Western Sydney’s most popular sporting teams have united to call for an airport at Badgerys Creek to get the green light to help generate thousands of local jobs and allow more fans to support their team at home and away games.
The Western Sydney Airport Alliance was joined by representatives of Western Sydney Wanderers, Greater Western Sydney GIANTS, and Wests Tigers at Parramatta Stadium.
“Community support for an airport at Badgerys Creek continues to grow with our great Western Sydney sporting icons joining the chorus of groups calling for action,” said spokesperson for the Western Sydney Airport Alliance David Borger.
“A Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek would be an economic and jobs bonanza for the entire region.
“We are facing a 200,000 jobs deficit in Western Sydney today and that is expected to rise to 400,000 by 2050 if we don’t take action to bring thousands of jobs to our doorsteps – Badgerys Creek is the common sense way to start off and our economic analysis estimates 28,000 local jobs would be created by 2050.”
Lyall Gorman, Executive Chairman of the Western Sydney Wanderers, said the airport would be a major boost for the thousands of Wanderers fans and the large football family across Western Sydney.
Ms Gorman said it would bring more jobs to the region, significantly increase economic activity, improve much needed infrastructure and from a sporting perspective, allowing more fans to more easily travel interstate to support their club and other major sporting events.
“Thousands of Wanderers fans have already highlighted a need for an airport in Sydney’s west through the large numbers who travel interstate when we play. The shorter journey from Western Sydney to an airport at Badgerys Creek will be a significant incentive for the many more willing to travel both interstate and overseas for Wanderers matches.
“An airport at Badgerys Creek would link our fans directly to our away matches across Australia and internationally. It would also encourage more opposition fans to visit Western Sydney home games boosting our local tourism industries, noting for example that over the next three months the Wanderers will host teams and large travelling contingents from Japan, China and Korea in the Asian Champions League in our own backyard,” Mr Gorman said.
Kevin Sheedy, a Director with the Greater Western Sydney GIANTS, said Western Sydney sports teams had strong connections with their communities and wanted to see better job opportunities and a vibrant Western Sydney economy that would support better work-life balance.
“Air travel is an important part of a vibrant, modern economy. Airports support thousands of jobs and generate billions in economic activity. We don’t want to see our fans and their families miss out on this one-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the experience of living in Western Sydney for the better.”
Grant Mayer, Chief Executive Officer of the Wests Tigers said a new airport in Western Sydney is vital for the continued growth of the region.
“From a Wests Tigers perspective we're proud to represent this vast area and the prospect of thousands of local jobs being created and the ability for our fans from both here and outside of Sydney to travel easily to games is exciting." Mr Mayer said.
Mr Borger said the attitude to a Western Sydney Airport has clearly shifted significantly over the past decade from opposition to support as the city became bogged down by congestion and long commutes to work.
“Never before have had we had such a strong coalition of different organisations, from business to unions, from community groups to our great sporting teams, in agreement about a single issue. We all agree that an airport holds great potential for Western Sydney and must go ahead.” Mr Borger said.