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29 December 2020 Posted by 


Month by month breakdown of 2020
WHAT a year it has been for Western Sydney – a year of tragedy, sadness, great courage and ultimately triumph.
Pandemic, bushfires, retail collapses, shutdowns and mass testing – Covid-19 was to change our lives forever.
But through it all, we stood tall and faced each challenge with great community strength and resilience.
It all started with the dreadful fires of summer which surrounded Western Sydney over Christmas-New Year, but little did we know, that was just the start!
THE first reports of the mysterious new disease called ‘Coronavirus’ filtered through from China where it originated in either a secret lab or a local market in Wuhan.
Back in Western Sydney, life was charging ahead as usual.
A RANDOM report card on the progress of Sydney’s start-up city underlined the momentum of Western Parkland City’s progress as an emerging 21st century city. Major earthworks of the $5.3bn Western Sydney Airport were to start in 2020 signaling a significant step closer to the realisation of Western Parkland City, an emerging entity on a north-south axis extending some 50 kms from the Hawkesbury to Campbelltown and beyond. Similar to start-up businesses which aim to solve problems, the city was destined to provide the lifestyle and employment opportunities for  a projected population of well over 1.5 million people by 2056, within 30 minutes of home.
A $322M twin-towers apartment complex in Parramatta was expected to be the tallest outside any of Australia’s capital cities. The project known as 189 George Street, on the corner of George and Charles in the CBD, had one tower of 211m or 66 floors and the other of 186m or 57 floors, containing 983 apartments in total.
THE design for the relocated Powerhouse Museum was selected with Moreau Kusunoki as Lead Design Architect and Genton as Local Design Architect chosen to establish the first major museum to be based in Western Sydney.
BLACKTOWN will become the centre of world-wide medical attention with universally renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo to head a $1B state-of-the-art facility in the heart of the CBD. It will be Australia’s first world class Brain and Spinal Institute and will provide a major economic benefit to Western Sydney and Blacktown City. Blacktown Brain and Spinal Institute (BBSI) is the Group behind the world class faciility located in the Blacktown City centre, strategically located between the Westmead, Blacktown and Nepean medical precincts. Dr Teo has announced plans to build and operate the five-star institute “that doesn't feel like a hospital.” “I want a place that feels pleasant, almost like a vacation.”
A TEAM of medical experts from Western Sydney Local Heath District were playing a major role in bushfire disaster recovery programs. The heroic clinicians ventured into bushfire affected towns to provide medical assistance.
CITY of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer welcomed the commencement of major works on the Parramatta Light Rail project following an official sod turning at Rydalmere. “It is great to see this critical infrastructure project moving one step closer to becoming a reality with the initial phases of construction underway,” Cr Dwyer said.
THE COVID-19 pandemic started to become a major story in March but hadn’t affected business in the West at this stage. Most of action was in downtown Sydney as the Ruby Princess debacle erupted.
OPPORTUNITIES for Western Sydney businesses at the new Aerotropolis were the theme of a major event at Parramatta in March. The event was organized by CEDA – the Commonwealth Economic Development Authority and was held at the Novotel. Western City and Aerotropolis Authority Chief Executive Sam Sangster and key industry leaders profiled industry opportunities in Sydney’s West. The Western City Aerotropolis was depicted as a once-in-a generation opportunity to transform Sydney’s economic and employment profile.
QUICKSTEP, a composite manufacturer based at Bankstown Airport, was providing 10 new parts bringing to 45 the number of components it already produced for the 35 Joint Strike Fighter Program. 
MEANWHILE, another $95M investment boosted Western Sydney at the “forefront” of defence technology and advanced manufacturing. The Department of Defence appointed Watpac Limited, a national construction and property development company, as head contractor to deliver the Naval Guided Weapons Maintenance Facilities Project at Defence Establishment Orchard Hills. 
JOB vacancies in Western Sydney had at least 3000 listings in the first round of Jobs Fair held at Penrith. At the opening of the Fair, the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said: “The Morrison Government is aware that we and employers need to create and improve jobs in every local area like Penrith.”
