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Geoff Lee at Parramatta River. Geoff Lee at Parramatta River.
01 May 2015 Posted by 


Parramatta is Australia’s first future city

By Geoff Lee
Member for Parramatta

PARRAMATTA is well placed to be Australia’s first future city – the first of many, and this is the vision I will be working towards over the next term.

Parramatta has been identified as an economic hub in the NSW Government’s “A Plan for Growing Sydney”.  More than $2.9 billion has been committed by the NSW Government to build infrastructure in the area.   

As an economic hub Parramatta will play a vital role in addressing Western Sydney’s most significant issue – the jobs deficit.

We must take a pro-active approach. Economists predict the jobs deficit will grow from 200,000 to 300,000 over the next 20 years in Western Sydney.

As a government, one of our challenges is to facilitate economic growth and manage policy settings to grow the number of high-value jobs in Western Sydney.

Parramatta’s CBD has a clear role in addressing this jobs deficit, where jobs are predicted to grow from 50,000 to 100,000 over the next 25 years. We must have strategies that spearhead knowledge-intensive job creation.

The McKinsey (2013) report ‘How to Make a Great City’ says cities should focus on competitive advantages and drive growth through industry clusters. Existing clusters can be then be reinforced and new clusters can be created.

Parramatta has well-established industry clusters and precincts including legal and professional services, finance and banking, and health sectors.

Westmead bio-medical precinct is a great example, Over the next decade, Westmead biomedical precinct is set to rapidly expand to 25,000 jobs with significant investment from government and universities to make it one of the largest bio-medical precincts in the world.

The NSW Government has committed $900 million to the redevelopment of the Westmead precinct. The University of Sydney has allocated $50 million to provide facilities for 2,000 students and the University of Western Sydney (UWS) will announce their investment plans shortly.

An education precinct is emerging in the heart of the Parramatta CBD with the University of New England and UWS having established CBD campuses over the last three years. In 2014, UWS announced a major investment in a new and significantly expanded campus to be opened by 2017. The UWS campus will accommodate 10,000 mainly post-graduate students.

The NSW Government will build the first vertical public school adjacent to the UWS Campus - 2,000 secondary school students will have the opportunity to learn in a new high-tech environment. It will be ready for classes in 2019 and offer flexible learning spaces that address 21st Century learner-needs.

The re-location of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta provides up to $200 million investment in new facilities in Parramatta. This move will be the catalyst for a new arts and cultural precinct. Emerging industries such as creative-digital media will develop in and around the precinct which will provide critical mass for new businesses.

In the next decade, we should broaden our focus to new and emerging industries. These industries will create jobs that do not exist today. Parramatta Council has identified Rydalmere as a future technology and innovation hub. This technology precinct will be adjacent to UWS’s Rydalmere campus with 13,000 students and the Camellia industrial precinct with initial planning underway.  

This is an exciting time for Parramatta and its surrounding suburbs. Parramatta is fast becoming an epicentre of knowledge intensive jobs. New and existing precincts will help place Parramatta into a leading position in terms of jobs growth and the economy and greater private and public investment will make help Parramatta continue along this path.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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.