The WestConnex New M5 has reached an all time employment peak with more than 2000 workers working to deliver the project.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said WestConnex was not just about decongesting some of the busiest roads in Sydney’s west, but also about generating jobs, driving opportunities for business and stimulating the local economy.
“With construction now at its peak, the New M5 is creating significant opportunities locally with workers from Western Sydney representing more than a quarter of the people employed on the project to date,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“Opening to traffic in early 2020, it will cut up to half an hour from an average peak-hour journey between Liverpool and southern Sydney, providing relief for more than 100,000 motorists who use the corridor each day.”
The NSW Government’s infrastructure boom has underpinned the State’s strong jobs figures with 445,700 jobs created since 2011, helping deliver the lowest unemployment rate in Australia for 32 consecutive months.
The WestConnex project will deliver 10,000 jobs during construction, including 4000 on the New M4 and 6000 on the New M5.
Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher said thousands of Sydney’s skilled workforce, including contractors and sub-contractors across a wide range of industries, were contributing their expertise and services to duplicate the M5 corridor, with more than six million hours of work clocked up to date.
“It’s ‘all systems go’ as we push ahead to deliver the New M5, part of the most significant infrastructure investment project in Australia right now,” Mr Fletcher said.
“The New M5 will run parallel to the existing M5 East to provide a non-stop underground journey between Kingsgrove and St Peters, doubling capacity on the M5 corridor from two to four lanes in each direction.”
Minister for WestConnex Stuart Ayres said 80 per cent of contracts awarded for the New M5 were with New South Wales-based companies and suppliers, highlighting the important role local business is playing to get the job done.
“The next generation of construction workers are also gaining invaluable experience on Australia’s largest transport infrastructure project, with more than 140 apprentices and trainees on the New M5 alone,” Mr Ayres said.
“On completion, motorists will be able to travel from the King Georges Interchange at Beverly Hills to St Peters in around 10 minutes thanks to the New M5.”
Federal Member for Banks David Coleman said as tunnelling nears completion on the New M4, excavation of the twin nine-kilometre tunnels between Kingsgrove and St Peters for the New M5 had progressed rapidly.
“With 18 roadheaders in the ground working 24/7, tunnelling has reached the halfway mark with nine kilometres now excavated across all four construction sites,” Mr Coleman said.
Member for Oatley Mark Coure said significant progress has been made at the site of the old Alexandria landfill which has been cleaned up and undergone a significant transformation as work continues to build the St Peters Interchange.
“This massive transformation is a game changer for St Peters. Work completed includes the installation of more than 60 super-T girders at the New M5 tunnel entry portals,” Mr Coure said.
Compare this to NSW Labor’s record during its 16 years in office when the infrastructure indecision on projects like the M4 and M5 left the NSW unemployment rate above the national average. Even today, Labor stands opposed to these projects and the jobs they are creating – including WestConnex.
The $4.3 billion New M5 is part of Stage 2 of the $16.8 billion WestConnex. The New South Wales Government is providing $1.8 billion to build WestConnex with the Australian Government providing $1.5 billion, in addition to a concessional loan of up to $2 billion.