THE NSW Small Business Commission joined the growing number of Government workplaces relocating to Parramatta as the number of small businesses in Western Sydney continued to rise. Minister for Small Business Damien Tudehope said the NSW Government wanted to support the growth of thousands of additional jobs in Parramatta.
PENRITH City Council’s Soper Place development set the pattern for others to follow, Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler said. “At Soper Place you will be able to park on site, go to work, have a great meal, chill out in the roof top bar, sit under a tree, play with the kids in the park or even have a game of basketball,” Cr Fowler said.
LIKE it or lump it, climate change would need to be included in future planning of major Australian businesses, especially since “the great fire” of summer. A new survey showed Australian company executives were becoming increasingly concerned about the climate crisis and were expecting tough economic times in 2020.
THE transformation of Parramatta Quay – the gateway to Sydney’s Central River City – was underway, with the start of construction on the long-awaited Escarpment Boardwalk and new plans to revitalise Charles Street Square on public exhibition. City of Parramatta Council appointed award-winning Australian company Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure to build the river-level boardwalk following an extensive tender process. 
THE chauffeuring industry was set to become big business in Australia with a fresh new approach to one of the most coveted symbols of success. It might not meet the expectations of a $1B plus industry in the USA, dramatically up from $3.2M in 2009, but it was still a healthy industry with loads of potential.
THE Covid-19 pandemic really took hold in April and to assist businesses and readers, Access started running a special Covid-19 supplement as a community service. It was Western Sydney’s best guide for ways to fight the virus outbreak.  It didn’t take long for businesses to adjust and employees started working from home in massive numbers.
AUSTRALIA will see a significant increase in out-of-home delivery points in the future as e commerce sellers and carriers battle to overcome the “last mile” syndrome. European last mile guru Marek Rozycki made the prediction in his keynote address at the recent Hubbed Future of PUDO Conference in Sydney.
TILDA Chiu’s warehouse in Pendle Hill was awash with show-bags brimming with goodies all previously destined for the 2020 Royal Easter Show (RES). But the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW president Robert Ryan, adhering to official directives from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, cancelled this year’s show to protect public health and prevent spreading Coronavirus.
THE Silverstone Technology Cluster in the UK could be the model for the transformation of the Sydney Motorsport Park precinct into a hub for advanced manufacturing in Western Sydney. The hub, modelled on the Silverstone racing circuit at the centre of the Silverstone Technology Cluster, was a focus for precision engineering and manufacturing.
THE dramatic demise of the once supreme Holden car brand was big news this year and was the perfect example of successive Federal Governments having backed the wrong horse. Twenty years ago, Holden was a sure-fire winner if there ever was such a thing – the Winx of manufacturing in Australia. However, the Asian car makers kept chipping away at that “sure thing” and by 10 years ago they were in front.
THERE was much local uproar when the NSW Government announced the demolition of the historic Royal Oak hotel in Parramatta to make way for the controversial light rail project. While the Cobb and Co stables at the rear of the hotel would be retained, locals felt that the government should have tried harder to reroute the light rail to save the “watering hole of the Eels”. NSW Opposition Leader Jodi McKay joined angry locals for “last drinks” at the Royal Oak on Australia Day. Demolition was due to start in a few months.
MARRIOTT International announced the signing of Courtyard by Marriott Sydney, Auburn and Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Blacktown. The signings are an agreement with Sydney based property developers, Mr Ning He and Timothy He, Directors of T1 Constructions. The properties were due to open in 2023 and 2024 respectively and marked the planned expansion of the Courtyard by Marriott and Four Points by Sheraton brands in Australia.
WESTERN Sydney had more world-class health services right on their doorstep, with construction complete on the Westmead Health Precinct’s new Central Acute Services Building.
AUTHOR Tom Keneally and journalist/ film-maker John Pilger were happy to lend their kudos to the ongoing battle to have Parramatta’s Female Factory added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, at a gathering on the site just before International Women’s Day. 
