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Artist impression of an evolving Parramatta CBD. Artist impression of an evolving Parramatta CBD.
03 November 2016 Posted by 


Investment boom reason to be excited

By Jeremy Thorpe
Chief Economist PwC

IN 2021 Parramatta will have more people, more jobs, more businesses and more opportunities. And that’s one of the key reasons why PwC will open a new office in Parramatta next year. 

Two weeks ago we delivered a report to the Parramatta City Council that showed Parramatta’s economic growth is set to almost double over the next five years.

An investment boom will mean a leap in economic growth from 2.4% per annum to 4.6% per annum over the next five years. Parramatta will be a $30 billion economy (in Gross Regional Product) with $66 billion in turnover.

These are big numbers and should excite all businesses looking towards opportunities in Sydney’s greater western region. But what is sitting underneath them?

More people and more jobs: Parramatta is the geographic centre of Sydney. Already more than two million people live within 45 minutes of Parramatta by car or public transport.

As Parramatta becomes a more and more attractive place to live and work, it is estimated that the population will expand by 41, 000 residents, which is almost twice the pace of Australia. To put this into context, it means two busloads of people will move into Parramatta every week.

There will be more workers too. An estimated 22,000 additional people will be working in Parramatta, and we will see the local workforce swell to around 186,000 people. Businesses like Uber are already established there and the New South Wales Government is moving many of its departments and agencies from the Sydney CBD to Parramatta.

More businesses will also drive more opportunities: The report forecasts an investment boom of more than $10 billion, an additional $1.2 million spent in the wholesale and retail sector each day and significant growth in commercial floor space.

A plethora of infrastructure projects over the next five years sits underneath this and we can divide this investment into three types.

The first type of investment is economic infrastructure. Public investment in Parramatta will be spread across $4.7 billion of economic infrastructure. This includes, for example the Westconnex road link and the Parramatta Light Rail which will connect the Parramatta CBD to Homebush.

The second type of investment is in social infrastructure. $2.7 billion will be invested by governments on social infrastructure – into schools, universities and hospitals. For example the vertical school in Parramatta’s CBD; the continued development of Australia’s largest concentration of health, education and research facilities at Westmead; and Western Sydney University’s new building at One Parramatta Square (our new neighbours!)

Culturally the new Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences will be constructed, the Western Sydney Stadium will be developed and new public spaces like the Parramatta foreshore and Parramatta Square will draw more and more people in.

Third, private investment is booming. More than $3.4 billion of new private investment is expected for commercial and residential buildings.

We expect an extra 232,000 square meters - or 34% increase - in commercial floor space from today. Think the commercial floor space of Chatswood being added to Parramatta over the next five years!

We will also see an additional 7,400 residences added, which is 1,500 more than the 2,000 usually built every year.

Parramatta’s development as Sydney’s second city is being carefully driven by a balanced social and economic investment approach.

The City of Parramatta Council, the NSW Government and the private sector are combining to effort to address to make it a better place to live, to work and to run a business.

Better transport, improved public spaces, more cultural institutions, the orientation of the economy to higher value industries and better jobs, and the boosting of residential capacity in close proximity to employment zones are setting the scene for a big future ahead.

It is clear to us that Parramatta has what communities need to flourish: People, jobs, community infrastructure and transport. We see that by 2021 Parramatta will be going from strength to strength to strength. PwC will be there. Will you?



Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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