Williamtown RAAF Base work to start in January

BOOM TIPPED: Port Stephens Council's Mike McIntosh, UDIA Hunter chapter chairman Geoffrey Rock and RAAF Base Williamtown Wing Commander Jeffrey Leeke discuss planned infrastructure spending.

BOOM TIPPED: Port Stephens Council's Mike McIntosh, UDIA Hunter chapter chairman Geoffrey Rock and RAAF Base Williamtown Wing Commander Jeffrey Leeke discuss planned infrastructure spending.

TWO of the Port's leading employers came under the spotlight at last month's Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) meeting attended by 190 industry representatives.

Speakers from both the RAAF Base at Williamtown and Port Stephens Council provided a unique insight into their future growth and development.

UDIA Hunter chapter chairman Geoffrey Rock said the event allowed for engineers, architects, developers and urban designers to be updated on two of the Port's leading stakeholders.

"Port Stephens Council is setting the benchmark in achieving viable and sustainable outcomes through its streamlined planning processes, while the RAAF is undergoing a $1 billion upgrade," Mr Rock said.

"The improved DA process will encourage more investment into the Port and the jobs created by the RAAF expansion will drive demand for more residential housing and an economic boom over many years to come."

The RAAF's Wing Commander Jeffrey Leeke said the benefits of approved and proposed developments totalling $1.5 billion between now and 2023 on the Williamtown base would be far reaching.

"The first piece of dirt will be turned in January," he said.

"The initial work will comprise stormwater drainage, a new fighter squadron facility [to accommodate the Joint Strike Fighters], a runway extension of 2000 feet and new explosives and ordinance areas on base.

"Lend Lease [winning contractor] is expected to employ 300 people for a range of trades," he said.

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