SHOPPERS in Sydney’s third CBD would soon be enjoying an upgraded Westfield Liverpool thanks to a massive revamp of the popular centre. Plans for a $93m revamp at Liverpool had been approved by the Sydney Western City Planning Panel. The new look Westfield would provide extensive new commercial and entertainment offerings for shoppers and businesspeople.
IN May, Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller welcomed the appointment of Simon Hickey as the new CEO of Western Sydney Airport (WSA). WSA is the Liverpool-based federal government organisation that will build and run the future Western Sydney International Airport.  
NSW regions and tourism businesses were set to receive a major boost with the easing of travel restrictions, as the Government revealed NSW residents took almost two million international leisure trips worth $16.7B last year. To coincide with the June 1 restriction changes, the NSW Government’s tourism and events agency Destination NSW kicked off a major tourism marketing campaign, targeting NSW, Victorian and ACT residents with world-class experiences to be enjoyed right here in regional NSW and Sydney.
THE $790m redevelopment of Liverpool Hospital was one step closer with the unveiling of the designs for the world-class medical, research and education precinct. Health Minister Brad Hazzard thanked the hospital staff and community who contributed to the extensive consultation that has helped shape the project. “This is a major milestone in delivering a medical, research and education hub of excellence to the communities of South Western Sydney,” Mr Hazzard said.
CITY of Parramatta Council released images and an animation that give a fresh and detailed look at Parramatta’s state-of-the-art aquatic and leisure centre as the project reached a new milestone. The new artist’s impressions and a 3D flythrough animation were unveiled after Council lodged the Development Application (DA) for major works.
THE Penrith local community were the first to explore the historic grounds of Western Sydney’s Fernhill Estate, with a new walking track opening to local residents. Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said a new 2.6km walking track within the Estate would hold trial openings on weekends from Saturday, June 6.
LIVERPOOL Mayor Wendy Waller welcomed the Australian and NSW Governments’ pledge to start construction on a train line to Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport by the end of 2020. “This announcement about the $11bn project provides greater clarity of the route and stations, assisting Council to plan for Liverpool’s growth accordingly,” Mayor Waller said
MAJOR construction for the Parramatta Light Rail began on ‘Eat Street’ in the first step towards the revitalisation of the famous dining strip. Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said the light rail works in Eat Street had started that week.
NEW research from a leading digital event provider reveals nearly nine in 10 (85%) Australian organisations were utilizing webinars as a key marketing and education channel for engaging remote audiences during the Covid-19 pandemic – a 21% increase over the last year. Webinar adoption and spending had also shown high double-digit growth, with almost three in five (59%) organisations looking to spend more on the channel in 2020 – a figure that was 69% higher than in 2019.
RETAIL job skills had changed forever during the Covid-19 pandemic with workers now required to have considerable tech skills on top of the ability to sell according to a business leader. Karen Edbrooke, founder of lingerie outlet ‘Big Girls’, said the future of retail had changed dramatically and inevitably because of the lockdown’s forced switch to online sales.
PLANS for a major industrial precinct on the doorstep of the new Western Sydney Airport were approved by the NSW Government, paving the way for a significant boost to jobs and investment in the region.
THE $1.1B relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta would be the day-visitor attraction so much needed in Sydney’s second CBD, according to Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer and Chamber of Commerce president Schon Condon. Cr Dwyer said the Powerhouse, to be built on the foreshore on the old David Jones site, was the first major Government investment in Parramatta since the Riverside Theatre back in 1988.
THE Covid-19 pandemic lockdown had an unexpected benefit for Western Sydney workers – they got to work from home and a staggering 86% now wanted to make it permanent. It was like a dream come true for thousands of nine to fivers when the Federal and State Governments suddenly called for instant action on Covid-19 and told us to bunker down for several months.
BUT lockdown also had its bad side. Science told us it took around 66 days to form a habit. This was how long most Australians spent in lockdown. The Alcohol and Drug Foundation launched a new campaign called Break the Habit – to raise awareness that enough time passed in lockdown for people to establish and embed new habits. New poll data from the Foundation revealed many Australians had picked up new habits in relation to their alcohol consumption during lockdown – both positive and negative.
