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Artist impression of the precinct. Artist impression of the precinct. Featured
21 May 2017 Posted by 


New precinct becoming a reality
By Geoff Lee
THE vision for the Parramatta North Heritage Precinct is becoming reality following the NSW Government’s announcement of a $310M upfront investment.
This is a big win for the public, local business and the economy. This investment is a major milestone in the heritage precinct’s transformation into a vibrant new community with 2700 new homes and 2000 jobs.
This unique heritage precinct will, once complete give Parramatta an unbeatable edge as the most liveable place in Sydney. 
The funds will cover major landscaping and infrastructure works such as roads and cycle ways, the creation of new parks and play areas and the rehabilitation of the river foreshore making the site more attractive and accessible to the public. 
The precinct covers 30 hectares and is located on the banks of the Parramatta River between two major employment hubs, the Parramatta CBD and Westmead Bio-medical Precinct.  
New residents and visitors will have access to NSW and Australia’s - most important heritage assets, including Australia’s first farm and first water mill and the Parramatta Female Factory.
The new homes will appeal to people who want to live close to the major employment hubs and world-class sporting and recreational facilities, such as the new 30,000 stadium due to open in 2019, expansive parklands, a new aquatic centre and a leading science and technology museum due to open in 2022. 
For the past six years, I have championed for the preservation of this nationally significant site so Parramatta becomes known for its heritage.  
In 2012 the NSW Government recognised the site’s importance and announced a master plan covering all major public owned assets in the Parramatta North site. This move marked the first concerted effort to preserve and safeguard this area’s heritage.
UrbanGrowth were tasked with managing this project and met the challenge of bringing 12  government agencies and as many Ministers, with vested interests in site, together in order to bring this master plan to fruition. 
They have continued to work hard to engage and consult with all the key stakeholders, including: Council, heritage, community and business groups. 
In 2014 the project, passed another major milestone when the then NSW Premier, Mike Baird declaring the Parramatta North a State Significant Site. This was an important step forward in finally realising efforts to preserve and enhance the precinct’s numerous heritage sites.  
Thanks to the team from UrbanGrowth, repair works are now underway on five heritage buildings in the precinct as part of $18m being spent on the first conservation program.  
Long awaited repairs to more than 40 heritage buildings are now possible as a direct result of the work undertaken by UrbanGrowth with all work on the site adhering to strict heritage controls.  
Significant cultural landscapes and buildings are being protected and enhanced including the Female Factory/Lunatic Asylum, Roman Catholic Orphan School/Parramatta Girls’ Industrial School, Front Entry Gardens, Sports Oval, and the riverfront.
The announcement of a $310Mn investment represents another significant milestone. Not only does it guarantee the precinct is preserved and opened up to the public but that it will deliver much needed housing and job opportunities over the next 10 years.
The Heritage Precinct’s urban transformation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver an exemplar of heritage-driven tourism through the adaptive re-use of our historic assets and build a new community for all to enjoy. 
This precinct promises to be a significant catalyst for economic growth in the area and along with other major new infrastructure earmarked for the area, a major contributor to Parramatta’s positioning as a liveable city. 
The Draft Development Control Plan and Development Application are now on public exhibition. For more information visit www.cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/on-exhibition
Submissions are due by June 13, 2017.
Geoff Lee is State Member for Parramatta.


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