Astra Aerolab contracts announced as Newcastle Airport forges ahead with Williamtown industrial hub

A PRECINCT for defence and aerospace industries at Williamtown has taken a step forward after contractors were appointed to begin its first construction stage.

Charlestown’s Northrop Consulting Engineers will be the principal design consultants on the 76-hectare Astra Aerolab project, which received an $11.7 million state grant in September last year.

Civil contractors KCE will undertake site preparation on a $400,000 deal.

The Newcastle Herald reported in January that land had been purchased for a business technology park that will specialise in aviation and aerospace-related industries including manufacturing, maintenance and research.

Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes estimated at the time the park would produce 5500 jobs.

The land is located within the PFAS contamination area at Williamtown but has been deemed fit for purpose.

“This milestone is a strong signal that Astra is not far from reality, nor are the 5000-plus highly skilled, high value jobs that it will deliver,” Newcastle Airport chief executive Dr Peter Cook said.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the project was about continued investment in the Hunter.

“Our $11.7million investment is about more than jobs and the $246 million Astra Aerolab will generate for the NSW economy,” he said.

“The Hunter is the state’s biggest regional economy and the airport and RAAF base at Williamtown are absolutely key to its future growth.”

The tenders were awarded through a process that attracted 11 submissions in December and January.

Anderson Environment and Planning have also been enlisted to relocate mammals and reptiles from the site before work begins.

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