Construction of the future Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport has reached a major milestone, with half the earthworks now done and dusted.

Visiting the airport site today, Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the sheer scale of the earthworks demonstrates the monumental impact the project is already having on local jobs, businesses and the economy.

“Hundreds of workers are already being employed on site to prepare the land for airport construction, with more than half of these jobs held by Western Sydney locals,” Minister Fletcher said.

“Using 260 pieces of earthmoving equipment, these workers have put in more than 1.5 million hours and moved 13 million cubic metres of earth across the site – equivalent to over 5,000 Olympic swimming pools worth of earth.

“We’re running hard to get Western Sydney Airport built and open, so it’s great to reach this important milestone.”

Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham said local jobs and economic activity would be boosted as further works get underway, with construction of the passenger terminal due to begin by the end of the year.

“Constructing an international airport from the ground up is providing Australia the runway for a world-class airport that not only will be a gateway for international visitors in the future but a hub of domestic economic activity for Western Sydney,” Minister Birmingham said.

“With the airport expected to support almost 28,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2031, this project continues to deliver local job opportunities and ongoing stimulus by attracting business and industry to the region.”

The Australian Government is investing up to $5.3 billion in equity to deliver the airport.