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Geoff Lee with Minister for Planning Pru Goward and Parramatta City Council, Lord Mayor Scott Lloyd at the official release of the “Plan for Growing Sydney”. Geoff Lee with Minister for Planning Pru Goward and Parramatta City Council, Lord Mayor Scott Lloyd at the official release of the “Plan for Growing Sydney”.
26 December 2014 Posted by 


It's official: Parramatta is capital of GWS

By Geoff Lee
State Member for Parramatta

IT’S official, Parramatta is the “Capital of Western Sydney” and Sydney’s second CBD.

Last month the Minister for Planning, Pru Goward released a “Plan for Growing Sydney” – a 20 year plan to shape our global city.

The plan positions NSW to take advantage of growing opportunities from Asia – with Asia expected to account for half of global economic output within the next decade.

This plan also provides the framework necessary to deliver more jobs and accelerate housing supply so that we can both meet future demand and drive NSW’s economic prosperity.

Today, Western Sydney is home to 47 per cent of Sydney’s residents and only 36 per cent of the jobs while Sydney CBD has 10 times more jobs than other centres – as a result every morning 200,000 people in Western Sydney wake up and travel into Sydney’s CBD to work.

They end up spending hours stuck in cars, buses or trains. Today congestion costs Sydney around $5 billion per annum and is expected to grow to $8 billion by 2020 if we do nothing.

The plan identifies priority growth areas - Greater Parramatta to the Olympic Peninsula in a series of connected specialist precincts.

The health precinct at Westmead will grow from 16,000 jobs to 25,000 in 20 years. Last week the Minister for Health Jillian Skinner announced the start of an estimated $1 billion upgrade for Westmead Hospital, the largest upgrade for the hospital in 35 years.

The Parramatta Heritage Precinct will generate 2,000 jobs and 6,000 homes through the transformation of government lands into a vibrant mixed-use precinct.

Close to $100 million will be invested to restore and adaptively re-use the heritage buildings in the precinct, making it a place that not only rivals the Rocks, but is bigger and better.

Greater Parramatta will grow to 100,000 jobs over the next 20 years making it the financial, banking and professional services centre for Western Sydney.

Rydalmere education precinct will be expanded to recognise the important role of the University of Western Sydney in tertiary education and research.

The Camellia Precinct will be transformed from an industrial wasteland to a waterfront living. As a long-time advocate for its redevelopment I am encouraged by the Minister’s announcement of $900,000 to start the planning of the new Camellia.

Located just 2.5km from Parramatta CBD, the precinct offers substantial opportunities for remediation and redevelopment following the closure of the Shell refinery to create upwards of 30,000 jobs and 30,000 homes.

A new arts, culture and entertainment precinct will be developed in Parramatta. This will have the Powerhouse Museum as its anchor tenant and create space for local artists.

The relocation of the Powerhouse will meet increasing demand for more conveniently located entertainment and artistic options in Parramatta and be a catalyst for further arts growth in Western Sydney.

Parramatta has also been selected as a Green Grid pilot to connect open spaces, strategic parks and pedestrian and bike paths. This will provide significant benefits in making Parramatta a vibrant city.

The $1 billion investment in Parramatta’s light rail will not only improve commute times, light rail will shape Parramatta City and surrounding suburbs. New urban infill sites like the Parramatta Heritage Precinct and Camellia will be transformed into modern vibrant communities.

Light rail will link the growing population centres with employment, sport and education centres to alleviate congestion on our roads.

Overseeing the implementation of this plan will be the Greater Sydney Commission – a new government body that will bring together and coordinate across the many key stakeholders including, local government, private sector and community and state government agencies.

For far too long Western Sydney and Parramatta have been ignored – this plan, in conjunction with the NSW Government’s Long Term Transport Master Plan and Rebuilding NSW lays out a clear road map for building Western Sydney’s international competitiveness and future economic success.


Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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Email: info@wsba.com.au
Mail: PO Box 186, Kurrajong NSW 2758
Office phone: 61 2 4572 2336

Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.