AMAZON was developing a new advanced storage and distribution centre near the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, creating 1,500 jobs in addition to 700 jobs during its construction, while contributing to economic recovery after Covid-19. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Amazon’s commitment reflected the NSW Government’s focus on innovation and technology to create jobs.
MOST crime categories like non-domestic violence related assaults and sexual offences dramatically decreased during the Covid-19 period between the months of March and April according to the latest report by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR). Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott welcomed the report, which compared changes in several crime categories against expected levels from previous years, and in light of strict social isolation strategies.
AT JUST 14, Dilan Elia was proud to land a job at Pizza Hut while a student at Bossley Park High and by the time he turned 18 last year, well, who would have guessed? He was now the boss. The young man was enthusiastic, energetic and a familiar face among the bosses, many of whom were twice or thrice his age, at the sprawling shopping complex at Marsden Park where early each morning he arrived to get the restaurant ready for a long day serving pizza fans. As one of the many successful franchisees, Dilan shouted his customers a lunch or early dinner to mark Pizza Hut’s anniversary in Australia after the company first opened its humble first red-roof ed outlet at Bellfield NSW, in Sydney’s south, in 1970.
A LITTLE India at Harris Park was set to bring the area alive, after Parramatta Council voted to set up a reference group to make it happen. But, in what seemed a straightforward proposal, councillors became mired in debate over whether the only Indian councillor Sameer Panday should represent the Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer when he could not attend.
THE CSIRO would have up to 450 of the science agency’s staff and researchers based at a new state-of- the-art facility in the heart of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the current CSIRO plan was to relocate many of its Sydney-based staff into a purpose-built facility that would support collaboration and the delivery of cutting-edge science. “The Aerotropolis will be a new focal point for Australian innovation, research and productivity, which is why it is the perfect home for Australia’s national science agency,” Ms Berejiklian said.
BUNNINGS Warehouse was one step closer to setting up shop in the Bringelly Road Business Hub in Sydney’s south west, after receiving construction approval from the NSW Government. The Bunnings Warehouse was the ninth project to have its assessment fast-tracked through the NSW Government’s Planning System Acceleration Program. The project created opportunities for up to 400 jobs and inject $22M into NSW.
WESTERN Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) continued to open pop-up testing clinics in strategic locations in response to prevent ongoing COVID-19 community transmission. The latest drive-through clinic opened at Western Sydney University (WSU) Parramatta South campus, following another drive-through clinic opened in Auburn. The latest pop-up clinic followed the success of the clinic continuing to run at Parramatta Community Health Centre and the temporary clinic that was operating from Our Lady of Lebanon Co-Cathedral in Harris Park. WSLHD chief executive Graeme Loy thanked Western Sydney University for partnering with 
SPREAD of misinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic illustrated it can be a dangerously petulant child in the hands of the wrong people. We had known for years that Social Media was like the old Wild West with virtually no rules and regulations. ‘Shoot first and ask questions later.’
A VIBRANT, contemporary, and green open space in the heart of Penrith’s City Centre was one step closer to being realised with the delivery of the concept design for City Park.  The concept design was informed by the ideas and input provided by the community during consultation last year and responded to their main request to bring nature into the city centre.
ACCOUNTANTS were usually seen as number crunchers and problem solvers able to detach themselves emotionally from the businesses they work with. However, Covid-19 revealed another side to them with many adding vital emotional support to their financial acumen to help businesses and owners navigate these uncharted waters.
THE chronic lack of jobs in Western Sydney was the region’s biggest ‘nightmare’ problem for the future according to new University research. The Centre of Western Sydney released the research which showed the region was booming but also highlighted the massive lack of jobs in the city's west. It meant the West faced a planning nightmare with more than half a million people commuting out of the region to get to work in next decade.
