Finance Finance News Badgerys Creek: timeline of second Sydney airport

Badgerys Creek: timeline of second Sydney airport

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Badgerys Creek is expected to be selected as the site for Sydney’s second airport, 45 years after it was first mooted.

Servicing the growing airport demands of Australia’s biggest city has been up in the air since the 1960s.

A total of 19 sites have been considered over the years but Badgerys Creek, about 50 kilometres west of the CBD, has now been chosen as the location to build.

1969: Badgerys Creek first proposed

A federal government advisory committee began considering a number of locations and among them was Badgerys Creek.

Over the next two decades sites at Wilton and Holsworthy in Sydney’s south-west, and Wattamolla to the south were also considered.


It was the Hawke government that ultimately chose Badgerys Creek as the site of Sydney’s second airport and soon after began buying up land.

The decision met fierce opposition and locals mounted a major campaign against it.

June 1992

Then aviation minister Bob Collins turned the first sod at Badgerys Creek and declared it would become one of the most important airports in the southern hemisphere.

It was anticipated the Badgerys Creek airport would be operational in 1995.

March 1995

Bob Carr led the Labor Party to the state election victory on a tide of resentment over aircraft noise.

He was able to form majority government four days after the election when one seat, Badgerys Creek, finally fell to Labor candidate Diane Beamer.


John Howard’s government claimed victory in the federal election and began investigating Holsworthy Army Base as an alternative site for a second airport.

2000: Badgerys Creek put on ice

The Howard government abandons plans to build at Badgerys Creek, but retains ownership of the site.

July 2003

Then-opposition leader Simon Crean makes the commitment to drop Badgerys Creek as an option for the Labor Party.

But Mr Crean’s announcement caused friction within the ALP. A number of city-based MPs complained that they had been left out of the decision-making process.

Labor later agreed to find a new site within six months.


Kevin Rudd leads the Labor Party to victory in the federal election.

The need to service Sydney’s rapidly expanding population saw support for a second airport gain momentum once again.

March 2012

A joint state and federal report found Sydney would need a second airport by 2030, and listed Badgerys Creek and Wilton as potential sites.

At the time, federal infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese ruled out Badgerys Creek as an option but stressed the cost of inaction on a second airport would be enormous.


Support for Badgerys Creek grows again when the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils reversed 30 years of opposition and voted to back the plan.

Months later, a report found Wilton had considerable subsidence problems that would be too expensive to overcome.

Following the federal election, Tony Abbott foreshadowed a decision would be made early in the new government’s first term.