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Sky-high investment: WSI spends more than $500 million with local Western Sydney businesses

02 April 2024

Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport (WSI) continues to drive economic uplift and the creation of local jobs, with more than half a billion dollars spent with Western Sydney businesses since the start of construction in 2017.

WSI CEO Simon Hickey said the airport had engaged more than 360 Western Sydney-based businesses since work on the airport began, from local tradies and construction companies, to caterers, security guards and other small and medium businesses.

"We've seen support for locally based businesses of all sizes continue to grow in 2023 with total spend increasing by $100 million, from $400 million at the start of last year, and creating jobs for people who live locally who in turn spend more money in the West," Mr Hickey said.

"Currently there are more than 4,000 people working on site during peak construction. Half of the project's workforce lives in Western Sydney and around a third are learning new skills on-the-job.

"On top of the thousands of local workers the project employs directly, the additional $100 million spent in the last year has flow-on economic benefits across the region.

"This effect on the local economy and local jobs will be multi-generational.

"We are so proud to be building Sydney's new 24/7 airport and creating opportunities and a skills legacy for this vibrant, diverse region," said Mr Hickey.

Two of the many local businesses benefiting from WSl's investment is bulk earthworks specialists O'Neill's Plant Hire and Mulgoa Excavations.

Based in Kentlyn in Campbelltown, O'Neills is a proud family owned and run business, providing services to WSI contractor AeroWest, a joint venture between Seymour Whyte and BMD, in the construction of the landside facilities, earthworks, drainage, as well as internal road networks and transport connections.

Owner and operator of O'Neills Plant Hire, Eamon O'Neill said: "my parents sold their first house to buy a machine and started their own earthmoving business in 1967. Dad moved the dirt, mum did the paperwork and picked up parts for the machines, while at the same time bringing up six kids.

"O'Neills now employs around 60 operators, with the majority living locally, so they appreciate the proximity of work at the airport to home.

"Working on WSI has certainly given my company the opportunity to grow. We have been able to expand our fleet and have welcomed multiple new staff members.

"Being engaged by AeroWest has opened some doors which have led to bigger projects for the company, and we have been able to expand our clientele.

"The thing we are all most proud of is that we are part of building a great future for Western Sydney and for the people in our team, like me, who chose to live in Western Sydney with our families.

"When our staff members check in for a flight for the first time out of Western Sydney International Airport, how exciting will it be for them to be able to say, 'I built that'," said Mr O'Neill.

Mulgoa Excavations
Western Sydney locals Tracy Buttigieg and Daniel Buttigieg started Mulgoa Excavations in 2004 with three employees and have since grown their business to more than 80 workers.

Based in Badgerys Creek and Orchard Hills, Mulgoa Excavations was the first subcontractor to begin earthmoving work at the 1780- hectare site, operating dump trucks, scrapers, dozers and carting thousands of tons of concrete around site.

"When we drive past the site and see our trucks and plant equipment it makes us very proud," Ms Buttigieg said.

"We have lived in Western Sydney all our life, so this project is close to our hearts."

During peak earthworks, the company had around 20 to 25 employees a day on site, approximately 30 per cent of their workforce.

"Working at WSI has allowed us to expand our workforce and hire more local staff. It feels good to know we are supporting the local community by providing more employment
opportunities," Ms Buttigieg said.

Media enquiries

Brooke Eggleton, WSI Media and External Affairs Manager

+61 481 794 640