ON its 20th Anniversary, Bivianos Italian and Seafood Restaurant at Dural staged a family style dinner, low-key event for a few dozen VIPs. This took on fine dining as an example of getting back in business while complying to Covid-19 restrictions. By 6pm, the guests trickled in: Hills Shire Council mayor Dr Michelle Byrne, Hills Police Area Command superintendent Jason Joyce and the chairman of the board of Business NSW, Lyall Gorman and Caroline Pritchard, and All Pavement Solutions CEO, Craig Murphy, to name a few of the distinguished guests. They settled inside the elegant dining room as top brands of wines were poured and cheered on as the 
LIVERPOOL would get its biggest skyscraper with amazing views for its hotel guests if a proposal to build 34 storey mixed use development went ahead. The proposal by Binah Developments to build the tallest building in Sydney’s third CBD and new airport gateway won the backing of Liverpool council. 
MILLENIALS were leading the life change charge of people leaving the city for a new start in regions like the Blue Mountains. And it was surprisingly one of the positive aspects to come out of the Covid-19 lockdown. The experience of dealing with of Covid-19 had removed one of the most significant barriers to a substantial population shift in this country, according to the Regional Australia Institute (RA I).
LIFE in the suburbs of Western Sydney had changed forever due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but property expert Andrew Hoyne believed we could make it a change for the better with the right planning and application in the coming years. Mr Hoyne was the founding principal of Hoyne and worked in the property sector for the last 25 years, helping major Australian and international developers and councils create recognisable landmarks across Australia.
THE Westmead Health Precinct took a major step forward with the launch of the massive new project delivering more than 1000 jobs and 28,000sqm of health, research, education and commercial space. Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the $350m development, a joint venture between Western Sydney University and Charter Hall to be known as Innovation Quarter or iQ, would house some of the university’s leading research institutes and Australia’s national science agency CSIRO. 
SIX Covid-19 related projects were announced winners at the annual Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Quality Awards ceremony on Wednesday, September 23.
SUPERMARKETS and pharmacies could continue to trade and receive deliveries 24 hours a day as rules introduced by the NSW Government were extended until next year. The Government responded to the Covid-19 pandemic in March by amending the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 to allow around-the-clock trading and delivery hours as well as the extension of café and restaurant take away capabilities.
MORE families could attend community sports, music ensembles and school camps could proceed, and a modest increase dancing at weddings was allowed under new Covid-19 safety rules. Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said the latest easing of restrictions around school and community life was due to lower case numbers.
PENRITH City had taken another step towards economic and social recovery, with the adoption of the Penrith Rising Strong Recovery Plan. Over the next 12 months, the plan would steer proactive efforts to recover from the impacts of the pandemic, shaping the future of Penrith city and the communities who lived, worked, invested, studied and visited there. The plan continued to provide support where it was needed most, building on the initial package for communities and businesses released by Council over March and June 2020. Newly elected Mayor, Karen McKeown OAM, said the Penrith Rising Strong Recovery Plan was her top priority.
THE station locations for the new Western Sydney Airport and Aerotropolis line were named. The stations for the new Sydney Metro project would service Greater Western Sydney and would provide a multitude of new business opportunities for the region. 
BY October, the Blacktown Business Awards had been successfully staged despite Covid-19 restrictions. “It was a magnificent, highly emotional night for all concerned,” the Awards founder and Precedent Productions Managing Director said. “Not only was the event a huge success, but the entire program was our best ever.” Mr Loe said the presentation ceremony, held at St Marys Band Club, was emotional and heartwarming as winners took to the stage to receive their trophies. The Western Sydney Business Access was on hand to capture all the excitement as the finalists in each category were announced and, the official media partner for the Blacktown City Local Business Awards,  published a winners’ feature, that recognised all category winners from the presentation evening.
THE State Government formally backed down on its decision to demolish two heritage buildings in the heart of Parramatta CBD to build the $780M Powerhouse Museum and create thousands of local jobs. The decision to preserve the more than a century-old-buildings, Willow Grove and St George Terrace, both located on Phillip Street, was confirmed by Arts Minister Don Harwin saying “the decisions were the best outcomes for the Western Sydney community as well as the broader arts industry across the State.”
