Government Must Keep Its Promise to Western Sydney

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue has urged the State Government to keep its promise and prioritise the redevelopment of ANZ Stadium, ahead of Allianz Stadium at Moore Park.

Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, said the debate over stadia funding had dragged on for too long, and that with the NSW Government close to finalising its decision, it couldn’t afford to go back on its word.

“Most people had thought that this matter had been put to bed last year, when Premier Baird and the entire NSW Cabinet committed to invest in the redevelopment of ANZ Stadium, to create a world-class rectangular sporting venue at Sydney Olympic Park, in the centre of Sydney,” Mr Brown said.

“But politics, and the influence of a few people who have long-championed a new stadium at Moore Park, have skewed what should have been an open and shut case.

“Their failure to accept the umpire’s decision has created an unnecessarily messy situation and I can understand the public’s frustration. The people of Western Sydney want leadership, decisiveness and accountability – not an unsure Government that continually changes its mind.”

Mr Brown said he would hate to see the stadia funding issue head down the same path as other funding and policy initiatives that have been reversed or jeopardised in the past 12 months.

“We saw the confusion, and frustration, that followed the Government’s attempts to reform local government, which in some parts is still unsettled, and unfortunately, this is what happens when our leaders don’t maintain their resolve,” Mr Brown said.

“There are two things that Western Sydney care passionately about - rugby league and keeping your word - and the region is watching closely.

“Advising both ANZ Stadium and the NRL, and being a proud Westie and footy fan, I watched at close quarters last year’s torturous debate about stadia funding and was full of praise for Mike Baird’s leadership in bringing the issue to an elegant conclusion.

"The State Government made the right call last year so let’s hope that it follows through on its commitment – the people of Western Sydney deserve no less.”

Olympic Park Light Rail Back On Track

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue has congratulated NSW Transport and
Infrastructure Minister Andrew Constance for following through on his promise to
deliver a complete light rail network to Olympic Park.

Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, who convened the WestLine
Partnership, a group of major landowners, stakeholders and councils, which
campaigned for more than 18 months for a light rail link along the ‘Olympic
Corridor, said today’s decision would provide better access, and even more urban
uplift, for one of the fastest growing, dynamic precincts in the country.

“Minister Constance deserves a rap for sticking to his guns, and delivering the
infrastructure and transport connections this vital growth area needs,” he said.

“This stage two connection will go a long way towards securing the future of this
precinct, and will support the RAS’ expansion plans for Sydney Showgrounds, and
GPT’s exciting Olympic Park Town Centre, which both require integrated transport
solutions, including light rail links, metro rail, and improved road access.

“Importantly, this light rail link will connect some of the region’s major growth
areas and to catalyse the creation of more jobs, homes and better amenity for a
rapidly growing population.”

Mr Brown said today’s announcement was just one piece of the Olympic Park
puzzle and supports the Government’s decision to invest in the redevelopment of
ANZ stadium.

“With a decision on stadia funding imminent, the NSW Government needs to
double-down on this transport investment, and deliver on its promise to prioritise
the redevelopment of ANZ Stadium,” he said.

“This is a precinct that has been identified by the Greater Sydney Commission as
one of the key drivers of our city’s growth, and over the next 20 years, with the
right support, is expected to house more than one third of all new jobs and almost
20 per cent of its new dwellings.”

Dialogue Calls for Universal Value-Sharing

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue is supportive of measures that ensure those that directly benefit from major infrastructure projects in Sydney, including the Parramatta Light Rail, also help subsidise the cost to tax-payers.

Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, said the days of the Government being solely
responsible for the funding of major projects, were over, and that private sector developers,
landowners and the broader community will be required to help contribute to ongoing
infrastructure development.

“The Parramatta Light Rail was always framed as the test-case for how a value-sharing model
could be applied, and a large part of why this project has progressed from a concept, to a reality, is because of the willingness of the Western Sydney landowners and private sector, who are happy to ‘pay to play’,” Mr Brown said.

