Gladys Berejiklian: It is so exciting to be out here in Western Sydney in front of the Amazon site, which is taking shape. There are 700 people involved in the construction of the site behind me, which by next Christmas will become one of the largest building centres for Amazon in the southern hemisphere but more importantly, the only one with advanced manufacturing and robotic capacity in the southern hemisphere. That will result in 1500 jobs of people across a variation of skills, from engineers to advanced manufacturing and robotics experts, to other skilled labour. And it’s a fantastic boost for this community. And I also acknowledge Minister Andrews from the Commonwealth Government with us here, Minister Ayres who on behalf of the New South Wales Government, is really pushing to have this precinct to take shape. And of course, Ms Davies, Western Sydney MP and also Peter Sidgreaves. Who for their communities, this will be a huge boost. People won’t need to travel those longer distances to get the best jobs available. They’ll be able to live and work near their communities, which is exactly what we want.
This is one of many sites taking shape around this precinct. But just imagine that by next Christmas, Christmas next year, Amazon will be able to undertake its fulfilments or its orders from this advanced manufacturing plant all over Australia and also, more generally globally as well. And it’s great to have Matt Furlong and his team here from Amazon, who’ll also say a few words to explain why those chose this site and why Western Sydney is fast becoming the gateway to advanced manufacturing, robotics and logistics for all of Australia, not just New South Wales. So this a nation building precinct and a huge boost for Western Sydney as it becomes the gateway to those jobs for the future. Yesterday, I said that New South Wales will build its way through the COVID recovery and today is another example where we see the private investment coming off the back of government investment. It’s a stone throw away from the new Western Sydney Airport, plus the new transport links, the road links we’re already building, and the transport link, the rail and [indistinct] precinct is continuing to develop.
But this is a huge boost for our state just when we need it. Our state’s gone through a very difficult time, and Western Sydney has become and will become the advanced manufacturing capital of the nation and I want to thank Amazon for having confidence in New South Wales, for having confidence in Australia as we move forward. And I’m thrilled by what this means – 700 jobs in construction, as I said, and 1500 jobs once this centre opens. So if you add that up, two and a bit thousand people would have been employed during the project and more permanently moving forward. So, an excellent day for New South Wales and Australia and I just can’t believe how much this site has progressed. The last time I came here there was not much happening here at all and to know that the fulfilment centre is so advanced gives all of us a huge boost.
It also demonstrates our government’s vision. I think when we said we were building the Aerotropolis the city around the airport, people thought it was just a name that we were using. But now, as it comes to life, people can see the Government’s vision to really make this precinct a city of the future, a city for advanced manufacturing, and that’s exactly what is taking shape.
Karen Andrews: Thank you Premier and it’s a pleasure to be here with you today and with Minister Ayres. When I look at this site, I see opportunity. I see the opportunity taking shape for us to create jobs, for us to build our economy. And this is exactly what we need coming through the COVID crisis. So right here, we have about 700 construction jobs, but once the system here is fully operation, we would have an additional 1500 jobs.
We also know with COVID that some of the industry sectors that have been particularly affected include retail, and we know that those businesses that have taken the opportunity and have had the opportunity to build an online presence, they are the ones that have done well and at least maintained a level of customer support during the COVID crisis. So what we are seeing is support for our small businesses, in particular, through centres such as this fulfilment centre. There’s going to be about 10,000 small businesses that will be accessing this centre, that will be able to fulfil orders through here. Now, that has significant flow-on effects through to our economy. So again, what I see here today is opportunities. I see jobs and I see us coming through the COVID crisis and building our strong retail sector, supporting jobs that are different to what they have been in the past. They are highly skilled jobs. We will be looking at more engineers coming into this site, more technicians who will be looking at robotics. Warehousing is fundamentally different now to what it was 10 years ago.
So, congratulations to Amazon and I’m sure that everyone who is here today and everyone who will be joining us on this site in the years to come will appreciate the contribution that has been made to the local economy. Thank you.
Stuart Ayres: Thank you Premier. Thank you, Minister Andrews, for coming out today to recognise what is a landmark achievement in the growth of Western Sydney and our process in bringing more jobs closer to where people live. Whether it’s our investment in the Aerotropolis, the Commonwealth Government’s investment in the airport, multiple billions of dollars investment in road and rail, what we’re seeing here today is the private sector backing in the Government’s plan to grow more jobs in Western Sydney. This fulfilment centre is a 21st century warehouse. It’s where we’ve replaced shelves with robots. It means people get their product to their door faster. It also creates an opportunity for a new marketplace for small and medium Australian businesses to sell their products locally and internationally. This will give new opportunities for businesses to sell their locally produced products on the world stage. We want New South Wales businesses to go global, and we’re happy to partner with partners like Amazon to make that happen.
We said at the start that we wanted to bring 200,000 new jobs to Western Sydney to reduce that jobs deficit. That’s exactly what today’s project does – over 700 jobs in construction and 1500 ongoing jobs through the delivery and ongoing work at the fulfilment centre. And they’re new smart technology jobs. They’re not the traditional warehouse jobs that we’ve seen in the past. We’re creating new opportunities for technicians, for computer engineers, for computer programmers, and bringing more smart jobs closer to where people live here in Western Sydney. This area of Sydney goes from strength to strength. We’re the advanced manufacturing. We’re the freight and logistics. We’re the distribution centre for the nation. We’ve got the roads, the rail and the airport to keep growing this nation, keep getting those products out of the warehouses and into people’s shops and into people’s homes. And at the same time, we’re going to be driving the national recovery from COVID-19 right here out of Western Sydney.