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IT'S WESTERN SYDNEY'S FIRST Featured
28 January 2017 Posted by 

IT'S WESTERN SYDNEY'S FIRST

More than Sydney’s second airport

By Theo Psychogios

CHIEF Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission, Lucy Turnbull’s release of the grand plan for Greater Sydney shows the pivotal role of the airport at Badgerys Creek for Western Sydney’s economic future.

The draft plan, Towards our Greater Sydney 2056, has been released and submissions have been called for, with the final report to be released in the second half of 2017.

The draft plan groups Greater Sydney under three separate cities: Eastern City, Central City (with Parramatta at the heart), and Western City, incorporating the Western Sydney Airport.

Western Sydney Airport is a once in a generation opportunity to foster an environment where there is greater diversity of jobs, greater social opportunities in the centres of Penrith, Blacktown, Liverpool and Campbelltown-Macarthur.

The report confirms what we have all been hoping: that local, state and federal governments will work together to develop a Western Sydney City to deliver almost 100,000 jobs, more housing and better transport for thousands of local citizens by 2056.

Western Sydney Airport is currently being designed as a secondary airport to handle local overflow from Sydney Airport, but the perspective is changing. It is in fact Western Sydney’s first airport.

Global cities that have been successful in leveraging multiple airports for broad-based economic development have much more in common than just an airport.

Successful airports are nodes that collapse time and space in a way that connects their home region to a world of innovation, investment, goods and services.

The release of this draft report is in recognition of the need for a clear vision and insight into the political, socio-economic and environmental issues, both current and future, as well as a robust comprehension of how the airport connects to the rest of Sydney.

Western Sydney has long suffered a jobs deficit: Deloitte’s Shaping Future Cities: Designing Western Sydney  blueprint indicates that as many as 300,000 people commute east for work every day.

Western Sydney Airport has the potential to plug the 1 in 10 Australians living in the region directly into the frontiers of the global economy, but only if it is well connected with the region around it, both in terms of travel time and transport modes, including private, pool and commercial vehicles, rail, bus and freight connectivity.

The rapid but high cost to weight ratio of air transportation makes air travel (in comparison to other forms of long-distance transportation) particularly useful in the transfer of anything that is fast moving, high value and low weight, such as ideas and knowledge transfer.

A previous Deloitte study  found the airport at Badgerys Creek would create over 30,000 jobs and $15 billion in economic output by 2050.

However, a north south and east west rail connection to Western Sydney Airport would catalyse further job generation on top of the identified 30,000 jobs.

Rail links will open up connectivity to broader employment markets in the north west and south west of Sydney. As Sydney’s population passes the 4 million mark - Turnbull’s draft report indicates that by 2056, our population will top 8 million - people will demand higher order jobs closer to their place of residence.

Western Sydney is already home to burgeoning industries that are magnets for further business and trade, including advanced manufacturing, tourism and agribusiness.

And with such a significant population growth forecast, it will be critical to consider the existing potential of Western Sydney and the impact of the efforts underway to reduce the jobs deficit as well as the wider impact of the airport and airline operations on surrounding local businesses and industry.

Airports can play a major role in the location of corporate and regional headquarters, service companies and research and development facilities and they are critical to attracting conventions and trade shows.

Turnbull’s draft report states that the economic growth generated by the airport will offer the opportunity to furnish affordable housing, transport and social infrastructure and the jobs needed to create a place people will want to call home.

To create an environment in which people not only want to work and transit through but also live and spend their leisure time, you need amenities – housing, educational institutions, cafes, restaurants, gyms, childcare centres - and the place-making that ensures these amenities are attractive.

Turnbull’s call for submissions represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us to shape Western Sydney’s future – a place we want to live and work in - and the future of our new airport.

Theo Psychogios, Deloitte Access Economics partner, Deloitte Western Sydney.

 



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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.