Speech at the Aerotropolis Investor Summit

28 May 2018
Prime Minister
Infrastructure and Industry


Thank you very much Niall and can I acknowledge also as you did, my very dear friend and our partner in the Aerotropolis, the New South Wales Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, the Minister for Defence, Marise Payne who as you’ll learn, has played a key role in ensuring that we have some land at the Aerotropolis. The Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, Paul Fletcher, he’s going to speak to you later, he’s doing a phenomenal job overseeing the Western Sydney Airport and of course his counterparts in New South Wales, Stuart Ayres, Minister for Western Sydney and Niall who has just addressed us. Liverpool's Mayor Wendy Waller, Penrith’s Mayor John Thain, Wollondilly Shire Mayor Judith Hannan and all the other representatives from local government. I want to acknowledge Her Excellency the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Australia, Erica Schouten and His Excellency, the Ambassador of Kuwait, Najeeb Al-Bader. Also, representatives from the UK, the Philippines and South Korea through their consulates.

Now again as Niall did, we acknowledge the original and continuing custodians of the land on which we meet, the Cabrogal clan of the Darug nation and acknowledge their elders past, present and emerging. And echoing Niall,  thank you to the Kari Singers - that was a fantastic performance.

Now, to all the delegates at this inaugural Aerotropolis Investor Forum, welcome to Western Sydney. You’re all here because you want to share in a once in a generation opportunity to shape a new city and create a new community. The Western Sydney Aerotropolis is going to be built about 20km west of where we are meeting here and it will be at the heart of this new community.

We want to emulate the success of Incheon in South Korea, Schiphol in the Netherlands and Dallas-Fort Worth in the United States.

We see a world-class precinct of knowledge-intensive industry and of learning; a flourishing economic centre spread across 10,000 hectares.

We see a city that will create tens of thousands of jobs in the aviation, aerospace, defence and advanced manufacturing industries. Jobs will flow into other sectors, including education, agribusiness, health, hospitality, logistics and retail.

We see new homes for individuals and families drawn initially by the employment and education opportunities, but who will be entranced and stay for the lifestyle.

None of this would be possible without the enormous government investment in the future of Western Sydney. Already, nearly $20 billion has been committed for transport, health and education infrastructure across the region. The biggest single investment is of course, the Commonwealth Government’s, the Federal Government's $5.3 billion commitment to build the Western Sydney Airport, a world-class domestic and international airport that will open in 2026. Without the airport, you don't obviously have an aerotropolis and without the airport and the city-shaping infrastructure that supports it, you don't have the 200,000 jobs forecast to be created in Western Sydney in the next 20 years.

With the New South Wales Government, we're also investing $3.6 billion in the roads that will support the airport, the Aerotropolis and the communities that will grow around them. In March we signed the Western Sydney City Deal with the New South Wales Government and eight local councils represented here today.

The City Deal is a game-changer. Now I'm not sure how many of our international guests come from countries that are federations, but this is a big deal. The whole concept of City Deals is a big deal.

For the first time, all three levels of government will be united in a common purpose; to make Western Sydney one of the best places to live and work in Australia. You see, historically in our country and I suspect in other federations as well, national governments, state governments, local governments have often been heading in broadly the same direction, but too often they've been a little bit like ships passing in the night. There has been a lack of coordination and collaboration.

The City Deal process changes all of that. It ensures that we sit down and we agree on what we want to do, then we make sure that everything we do supports those shared goals. It is a very, very big change.

My father-in-law would describe it as a “penetrating glimpse of the obvious”; but it hasn't been apparent or very evident for a very long time in our history of our Commonwealth.

So, we want to work with the community to build the Western Parkland City, a city where quality of life is put at the centre of every development and where the necessary infrastructure is planned and delivered in advance. Think about that. We’re putting the infrastructure in advance. What a revolution! Not retrofitted only when growing pains emerge, which has been the practice for too long.

Yes, this new Western Parkland City will be an economic powerhouse, but it will also be green, it will be livable, with convenient access to employment, recreation and education. It’s a new city and it is a 30-minute city.

Now, the City Deal commits the state and federal governments jointly to fund and build the North-South rail line that will connect the airport and the Aerotropolis to the existing network in time for the opening of the airport. It commits us to getting on with the Aerotropolis, starting with 114 hectares of former Commonwealth Defence land - thank you, minister - just south of the airport.

Now, how do we know that this commitment will attract private sector interest and investment? Well, look around you. Look at this. William Inglis & Son has invested $140 million in this hugely impressive Riverside Stables complex here in Liverpool, including the 5-star William Inglis Hotel which opened in January.

Now, William Inglis was always going to be pressed to move out of its Newmarket Stables in Randwick in Sydney's east, where it had been trading bloodstock for more than 100 years as the suburb and city grew into denser development around it.

The location, next to the Warwick Farm Racecourse was in some senses a no-brainer. But the chief executive Mark Webster says what gave the company the confidence to take a chance and go all-out with the investment in the hotel and convention facilities, was the Commonwealth Government's commitment to the Western Sydney Airport. Thoroughbred auctioneers need to be close to transport so the yearlings, weanlings and broodmares that go under the hammer in this very room, can be moved in and out across the nation, around the world with the minimum of fuss. Suddenly the Riverside Stables were going to be right between two airports, about 30 minutes from Sydney Airport at Mascot and just 20 minutes from the new Western Sydney Airport.

Mark saw the potential of Western Sydney and so clearly do others. He said that every major hotel group in the world bid for the right to manage the William Inglis Hotel before the company settled on Accor and it’s MGallery by Sofitel brand which is reserved for unique boutique hotels.

What does that tell you? “We don't see ourselves in Western Sydney”, Mark said, “we see ourselves at being at the centre of the new Sydney.” At the centre of the new Sydney and he is absolutely right. There is something very special happening right here in this part of our city, in this part of our nation. And there is only one chance to get in on the ground level.

I hope today is the start of many conversations that will lead to the public and the private sectors working together to realise the enormous potential of Western Sydney.

Have a great day, lots of good discussions. You really are here at the beginning of a most extraordinary journey. Governments working together, infrastructure being planned in advance, a vision as ambitious as it is technological, a vision that is thoroughly 21st Century.

You are here, right here, at the future of our city.

Thank you.