Williamtown NSW’s Fifth ‘SAP’

Williamtown is the fifth NSW region to get a “Special Activation Precinct” (SAP).

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro today visited BAE Systems in Williamtown to announce the township will become a national and international defence and aerospace hub.

Special Activation Precincts are about making it easier and more attractive for businesses to set up in regional NSW, create more jobs, and grow our regional engine industries such as freight and logistics, renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, tourism, hospitality and defence.” Mr Barilaro said.

The government will evaluate 10,000 hectares around the Port Stephens local government area, including Newcastle Airport and surrounds.

Squadron Leader William Grady conducts a walk around of an F-35A Joint Strike Fighter at RAAF Base Williamtown.

The site will build on the defence, aviation and technology commercial activity of the $11.79 million Astra Aerolab precinct.

Williamtown’s RAAF base is Australia’s primary Department of Defence fighter pilot training base and home to the F-35 fleet ,and the Asia Pacific Regional Warehouse for F-35s.

Essential services that businesses need to operate will be provided by the NSW Government and may include roads and utilities such as water, electricity, stormwater, waste management and digital connectivity.

Aligning with the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan, the project could spur upgrades to Newcastle Airport’s runway and terminal, the M1’s extension to Raymond Terrace and new road links to the airport and Port of Newcastle.

The announcement of a Williamtown Special Activation precinct is great news for Newcastle and the Hunter, bringing thousands of skilled jobs along with unlocking key development lands,” the Lord Mayor said.

It’s especially welcome at a time when thousands of jobs have been lost in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie due to the coronavirus pandemic, because the Special Activation Precinct will provide direct and indirect jobs for decades to come.

Special Activation Precincts have a high potential to create significant employment and drive investment in engine industries, those that employ a higher proportion of people in our region compared to others.”

The 76-hectare site adjoining the airport and Williamtown RAAF Base will house aviation, defence and aerospace-related manufacturing, maintenance, research and education.

Paralleling the twin aerospace developments will be passenger growth at Newcastle Airport, with a minimum 2.6 million-passenger throughout expected by 2036. 

The anticipated growth and expansion of passenger flights will be supported by improved public transport between the airport and city centre, as well as runway surface and freight-handling capacity upgrades.

From left ~ Deputy Mayor Port Stephens Council Chris Doohan, BAE Systems Director Aircraft Sustainment and Training Andrew Chapman, The Hon. Taylor Martin MLC, Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Deputy Premier The Hon. John Barilaro and The Hon. Catherine Cusack MLC – Parliamentary Secretary inside a BAE Systems hangar at Williamtown.