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Badgerys Creek Airport the key to western Sydney's knowledge jobs

Date

David Borger

Key to success: "Bringing knowledge jobs to the west has to be the first priority for our city."

Key to success: "Bringing knowledge jobs to the west has to be the first priority for our city." Photo: Brendan Esposito

A PricewaterhouseCoopers report released last week confirms what American economist Enrico Moretti argues in his book The New Geography of Jobs. Moretti tells the story of the US economy transitioning out of traditional manufacturing because it has been unable to compete with the efficiency of China.

The engine for growth is increasingly found in the knowledge economy jobs in IT, pharmaceuticals and creative industries. And these industries are agglomerating in places with a concentrated pool of scientific and creative knowledge. Places like San Francisco, Seattle and New York.

In Sydney, we are seeing a similar pattern emerging. The arc that stretches from Sydney Airport through the Sydney CBD to Macquarie Park is where the great bulk of knowledge jobs are located. Macquarie Park has been celebrated as the great success story of placing creative industries alongside tertiary educational institutions and backing them up with strong transport links.

Knowledge jobs are hard to come by and, in the Sydney metropolis, they are centralising in the urban core. They also have the strongest economic multipliers - for every software engineer at Apple, about five other jobs are created for workers in the non-traded sector of the economy.

In western Sydney, Parramatta and Westmead have the potential to attract more knowledge jobs, while an airport at Badgerys Creek is the region's longer-term opportunity to establish a Macquarie Park-style employment zone in south-west Sydney.

For a new geography of jobs to be successful in western Sydney, the vision needs to be underpinned by investment in the regional river cities of Liverpool, Penrith and Parramatta. And we need to end the disgraceful situation that has less than 1 per cent of arts funding going to western Sydney, a region that comprises almost a third of the NSW economy.

Our existing radial system focuses all movement to the Sydney CBD. A more enlightened city would connect these regional centres. A light rail to Parramatta and an outer orbital - both road and rail - would make these centres more accessible for work and entertainment. If we don't take action to bring more knowledge jobs to western Sydney, our city will become increasingly unworkable, with 400,000 people having to leave western Sydney and travel east to find a job by 2050.

We all know the impact of the 200,000 workers doing that trip today, with congestion on our roads, trains and buses. Now is the time to deploy the correct planning to ensure the demand on our transport network is alleviated before it is too late.

That's why I've been such a vocal advocate for an airport at Badgerys Creek. Bringing knowledge jobs to the west has to be the first priority for our city. An airport could bring almost 30,000 jobs to the region. It is by no means the silver bullet, but it is a good starting point.

A vibrant, independent regional economy driven by knowledge jobs has to have a strong aviation sector. We must decide the type of city we want for future generations of Sydneysiders. I want one that provides opportunity and equality regardless of whether you live in the east or the west.

The alternative is a city in which the eastern half is job-rich and the western half is job-poor. That's a terrible inheritance to leave our children. We want to help them secure a home and a family. Let's help them secure a good job close to home as well.

David Borger is the western Sydney director of the Sydney Business Chamber.

44 comments

  • Citizens of western Sydney - be aware of what will happen. Politicians do not want to talk about this.

    Aviation emissions are unregulated, unreported and uncontrolled.
    Jet engines are dirty and burnt jet fuel has many dangerous pollutants sprayed directly into the atmosphere.

    In particular, benzopyrene is a highly carcinogenic byproduct of jet fuel combustion attached to soot particles. It can cause cancer and tumors in humans through lung and skin adsorption.
    This will contribute to significant increases in asthma, respiratory ailments, and heart disease for those living under and around the flight zone.

    Mascot runways extend into the ocean which minimizes pollution and noise. The Badgerys plan is to fly over residential housing, farmland and Sydneys main source of water - Warragamba Dam.

    People, children, animals and plants living under the flight paths will be rained on by toxic airplane exhaust fumes, 24 hours every day and every night - forever.

    Commenter
    Bruce
    Location
    Blacktown
    Date and time
    March 10, 2014, 12:41AM
    • Scare campaign. Let the planes fly. I've lived in the flight path of Sydney Kingsford Smith for decades. There are no epidemiological studies that show that people who live under flight paths suffer health problems as a result.

      Commenter
      alto
      Date and time
      March 10, 2014, 3:49PM
    • Our area is very far from Badgerys Creek.
      I shop at Ikea Tempe yesterday because Rhodes doesn't have stock and I can barely hear plain noise inside the building given its proximity to the airport.

      Check if your house is within the high noise radius. Noise is very exaggerated.
      google "badgerys creek airport airport noise" and check the images

      also please note that the high noise area are being converted to employment area. Airport is a very good catalyst for businesses to fully embrace the idea.
      google "western sydney employment area"

      Commenter
      John
      Location
      Quakers Hill
      Date and time
      March 10, 2014, 5:06PM
  • To allow Borgers article to be put in context it's important to know how his home will be affected by a second airport at Badgerys Creek with, among other things, 24 hour operation.

    Commenter
    RLB
    Location
    Sydney West
    Date and time
    March 10, 2014, 1:16AM
    • No Airport For Badgerys Creek!! We don't want it.

      Lift the curfew at Mascot. It is an old-fashioned anachronism these days. Modern cities around the world don't have curfews. Mascot can be made much more efficient than it is. A solution that is quick and cheap.

      At least Mascot has the ocean to fly over, pollute, dump fuel, maybe even crash, God forbid.

      30 years ago Badgerys was chosen in a mostly unpopulated area.

      Well now the population has been allowed to flourish unrestricted. This was never in the original plan 30 years ago and is now totally unsuitable.

      Badgerys will not be a tourist destination. It will be noisy air freighters taking off and landing 24 hours night and day. Knowledge jobs? There won't be "thousands of jobs", just trucks and couriers carting cargo back and forwards.

      Badgerys will be a nightmare for residents of western Sydney and lower Blue Mountains.

      It is not the plaything of politicians and business suits that come and go.

      Commenter
      Robert
      Location
      Glenmore Park
      Date and time
      March 10, 2014, 8:20AM
      • The only true thing you said is about the curfew/limit on movements. If you lift the limits on movements you could still keep the curfew, as long as you all those landings within 1/4 hour not to be penalised.

        As any pilot will tell you how you take of and land is a matter of wind, so the Botany Bay option is not available all the time.

        Commenter
        Uncle Quentin
        Date and time
        March 10, 2014, 11:51AM
      • Anyone who has bought near Badgerys Creek in the latest thirty years knew that there was a real possibility that it would be developed as an airport. Sorry Robert, but an airport in the west is needed and Badgerys Creek is the right place for it.

        Commenter
        Prose
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        March 10, 2014, 12:16PM
      • It's like asking build another house on 100sqm block

        Commenter
        John
        Location
        Quakers Hill
        Date and time
        March 10, 2014, 5:07PM
    • Cue the Nimbys and obstructionalists who hate progress and development, then complain about the economy and the fact that they can't afford to buy a house.

      Commenter
      john douglas
      Location
      Rose Bay
      Date and time
      March 10, 2014, 10:12AM
      • I can put up with the noise (i don't think it will be that loud) if that means better food for the western sydney people or even for the entire country.

        Commenter
        John
        Location
        Quakers Hill
        Date and time
        March 10, 2014, 5:12PM

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