Games Bid Proposed at Out There Summit

The case for Greater Western Sydney hosting the 2026 or 2030 Commonwealth Games will be put to the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres, at the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue’s (WSLD) Out There Summit today at the WSU campus in Parramatta.

Exploring big ideas and projects in the region, this year’s event, with more than 450 registered attendees across government, business, sport, tourism and the arts, is aimed at stimulating debate on the key issues and opportunities in Western Sydney.

WSLD Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, said that staging the Commonwealth Games in Greater Western Sydney would reflect the region’s confidence, maturity and growth, and firmly cement its arrival on the international stage.

“Western Sydney has a deep, rich sporting culture, and everything in place to make it a success. It’s a no-brainer,” Mr Brown said.

“This is the low-cost, low-risk games, and with the vast majority of facilities already in place, the government can focus on spending its dollars on the supporting transport infrastructure.

“We are calling on the Premier to establish an exploratory committee and develop a business case for a possible bid for the 2026 or 2030 Games. We don’t think Regional Victoria has nearly the appeal that this region presents and would cost taxpayers much more money.”

Existing sporting facilities in Western Sydney include Sydney Olympic Park’s Spotless Stadium (Athletics), ANZ Stadium (opening & closing ceremonies) and Qudos Bank Arena (Indoor Sports), Penrith Lakes (Regatta Centre), Blacktown (Sports Centre), the new Parramatta Stadium (Rugby Sevens), Bankstown (Velodrome), Cecil Park (Target Shooting), Campbelltown (Stadium) and Western Sydney Parklands (mountain bikes).

Mr Brown said that the Games would ensure existing, and proposed, infrastructure projects such as Badgerys Creek Airport, Parramatta Light Rail, WestConnex and impending heavy-rail connections such as North-South Rail and West-Metro, were delivered on time.

The urban renewal opportunities for old industrial sites like Camellia and in regional centres such as Blacktown, Liverpool and Campbelltown, were also added benefits.

“Our region is the infrastructure capital of the world, and with all the current, and proposed works in the pipeline, including Badgerys Creek, what better way to set a deadline and ensure these vital projects stay on track,” Mr Brown said.

“The need for a new Athletes’ Village is an opportunity to inject further investment and life, into some of Western Sydney’s urban centres, especially in older public housing communities in places such as Campbelltown and Mt Druitt. This is an exciting prospect, and one that would leave a renewed affordable housing legacy.” Mr Brown concluded.

Dialogue Calls on Government Support For Airport Rail

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue is encouraged by the Federal Opposition’s renewed commitment to a rail link connecting north and south-west Sydney via Badgerys Creek, and has called on the Federal Government to follow suit in its City Deals proposal.

Dialogue Chairman Christopher Brown AM, who met with Federal Opposition Infrastructure Spokesman Anthony Albanese last week, said today’s announcement to secure a north-south rail corridor and provide $400m towards an extension of the south-west rail link, was critical, given the area’s forecast growth.

“This is the missing link in Sydney’s transport network – the north-south spine that links to all of our key growth and employment areas,” Mr Brown said.

“These are also the same precincts that are expected to house the majority of Western Sydney’s new residents over the next 20 years. If we have learnt anything from our planning and transport mistakes of the past, it is that we cannot continue to build homes without providing the necessary supporting infrastructure to ensure smart jobs will follow.”

The Dialogue has been a strong advocate for a north-south rail connection, having helped form the Western Sydney Rail Alliance with local councils and land owners, to build a business case for the urban transformation opportunity that this rail link would present.

Mr Brown said that the work that the Alliance had undertaken over the past 18 months had helped raise awareness of the current access issues faced by residents in areas such as Campbelltown, Oran Park, Marsden Park and Camden, and outlined how improved transport connections could catalyse the growth of more smart jobs, homes and improved amenity.

“We’re pleased that the growth areas of Greater Western Sydney, and how they connect to Badgerys Creek Airport, are on the radar of both sides of Government,” he said.

“Before we get carried away with direct rail links to Circular Quay, we need to ensure the people of Penrith, Liverpool, Blacktown, and Campbelltown can get to and from our new airport.