“Western Sydney has put its hand up and said its willing to wear some of these costs if it means having improved transport connections and better access to services. It would be great if the NSW Government could examine how to retrospectively impose a similar value-sharing model for the Sydney CBD Light Rail and Sydney Metro Northwest, so that those in the East and North of Sydney, who directly benefit from these projects, can also help contribute to their cost.”

A Deloitte report in 2015 determined that the Parramatta Light Rail line along the Olympic
Corridor could be funded through a voluntary contribution model for the private sector. This
involves land owners who elect to take up density uplift incentives along the light rail route
putting up money for the project.

It estimated, conservatively, that $1.1b could be generated through private sector development
levies, to help fund the project.

“There are examples all over the world where value-sharing models have been successfully
adopted, and in some cases, actually demanded by communities as a way to deliver the necessary infrastructure, quicker, and at a cheaper cost,” Mr Brown said.

“The NSW Government, in particular the Minister for Transport, Andrew Constance, along with
the City of Parramatta, should be congratulated for embracing innovative, inclusive, and
sustainable funding methods. These models should be applied to all of Sydney’s major projects, if we’re serious about getting on with the job of building NSW.”

WSU Bankstown Plans Announced

Western Sydney University’s (WSU) plans to establish a world-class teaching and research campus in the Bankstown CBD is expected to fuel the next generation of smart jobs and add millions of dollars to the local economy, it was announced today.

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue (WSLD) Director, Adam Leto, said WSU’s Bankstown proposal built on its previous commitments to the CBDs of Parramatta, where it recently unveiled its flagship high-rise campus, Liverpool, which is expected to open in 2018 and Sydney Olympic Park.

“The delivery of these CBD campuses will play a key role in the rejuvenation, and activation of
Western Sydney’s growth centres over the coming decades, ” Mr Leto said.

“WSU’s investment in new educational facilities, is a win, not only for current and future
students, but for the development of the region’s cities, which will reap the economic and social benefits.

“Education and health are two of Western Sydney’s major economic drivers and today’s
announcement will further build the connection between students, business, industry and

A report by Deloitte Access Economics revealed that Western Sydney University’s presence in
the CBDs of Bankstown and Liverpool will contribute $54m to the local economy, and at the same time bring efficiencies in terms of campus operating costs.

WSU is currently working with key stakeholders to identify potential sites in the Bankstown CBD over the coming months, and plans to make further announcements about the timing and location of the new campus in the months ahead.

Earlier this year, WSU unveiled the Peter Shergold Building, its high-rise CBD campus that is home to 10,000 students and part of the Parramatta Square urban redevelopment. Liverpool’s new CBD campus is expected to open in February 2018.

Metro West Consultation Commences

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue has welcomed the NSW Government’s commitment to consult with community and industry on the Metro West rail project, as announced by Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance MP, today.

Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, was hopeful that the consultation process for the
Metro West, connecting the Sydney CBD to Westmead via the Bays Precinct at Rozelle, Sydney Olympic Park, Camellia and Parramatta, would also explore funding and value-capture options.

“The Metro West is a transformative project that will connect two of Australia’s major commercial zones, while also fast-tracking jobs, urban renewal and investment along the ‘Olympic Corridor’.

“The clock is firmly ticking on this project, especially when you consider the current capacity
issues on the Western Line and a rapidly expanding population that desperately needs efficient transport links that connects our region’s growth areas. This ‘steel spine’ for Sydney is also needed by 2025 to support a potential Western Sydney bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

“This includes Metro West stops at both Sydney Olympic Park and Camellia, two places that are primed for urban revitalisation over the coming decades, and expected to attract millions of visitors and house thousands of residents.

“Importantly, a number of land-owners within these two centres have already signalled their
willingness to engage with government and work towards a ‘value-contribution’ process that can ensure this vital project is funded, and not be solely reliant on the tax-payer.”

Mr Brown said the Metro West, along with the north-south rail, linking Rouse Hill & Campbelltown via Badgerys Creek, should be the two top transport priorities for the State Government.