ALARMING new figures showed 70% of Aussies admitted they would still present to work with cold or flu symptoms despite the Covid-19 crisis. The eye-opening new research revealed that, as more people headed back to the workplace, the Covid-19 pandemic may surge again in Western Sydney. The findings came from an independent survey of a nationally representative panel of 1000 Australian employees, commissioned by Cleancorp (cleancorp.com) – a specialist Australian anti-viral cleaning company that helped hundreds of organisations keep their workplaces and communities safe during the pandemic. 
THE Blue Mountains was once colonial Sydney’s premier tourist destination, but in 2020 it was attracting a new wave of young real estate buyers escaping COVID-19. Sydney professionals who could work remotely were buying up big in the Mountains. The laid back, friendly lifestyle, climate, views and community facilities were all proving big drawcards for young buyers who couldn’t afford to break into the Sydney market.
THERE was the potential for thousands of jobs to be created in NSW and to support the State’s economic recovery from Covid-19 if more trains were built locally. CEO of Weld Australia, Geoff Crittenden made the call after the major backlash against the State Government for sending rail, light rail and ferry contracts overseas. “Reforming procurement practices in Australia would have deep benefits for local and national comments,” Mr Crittenden said.
THE $1B Nepean Hospital redevelopment marked a major milestone, as the NSW Government announced Stage 2 of the project would be brought forward by two years. The fast-tracking of the project was announced at a topping out ceremony of Nepean Hospital’s 14-storey tower, which reached its highest point of construction. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the NSW Government’s $1B investment in Nepean Hospital will future-proof health services in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains for decades to come. “The redeveloped Nepean Hospital will be a gamechanger for the region, providing new world-class health facilities including an expanded emergency department, birthing suites and neonatal intensive care unit,” Ms Berejiklian said. 
A FLASH of inspiration via an Instagram page had become the newest marketplace for Australian made goods by locally owned businesses. Buy Aussie Now started as an Instagram page in mid-March as the nation prepared to shutdown with the Coronavirus. In months it had transformed into a nationwide business and was set to be the online destination for Australians to shop Australian. To date, more than 2000 small and medium businesses had already registered through its website across eight launch categories – home and living, toys and education, apparel and footwear, jewelry and accessories, food and beverage, pets, skincare and beauty, and gift ]s. Additional categories will be unveiled in coming months. 
PARRAMATTA had a new quality newspaper, The Parramatta Times. The Times was developed in conjunction with respected Western Sydney media company, Access News Australia, publishers of Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA). As the regional heart of Greater Western Sydney, Parramatta was the driving force and economic heart of Australia’s third largest economy. With a GRP topping $27B PA Parramatta boasted a dynamic property sector, thriving retail trade, vibrant dining and entertainment scene, health employment sector, growing list of visitor attractions and an expanding education sector. It was a diverse community of over 200,000 people. The Parramata Times was the print and digital media resource that enabled residents and visitors to better engage with the city’s diverse community, its progress, business sector, opportunities and lifestyle. Editor, Michael Walls said: The Parramatta Times was a quality media voice that championed local businesses, community interests and the informed the city’s diverse community.
WINNERS for the 30th Annual Western Sydney Awards for Business Excellence (WSABE) were announced at a Covid-safe gala event on November 20 at Rosehill Gardens. Keynote speaker was Senator Marise Payne, Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Women. Prior to the first winners being announced, Senator Payne, delivered an extensive overview of Western Sydney’s business economy.
THE first tracks have been laid onthe$2.4B Parramatta Light Rail, marking a major milestone for the project. Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said the start of trackwork at Hawkesbury Road in Westmead showed significant progress had been made on the project. “The  Parramata Light Rail is essential for future-proofing this growing precinct, one of the largest medical, education and research hubs in the southern hemisphere,” Mr Constance said
AUSSIE iconic service station Ampol is back, this time in partnership with super-market Woolworths. Founded in post-De-pression 1936s Australian Motorists Petrol Company, and through the years and one world war popularly nicknamed Ampol, it recently came back to Western Sydney at Northmead.


Michael Walls
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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.