“Of course it is going to cost a lot more than $400 million from the Commonwealth to help build this line and these communities - but it’s a good start,” Mr Brown concluded.

Parramatta Light Rail Route Announced

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue welcomed today’s release by the NSW Government of a detailed route for the Westmead to Carlingford line and recommitment to its promise of a wider Western Sydney light rail network, connecting Parramatta, Olympic Park and Strathfield.

Chairman of the Dialogue, Christopher Brown AM, said with recent speculation that the link through the ‘Olympic Corridor’ would be scrapped in favour of a future WestMetro line, today’s decision provides more certainty for one of the fastest growing, dynamic precincts in the country.

“While we are disappointed that we don’t yet have the route that the Government promised to Strathfield, we are heartened by the commitment that Premier Berejiklian and Minister Constance gave today for an eventual light rail link to support the growth of the Olympic Corridor,” he said.

“The future of this precinct, including expansion plans for RAS’ Sydney Showgrounds, a $700M+ rebuild of ANZ Stadium, and GPT’s exciting Olympic Park Town Centre, is contingent on integrated transport solutions, which includes light rail links, metro rail, and improved road access.

“Western Sydney shouldn’t have to choose between a metro rail line and a light rail line.  Just like the Eastern Suburbs, it deserves both, and we have faith in Andrew Constance to deliver this.”

The Dialogue is partnering with the Sydney Olympic Park Business Association and the Sydney Business Chamber to host a meeting next Wednesday at ANZ Stadium where key landowners and stakeholders will consider Olympic Corridor transport, planning and governance issues.

The Dialogue welcomed the Carlingford line route and hopes it might eventually extend to Epping to provide a link between the future North West and West metro lines.  It will use the consultation process to seek appropriate compensation for landowners affected by the Camellia maintenance line and push for a southern spur line to service the Rosehill Gardens events centre.

Mr Brown said he looked forward to the Government’s decision about the Olympic Corridor extension later this year, combined with a WestMetro, to create new housing, employment and lifestyle options in the Olympic Corridor.

“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.”

CSIRO and Sydney Science Park Forge Innovative Partnership

The soaring temperatures that have scorched Western Sydney in 2017 may soon start to cool off thanks to a new partnership between Sydney Science Park and CSIRO.

Launched by Assistant Minister for Science, Craig Laundy MP, today, the CSIRO Urban Living Lab, at Sydney Science Park, Luddenham, is the first of its kind in Australia, and will provide a testing-ground for researchers, industry, government and communities to collaborate and examine ideas, concepts and inventions.

Among the ideas to be tested, include urban innovations aimed at helping cool down Western Sydney’s ‘Hot-Spots’ or ‘Urban Heat Islands’, such as Penrith, Blacktown and Campbelltown.

Just last month, Western Sydney recorded the highest number of days above 40 degrees.
And by 2030, the region is expected to experience an additional seven days above 35°C per year, placing more exposed communities at risk.

Chairman of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, Christopher Brown AM, said the CSIRO’s decision to base their lab at Sydney Science Park, reinforced the region’s emergence as a leader in innovation, and research and technology and would go a long way towards helping cool down the ‘urban heat islands’ that are so prevalent in Western Sydney.

“This partnership between Sydney Science Park and CSIRO is another positive step towards the ongoing development of Western Sydney’s science and innovation sector,” Mr Brown said.

“The region is already known for its work in the areas of bio-medical and health research, and Sydney Science Park, which also plans to house NSWs’ first STEM School, continues to set a new standard when it comes to driving the next generation of jobs, skills and communities.

“This is an opportunity for some of the nation’s big thinkers to come together and look at how new technologies, materials, urban design and green infrastructure can combine to protect Western Sydney against the heat.”

Often referred to as Australia’s own ‘Silicon Valley’, Sydney Science Park, managed by Western Sydney property developers Celestino, is set on over 280ha and upon completion, expected to employ over 12,000 staff, in mostly high-skilled, high-paying jobs. It will also educate 10,000 students in key scientific and technological disciplines, and provide more than 3000 homes.

