activity has so far only concentrated on a small portion of the 1780-hectare site.

“With the awarding of this contract, we will see work on the site ramp up significantly. The contractors will soon be working across an area of around 1000 hectares, leading to greater progress and more jobs.

Initial earthworks only covered around six per cent of the site and was testing the earth to ensure major earthworks could be undertaken efficiently and effectively.

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 percent 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,” Millett said.

He said that the positive response to the tender from the infrastructure market meant the task had 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,” Millet 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.”

The architectural contract to design the terminal precinct is expected to be awarded by the end of 2019. Registrations of interest have been opened to find contractors to build the terminal precinct, with a tender to be released in 2020. Major earthworks will also begin next year and are expected to be completed by 2022.

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