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Premier Gladys Berijiklian walks to the stage to deliver the State Of The Region address.. Premier Gladys Berijiklian walks to the stage to deliver the State Of The Region address.. Featured
02 September 2017 Posted by 

OUR FUTURE NEVER BRIGHTER

State of the Region Address 2017
FOLLOWING is a transcript of Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s State of Region address on August 30 at Rosehill Gardens.
 
The event was organised by the Western Sydney Business Connection and attended by around 600 people.
 
I am proud to be here today as Premier of a Government that has been front and centre of enabling what is a new golden era for Western Sydney.   
 
Like never before, Government, business and the community are united behind an exciting vision for this region and the 2 million people who live here.   
 
And Western Sydney is at the centre of the infrastructure revolution transforming NSW and creating tens of thousands of new jobs and opportunities.      
 
The latest ABS figures confirmed that since 2011, 142,000 new jobs have been created in Western Sydney – almost 40 per cent of the 361,000 jobs created across the whole of NSW in that time.
 
Western Sydney jobs have surged by 12.3% - faster than NSW as a whole and faster than any other state and territory.  
 
As the latest ABS figures confirmed last week, the Western Sydney unemployment rate of 5.5% today is the lowest since 2008.
 
And over the past two years alone, Western Sydney has created more jobs than Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania combined.  
 
Not only has this jobs boost brought opportunities for the people of Western Sydney – it has lifted quality of life.  
 
Residents here no longer need to travel as far to work, and people from elsewhere in Sydney are being attracted to Western Sydney by the booming economy of this region.   
 
Delivering World-Class Infrastructure
 
The extraordinary jobs growth we are seeing in Western Sydney is a direct result of record Government investment in infrastructure and the private investment that has come off the back of it.  
 
But in many ways we are just getting started.    
 
Over the next four years, the Government will invest more than $22 billion on major projects to tackle congestion, connect communities and improve services across this region.   
 
That Western Sydney commitment is almost a third of our total, state-wide infrastructure commitment of $73 billion.     
 
Or to put it another way – NSW is spending more on infrastructure for Western Sydney than the Western Australian government is spending across the whole of their state.    
 
Australia’s largest roads project, Westconnex, and largest public transport project, Sydney Metro, are creating new gateways between Western Sydney and surrounding regions.      
 
The widened M4 is already easing congestion for thousands of drivers a day, with tunnelling underway on the new M5 and planning well advanced for the final stage, the M4-M5 link.
 
By 2024, fast, reliable metro rail will link people in North Western and South-Western Sydney to the Eastern City, or the Sydney CBD as we know it – with the West Metro to Parramatta also in the pipeline.      
 
These transport mega-projects will permanently change the way people travel around our city.   
 
And they are being complemented by unprecedented investment in the local roads and public transport that families and businesses rely on.  
 
This year alone, we will spend $1 billion on Western Sydney roads, in addition to the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan that we are jointly funding with the Federal Government.  
 
Just north of here, preparations are well underway for Parramatta Light Rail, with the release of the Environmental Impact Study last week.  
 
Light rail will be the thread linking the Westmead precinct to the booming Parramatta CBD, north to Carlingford and eventually east to Sydney Olympic Park – a revolution in public transport for this area.   
 
Social Infrastructure to Change Lives
 
Transport projects are at the heart to the Government’s infrastructure ambitions for Western Sydney.
 
But we are also investing more than $12 billion in the social infrastructure of health and education, because we know that good hospitals and schools change lives.  
 
Here in Western Sydney, we are spending $900 million to upgrade Westmead Health Precinct, $700 million on Blacktown Hospital, $630 million at Campbelltown and $550 million at Nepean to give Western Sydney communities the 21st century healthcare facilities they need.
 
In education, we are building or upgrading more than 50 Western Sydney schools, including 18 new schools in locations from Hurlstone to Liverpool, Narellan, Parramatta, Penrith and Wentworth Point.   
 
I regularly visit public schools across Greater Sydney, and I am always inspired by the power of great teachers to give young people opportunities and encourage their aspirations.     
 
The school building revolution in Western Sydney will give the next generation of children in this region the 21st century education they deserve to live good lives and build great careers. 
 
Building a Globally Competitive Economy
 
Every investment and decision we make in Western Sydney is designed to set this region up for the future - and create the next wave of local jobs for a smart, skilled and growing population. 
 
Westconnex alone will generate 10,000 jobs over the life of the build, while the benefits of other projects are spreading throughout the supply chain.    
 
I recently visited Southern Steel Supplies in Milperra, which is supplying steel for the new Western Sydney Stadium – one of many companies to benefit from $60 million in local contracts and more than 2,000 jobs associated with the project.    
 
But it is not just about generating jobs directly.
 
More importantly for the long term, world-class infrastructure is creating the environment for companies to invest and grow.  
 
And businesses are responding by delivering a resounding vote of confidence in the regional economy.   
 
Arnott’s has recently invested $22 million in a new packaging plant in Huntingwood.  
 
NRMA has invested $40 million to move its headquarters to Olympic Park.  
 
And PwC has opened a new Western Sydney headquarters at Western Sydney University’s Parramatta campus.   
 
From a growing services sector to the booming Westmead health precinct and the revitalisation of Olympic Park - the area around Parramatta is well established as Sydney’s second CBD.   
 
With more than $10 billion of public and private investment committed over the next five years, Parramatta’s momentum will continue.  
 
In 20 years’ time, the workforce here will have doubled to 100,000 – while a further 30,000 jobs will be based at Olympic Park.      
 