“Western Sydney deserves these two rail projects, along with a complete Parramatta light rail
network that extends to Epping and Rhodes. We shouldn’t have to choose between the two.
“We appreciate the cross political support from Minister Constance and Opposition Leader Foley and urge NSW Treasury and the Commonwealth to provide funding for this project which will then generate billions of dollars of private sector capital via value contribution.

“The urban renewal opportunities that these rail projects will catalyse over the coming decades are too important to miss, and if we want to have these links in place by the time the Western Sydney

Airport opens in 2026, then things need to ramp up pretty quickly.” Mr Brown concluded.

NSW Budget Breakdown

After consecutive years of big spending on major transport infrastructure projects, the Budget this year focuses very strongly on the state’s hospitals and schools with some $5 billion in new spending on upgrades and new facilities.

A total of $72.7 billion in infrastructure projects is in the pipeline for delivery over the coming four years, and some $15 billion is asset recycling proceeds has been banked for medium and longer-term projects beyond the forward estimates.


Of the $2.3 billion in new hospital projects announced, some $1.2 billion will go to the Greater West. $632 million will be spent on upgraded paediatric, emergency and mental health facilities at Campbelltown Hospital and $576 million (previously announced) will go to the upgrade of Nepean Hospital.

Funding is also provided for planning for future capital works at Rouse Hill and Liverpool Hospitals, and a State-wide Mental Health capital works program. A $100 million package of new funding for palliative care includes $6.9 million for community-based palliative care in the Western Sydney Local Health District.

The $4.2 billion four-year capital program to be spent in NSW public school over the forward estimates includes $2.2 billion in new spending on priority projects over the next two years aimed at delivering more than 1,500 new classrooms and more than 32,000 additional student places.

Of these school upgrades and new school projects, 59 will be in Western Sydney, including new schools in Schofields, Leppington, Oran Park, Narellan, Gledswood Hills, Bella Vista, North Kellyville, Liverpool, Parramatta, Jordan Springs, Penrith, Olympic Park and Wilton Junction.

$49 million is being provided to deliver programs and initiatives in partnership with Aboriginal communities, including the establishment of the Aboriginal Centre for Excellence in Western Sydney.

Spending in transport continues at record levels with $41.4 billion invested in capital projects over the forward estimates.Western Sydney will see continued investment in major projects, many of which are already underway:

  • $3.2 billion for continued delivery of WestConnex.
  • $2.8 billion for the Sydney Metro project, including the Metro North West, South West and second harbour rail crossing.
  • $648 million towards the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, including roads to support the construction of Western Sydney Airport and surrounding employment lands, such as Bringelly Road and the Northern Road.
  • $1.4 billion in rail maintenance and $658 million in network enhancements and improvements, including extra express services for Western Sydney.
  • $25 million for planning and early work for Parramatta Light Rail, with funding already set aside under Restart NSW and Rebuilding NSW for eventual delivery of this project.
  • $ 40 million to plan the M9 Outer Orbital and the M12 freeway linking the M7 to Western Sydney Airport.
  • $10 million towards new Parramatta to Sydney CBD ferries.

Notably, funding for construction of Parramatta Light Rail is set aside but not committed, while the business case for that project remains under development. The announced Metro West, linking Parramatta, Olympic Park and the CBD was also a notable omission from the Budget, with planning funds widely expected to be included. WSLD expects this transformative project to progress over the coming months and will be advocating for it to be expedited for delivery within the next 10 years.

In addition to the $160 million provided to progress work on the Western Sydney Stadium at Parramatta, $30 million has been allocated for the new Parramatta Pool. 
A key feature of this year’s Budget is a new $100 “Active Kids Rebate for parents to spend on junior sport fees, with $207 million allocated for this initiative over four years.

The tourism budget includes $193 million to attract visitors and support the local tourism industry across NSW. Funding boosts are provided for both Destination NSW ($18 million in new funding) and the Western Sydney Parklands Trust ($12 million funding boost). No further commitments were made on the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta, which will be a key plank of WSLD advocacy over the coming year.