The CSIRO Urban Living Lab at Sydney Science Park will invite innovators from all over Australia to participate in this new initiative, where under the guidance of CSIRO experts, they can create and test new urban technologies.

Some of the ideas already floated, include the development and application of different types of energy, smart water systems and other sustainable innovations that can respond to climate and population changes.

“This initiative provides an opportunity for some of Australia’s most creative minds to collaborate and potentially unearth new thinking and concepts that will produce sustainable, economic and social outcomes, not just for Western Sydney, but the entire nation,” Mr Brown said.

Celestino is partner of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue.

Dialogue Thanks Outgoing Premier

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, today thanked outgoing Premier and Minister for Western Sydney, Mike Baird for his contribution to the growth and success of the region.

Mr Baird, who will officially resign from politics next week, helped launch the Dialogue in 2015, and was a regular contributor at its events, having addressed the inaugural ‘Out There’ Summit at Western Sydney University, Parramatta and other functions.

“Despite where you stood on his policies, the one thing that you cannot dispute, is that Mike Baird was not afraid to make the tough decisions,” Mr Brown said.

“During his tenure, Western Sydney has benefited from a commitment to regional infrastructure investment, particularly across the transport, health and sport portfolios, and in doing so, has helped focus much-needed political and commercial attention on places such as Parramatta.

“The Dialogue has shared a close association with Mr Baird during his two-year term, and we certainly wish him, and his family, the best as they enter into their next chapter.”

Mr Brown added it was vital that the NSW Government, and the next Premier, builds on the Western Sydney platform that has been created, with stronger focus on its other key cities.
“It is also essential that the Western Sydney portfolio remains the personal responsibility of the State Premier.” Mr Brown said.

“There are a number of unanswered questions in economic and social policy in Western Sydney that will need to be addressed by Mike Baird’s successor, including housing affordability, transport links, and social infrastructure.”

The Dialogue will be presenting a list of priority projects to the new Premier, and to Opposition Leader Foley, in coming months focusing on such issues as a north-south train line via Badgerys Creek Airport, CBD Metro links to Parramatta and Liverpool, the fate of the previously-announced Olympic Corridor light rail and Powerhouse relocation, Olympic Park master planning, major funding for Liverpool Hospital and an urban amenity fund for the civic improvement and investment attraction for regional growth cities like Campbelltown, Penrith and Blacktown.

NSW Government's Jobs Injection

The NSW Government’s decision to relocate 4000 public servant jobs to Parramatta reaffirms the city’s growing status as Sydney’s central commercial, administration and public sector hub.

Chairman of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, Christopher Brown AM, singled-out the Baird Government for its unwavering commitment to helping grow Parramatta and the Western Sydney economy.

“The State Government deserves plenty of credit for recognising the importance of Parramatta as the gateway to Western Sydney and the role it needs to play in supporting the development of the fastest growing region in Australia,” Mr Brown said.

“This year alone, it has invested heavily in Parramatta, in the form of transport and jobs, and through the Greater Sydney Commission, set forth an ambitious vision that ensures Parramatta can realise its potential.”

As part of the public sector jobs injection, more than 4000 public service workers, including 2500 from Department of Planning and Environment and Environment and Protection Agency, will be housed in the Walker Corporation’s Parramatta Square Tower 4 building.

Mr Brown said that the Parramatta Square urban redevelopment – Western Sydney’s Barangaroo – was a project that has taken nearly two decades to get off the ground, and is now close to being finalised. 

“This is arguably one of the most significant urban redevelopments in Sydney, and its success in getting to this point, is due to the ambition of Lang Walker and his team, a State Government that wants Parramatta to succeed, and a Council that has refused to give up,” he said.

“Today’s decision has the dual impact of not only embedding this critical commercial development, but also helping catalyse further private investment in the region.

“Decentralisation of government jobs to Western Sydney is a key strategy in helping build the number of jobs in the region, and following on from this latest boost in numbers, I look forward to the State Government facilitating the growth of other commercial centres in areas such as Campbelltown, Blacktown, Liverpool and Penrith.”