But to truly secure the jobs and opportunities that Western Sydney needs, we have to extend economic growth further east - to the extraordinary opportunity of the new airport at Badgerys Creek.   
 
Harnessing a New Aerotropolis
 
It is no exaggeration to say that the Western Sydney Airport is one of the biggest economic game changers our state has ever seen – the first major airport to be built in Australia in more than 50 years.   
 
It will be a new gateway to Australia for tourists and our leading trading partners, giving us a dual-airport system like those of London or Tokyo.   
 
Yet Badgerys Creek will be much more than just an airport – it will be an aerotropolis that generates investment, innovation, housing and potentially up to 100,000 jobs by the 2060s.  
 
Last week I visited Incheon Airport in Korea, located 65 kilometres south of Seoul.  
 
Incheon is widely recognised as one of the world’s best airports, and Korea has built a new city around it - with homes for tens of thousands of people, businesses, hospitals, schools and parklands.  
 
Incheon Airport alone employs 50,000 people, not including the people employed at its freight hubs and in the broader precinct.   
 
It was inspiring to see – and I believe we need to think just as big about the possibilities for Badgerys Creek.  
 
Next year, the NSW and Federal governments will jointly host an Aerotropolis 2026 Summit, inviting leaders from industries such as defence, advanced manufacturing, freight and logistics, agribusiness, health, education and tourism. 
 
The summit will determine how we can provide the best possible environment for business to grow around the new airport, including the scope for an Incheon-style Free Economic Zone and special tax incentives.   
 
The private sector is already recognising the size of the opportunity at Badgerys Creek.   
 
Northrop Grumman has committed to build a $50 million defence maintenance and sustainment centre, laying the groundwork for a new defence industry employment zone.  
 
And Australian firm Cupertino is partnering with the CSIRO to build the $5 billion Sydney Science Park at Luddenham – a development that will ultimately support 12,000 jobs and 10,000 homes, as well as 10,000 students. 
 
Showcasing Vibrant Culture, Sport and Tourism
 
World-class infrastructure and a globally competitive economy are the keys to a strong future for Western Sydney.   
 
But it is equally important that we invest in this region’s rich culture and sports.  
 
Here in Parramatta, we are spending $140 million to secure a new, improved Powerhouse Museum, redevelop the Riverside Theatre and grow the arts across Western Sydney.    
 
And we are investing $300 million in the 30,000-seat Western Sydney Stadium, giving football fans the best spectator experience in the country and enabling Parramatta to attract major national and international events.  
 
Further east, the Olympic Park precinct will always have a special place in Australian and global sport.   And I was pleased to confirm recently that the redevelopment of ANZ Stadium will be the priority for our $1.6 billion strategy to renew stadia across Sydney.  
 
This means that as Olympic Park continues to grow into a major business and residential hub, it will remain Australia’s flagship national sporting venue.  
 
Our goal is to make Sydney the events capital of the southern hemisphere – and these superb Western Sydney facilities will be flagships of that strategy.   
 
The transformation of Western Sydney is about residents first and foremost – but it is also a chance to showcase this region for Australian and international tourists.  
 
The visitor economy currently generates $4.2 billion a year for the Western Sydney, but it has the potential to play a much a bigger role in the future.
 
With record infrastructure investment, a new airport on the way, and major events and cultural spaces moving West - the time is right for Government and business to work together to help more people experience this incredible region.
 
Tomorrow, the Government will launch a Western Sydney Visitor Economy Action Plan to bring a more strategic, coordinated approach to tourism promotion between government and industry.  
 
The plan provides seed funding to the Western Sydney Business Chamber to audit tourism infrastructure - and to the Western Sydney Business Connection to develop tourism experiences and create a Western Sydney tourism website.   
 
I thank both organisations for their leadership, and I am confident that this new strategy will help Western Sydney capture a much greater share of the 30 million visitors who spend time in NSW each year.   
 
Tackling the Challenges of Growth
 
Western Sydney’s future is exciting in so many ways, but of course, the incredible opportunities ahead also come with challenges.  
 
As well as creating sustainable jobs and industries, we have to ensure that Western Sydney workers have the training and skills they need to thrive – and we are committed to doing so through a $2.2 billion budget investment in TAFE and other skills initiatives.   
 
At the same time, we continue to work closely with this region’s outstanding universities – and can I congratulate Western Sydney University on the announcement of a new Bankstown CBD campus that will add $50 million to the local economy. 
 
Notwithstanding the remarkable success that Western Sydney is experiencing, we know that many families here are still struggling with cost of living pressures. 
 
We are committed to working with the community to relieve those pressures, and that is why we have rolled out measures like CTP reform, energy price relief, and our $4.3 billion housing affordability package – with further initiatives to come.      
 
We also appreciate the importance of reducing the cost of doing business to encourage investment, which is why we cut $1 billion of business taxes in the 2016 budget and provided a further $300 million of insurance duty cuts in this year’s budget.    
 
Ours is a government that runs a strong economy and delivers the infrastructure NSW needs.  
 
But we are also a government that is on the community’s side in overcoming the challenges they face, and nowhere more so than here in Western Sydney.    
 
Conclusion
 
All in this room agree - the future for this region has never been brighter.  
 
We are supercharging Western Sydney with one of the world’s biggest infrastructure programs.   
 
From Parramatta to Badgerys Creek, businesses are investing and jobs are being created. 
 
Together, Government, business and the community are building a strong, diverse, dynamic Western Sydney economy – and making Western Sydney an even better place to live, work and visit.    
 
We are entering an incredibly exciting time of change and renewal for Western Sydney – and there is so much more still to come.  


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Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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