Five key recommendations to promote economic recovery in Western Sydney

The Property Council of Australia has provided five key recommendations for the New South Wales Government, to ensure Western Sydney has a strong economic recovery when restrictions ease.

The Announcement:

Across Western Sydney, the property and construction industries account for a staggering $19 billion in economic activity and 121,465 full-time equivalent jobs, but with COVID causing financial havoc, recovery is vital.

Property Council of Australia’s Western Sydney Director Ross Grove said he had five key recommendations for the New South Wales Government to safeguard Western Sydney’s future following on from the recent $5 billion WestInvest Fund as we bounce back from COVID.

“Western and southwestern Sydney is doing it tough. Restrictions on movement, family connectedness and artificially restricted employment options are driving many local families to the breaking point – and as we emerge from lockdowns we need to ensure our economy rebounds as quickly as possible.” Mr Grove said.

“We welcome the $5 billion WestInvest Fund, but we need to have recommendations in place to ensure the money is spent wisely and is not treated like an open check book.”

Mr Grove said we have to unlock the North West Growth Area.

“We applaud the NSW Government on the continuation of the Accelerated Infrastructure Fund to continue the flow of infrastructure to the North West Growth Area, spanning parts of The Hills and Blacktown local government areas,” he said.

“We note that further growth opportunities are “paused” pending a review of floodplain management announced earlier this year. When the review is complete, we encourage the government to adopt and implement any recommendations that would enable planning proposals to continue.”

“This may mean the NSW Government needs to make some critical decisions around major infrastructure projects including the Castlereagh Connection Motorway route, the Tallawong to St Marys rail link, and potentially the raising of the Warragamba Dam wall.”

Mr Grove said opportunities abound to expand the NSW Government’s Communities Plus program to continue the renewal of public housing stock across the region in partnership with the private sector.

“As our city grows, it is important to ensure the growth works for everyone and we don’t leave anyone behind. Our region hosts several ageing social housing estates that no longer meet the evolving needs of social housing tenants like they once did.

“Telopea is undergoing a long-term transformation, where 600 ageing social housing dwellings will be transformed into a vibrant mixed community of more than 1000 social and affordable dwellings, and around 2500 private homes. With the light rail set to provide a Telopea with Parramatta I’m particularly excited about the suburb’s future – we need more of this approach across other parts of Western Sydney too.”

Mr Grove said the delivery of business start-up hubs across Liverpool, Blacktown, Penrith and Campbelltown were also important.

“In 2017, the NSW Government announced the establishment of the Sydney Startup Hub, providing a common office premises for new businesses above Wynyard Station to collaborate and get their ideas off the ground. We understand a similar model is being pursued within the Parramatta CBD and encourage its expansion to smaller office spaces at commercial centres across the region.”

Mr Grove also encouraged the use of a portion of the WestInvest fund to bring forward the delivery Liverpool’s Fifteenth Avenue Smart Transit Corridor, providing a high frequency dedicated bus link between Liverpool and the new airport.

“With a fraction of the infrastructure spend, Liverpool has the potential to provide the same public transport access to the new airport as the metro line from St Marys,” he said.

“This is a project which has progressed with support from both the NSW Government and Liverpool City Council. With the appropriate funding brought forward, its construction can be expedited and it’ll deliver benefits well before the airport opens to the public.”

Mr Grove’s final recommendation was increasing funding for the Government’s Community Building Partnership Program to $1m per state electorate in the areas most severely impacted by lockdowns.

“The Community Building Partnership Program was introduced as a stimulus measure during the Global Financial Crisis to ensure small projects were being delivered by community-based organisations across the state. It delivers practical social and economic benefits to impacted local communities, and the localised assessment ensures funds are distributed in a efficiently for the maximum benefit.”

Source: Property Council of Australia 

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