NSW Deputy Premier, John Barilaro MP, has announced $11.7 million in funding to create a world-leading aerospace commercial precinct adjacent to Newcastle Airport.
Through the Growing Local Economies Program, the grant will provide the foundation for Newcastle Airport to kick off the development of Astra Aerolab, a nationally significant precinct for defence, aerospace and advanced manufacturing related research, manufacturing and businesses set to generate over 5,500 jobs in the Hunter region.
Making the announcement at Newcastle Airport, John said this is an exciting announcement in one of the state’s most exciting industries and regions.
“This investment will capitalise on the existing economic strengths of the region, securing 76 hectares of special land committed to defence and aviation-related industry and employment. The new Astra Aerolab will house maintenance and support services for Australian fighter jets and drive $246 million into the NSW economy,” John said.
Located adjacent to the airport, Astra Aerolab is a unique development with direct airside access from some lots. It will provide a world-leading innovation hub for defence and aerospace, as well as non-aviation related industries such as advanced manufacturing, technology, education, mining and operations.
Port Stephens Council and Newcastle City Council, joint shareholders of Newcastle Airport, will contribute $7.86m to co-fund the $19.66m project to activate the lead-in road from Williamtown Drive and site preparation for four development areas comprising 7.4 hectares.
Newcastle Airport CEO, Dr Peter Cock said the development will generate more jobs in the region.
“We appreciate the on-going support of the NSW Government and applaud its vision to ensure that NSW has the vital infrastructure to support and accelerate economic growth. The funding allows us to kick start the development that will grow the region’s profile, create jobs, drive trade and business, and enhance education and community outcomes,” Peter said.
The Airport is already home to tenants including BAE Systems and Jetstar. Astra Aerolab provides further opportunities for businesses supporting the sustainment of the new F35 Joint Strike Fighter jets as well as other aviation and aerospace activities, and will provide the ability locally to sustain other platforms.
“We are very proud to be working with the NSW Government on Astra Aerolab. As a community-owned asset, Newcastle Airport takes its role in generating economic and social outcomes seriously. We want to create a precinct that fuels pride as well as growth – a place where people and businesses want to work. In the Hunter, Astra Aerolab, adjacent to Newcastle Airport, RAAF Base Williamtown, and coupled with our unbeatable lifestyle will do just that,” Peter said.