Despite the uncertain times we are living through, some recent positive news from government and health officials has allowed our region to shift focus and set our sights firmly on recovery and rebuilding confidence and re-energising our economy. Newcastle Airport is confident it can play a key role in that future, not only as a commercial airport, but also through delivering jobs and driving innovation at our world class Defence and Aerospace precinct – Astra Aerolab.
In a very important step towards making those ambitions a reality, it was very pleasing to see the Deputy Premier of NSW, John Barilaro, in town last week to announce a new Special Activation Precinct (SAP) centred around the Astra Aerolab estate and RAAF Base Williamtown.
The initiative, supported by the Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund, is a game changing announcement and will cement the region as a national and international defence and aerospace hub. I can assure you we’re appreciative of the hard work many in the NSW Government, both locally and in Sydney, contributed to make this a reality. These include Stephen Wills, Mark McLean, Chris Hanger, Gary Barnes and Alison McGaffin. It is an amazing opportunity we have been presented and are determined to optimise it on behalf of our region.
The new precinct, one of only five in NSW, will certainly unlock the potential we know exists in Williamtown.
For Astra Aerolab, being at the heart of the Williamtown Precinct will bring streamlined planning and approval processes. This is in addition to its natural benefits such as airside access to the Airport and RAAF Base Williamtown. It will make the investment process easier and reassure global companies that Astra Aerolab is a priority hub for the government.
From a strategic perspective, the announcement positions the Astra Aerolab as the prime Defence precinct for NSW, signalling its importance in delivering jobs and growth across the Hunter and more broadly across the State. It will complement the government’s $11.6M initial investment and continue the focus to focus public investment throughout the precinct.
Given stage 1 of infrastructure works is nearing completion, its unique location and the benefits that the Special Activation Precinct will bring, Astra Aerolab is uniquely placed to offer leasing opportunities for defence and aerospace innovation, advanced manufacturing and education. Five hectares of land has already been allocated to first mover prospective tenants.
With recovery at the forefront of everyone’s minds, I look forward to sharing more information with you in the coming months as we work together with the State Government to bring the Williamtown Special Activation Precinct to life.
In the meantime, please contact Newcastle Airport’s Property and Commercial Manager Peter Wych, with any queries or expressions of interest you might have in being involved with Astra Aerolab. Peter can be contacted via email.