Major airfield works a boost for Hunter region economy

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The Hon Melissa Price MP

Minister for Defence Industry

Minister for Science and Technology

Senator Hollie Hughes

Liberal Patron Senator for the Hunter Region

Media contacts

Ben Spencer (Minister Price’s office): +61 412 754 310

Steve Kuper (Minister Price’s office): +61 421 668 874

Karen Howard (Hunter Region Strategic Advisor – Senator Hughes): +61 413 123 258

Defence Media:

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8 December 2021

Joint media release: 

  • Liberal Patron Senator for the Hunter Region, Senator Hollie Hughes

The Morrison Government has awarded a leading engineering company a $164.9 million contract to deliver major airfield works at RAAF Base Williamtown and Newcastle Airport.

The contract with Downer EDI Works Pty Limited will support Australia’s air power capabilities and deliver a major boost to the Hunter region and the wider NSW economy.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the Government had committed to a significant investment that would maximise the opportunities for both local and Indigenous businesses.

“RAAF Base Williamtown is the Royal Australian Air Force’s main airbase for fighter pilot training and supports a large workforce of Defence personnel,” Minister Price said.

“The project will maintain and improve critical airfield infrastructure to ensure RAAF Base Williamtown continues to support the projection of Australia’s air power and also enable movements of larger civilian aircraft for Newcastle Airport.

“This contract is estimated to support about 300 jobs with an average of about 130 personnel per day.

“This shows yet again that the Morrison Government is supporting Australian jobs and backing our defence industry to deliver the capability our men and women in uniform need to keep Australians safe.”

Liberal Patron Senator for the Hunter Region Hollie Hughes said: “I warmly welcome this important investment and the jobs it will subsequently create for, and bring to, the whole Hunter Region.

“This is a great project that will deliver increased airfield capacity for larger civilian aircraft, supporting increased international travel and regional tourism.

“It will also benefit for our local economy with an improved accessibility to international freight for exporting regional produce.

“Importantly, under its Local Industry Capability Plan, Downer EDI Works Pty Limited will target local businesses to deliver at least 75 per cent of the total contract value.

“The company has also committed to achieving at least 4.5 per cent Indigenous employment participation in the Project.”

Downer EDI Works will remediate and upgrade the airfield for use by both the RAAF and Newcastle Airport.

Construction is due to start in early 2022 and is expected to be completed in late 2023.

The contact email address for public and industry queries is

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