Hitachi Sets Up Base at Aerotropolis

The development of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis took a big step forward today, with the NSW Government announcing Japanese company Hitachi as the precinct’s inaugural tenant.

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Executive Director Adam Leto said the global corporate giant was the first of many international businesses expected to call the region home over the coming decade.

“Hitachi’s investment will pave the way for the delivery of more smart jobs for the region, and importantly, help attract other local and international businesses looking to set-up base in the Aerotropolis,” Mr Leto said.

“The Aerotropolis represents an opportunity for  the world’s leading companies to be a part of one of the nation’s emerging innovation and research centres.

“Today’s announcement is a great reward for the efforts of the NSW Government and the Western City and Aerotropolis Authority, which has revolutionised investment attraction and delivered new global players to our area.”

Construction on the Hitachi’s new facility is expected to begin in late 2022.

To date, the NSW Government has signed 17 MOUs with national and international Foundation Partners in the Aerotropolis, with more commercial agreements expected to be signed over the coming months.

The $5.3 billion Western Sydney Airport is earmarked to open in 2026 with earthworks at the site commencing in early 2020.

Dialogue Welcomes Speedway Consultation

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue has congratulated the NSW Government after it promised to find a new home for speedway racing in Western Sydney.

The move comes after it was revealed that the current Speedway site at Parramatta would be compulsorily acquired as part of the Sydney Metro West rail project, one of the city’s most transformative infrastructure initiatives.  

“Common sense has prevailed, and I’d like to commend the State Government for ensuring speedway racing has a future in Western Sydney,” Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, said.

“The Sydney Speedway is a regional icon, and with a bigger, better facility, future generations will now get the opportunity to experience the thrill and excitement of high-speed racing.”

The Dialogue has offered support to work with the Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres MP, along with Acting Minister for Sport Geoff Lee, to help find the best new home for a new speedway facility, hopefully at a newly expanded Eastern Creek.

A report on Metro West was released this week and included a proposed route and station locations, which meant  the Sydney Speedway would need to be relocated from its Granville base.

“Metro West is a project that is just as significant as the Western Sydney Airport and while it will deliver generational change across the region Western Sydney resident and businesses have an important role to play in dealing with the teething problems associated with growth,” Mr Brown said.

“This ‘steel spine’ for Sydney’s Central City is much needed and we look forward to being part of community consultation to find a new speedway site.”

Mr Brown said the new link between Sydney’s two CBDs, in Parramatta and Sydney, will free up an already at-capacity Western Line and generate thousands of jobs.

Dialogue welcomes Metro West Plans

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue today welcomed the release of updated plans for Sydney Metro West, arguably Sydney’s most transformative infrastructure project.

Dialogue Chairman Christopher Brown said the highly-anticipated rail report, which outlined the proposed route and station locations, would deliver generational change across the region.

“This is a project that is just as significant as the Western Sydney Airport – an absolute game changer not just for our region, but all of Sydney,” Mr Brown said.

“Not only will Metro West super-charge the link between Sydney’s two CBDs, in Parramatta and Sydney, and free up, an already at-capacity Western Line, it will generate thousands of jobs and catalyse the urban renewal of a number of growth centres along the corridor – a new ‘steel spine’ for Sydney’s Central City.”

“The Dialogue has been a major advocate of this project, and along with the Greater West Metro, which is expected to be delivered by 2026, Western Sydney is finally getting the transport links it needs to accommodate future growth.”

Mr Brown welcomed the confirmation of most stop locations and route alignment, however added that community members and stakeholders in Camellia/Rydalmere remained in the dark about their transport future, with an optional station still unconfirmed and the future of Parramatta Light Rail Stage 2 also unclear.

“Communities in the eastern part of the Greater Paramatta and Olympic Peninsula (GPOP) corridor have been promised a range of transport solutions over many years now. While the further investigation of a Rydalmere stop is welcome, we need some certainty. The region is growing so fast, and we don’t want to see a situation down the track where we’ve missed an opportunity to activate a precinct like Camellia or Rydalmere and left locals with inadequate transport connections.”

Mr Brown said that with plans now public, the focus must turn to the fastest way to have the project delivered and all options to procure and fund it must be on the table, including federal funding.

“We’ve always been of the view that, given its national significance, Metro West should be part-funded by the Federal Government,” Mr Brown said.

“In a slowing economy, this is a shovel-ready project that will provide a much-needed boost, and importantly, help speed up the project’s delivery.

“In an ideal world, both the Metro West and Greater West Metro would be up and running by the time the Western Sydney Airport opens in 2026, providing an integrated rail network that links the residents of Western Sydney with enhanced access to jobs and services, and helping fuel the development of precincts such as Sydney Olympic Park, Westmead, Parramatta and Sydney Science Park via the north-south connection.”

Read the latest on the project: here

New Partnership to Boost Skills

Workers in Western Sydney have received a boost, with Western Sydney Airport and TAFE NSW teaming up to deliver a new, on-site, TAFE NSW Skills Exchange.

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Executive Director, Adam Leto, said the program would provide Airport construction site workers with the opportunity to further develop their skills while on the job, and also help ensure the current and future needs of industry could be met.

“The Dialogue has been a strong advocate of the TAFE Skills Exchange model, as a way of equipping, and upskilling, students and workers, having seen first-hand its success across a number of significant projects in Sydney,” Mr Leto said.

“Given the infrastructure boom that is helping fuel our region’s growth, our view is that this program should be mandatory across all major projects in Greater Western Sydney.

“It is not appropriate to celebrate the ‘boom town’ that Western Sydney has become while some local communities still suffer record high youth unemployment and this type of innovative skills legacy program will help to drive engagement.”

“The Dialogue congratulates the Western Sydney Airport and TAFE for this initiative, which is being delivered through the Western Sydney City Deal and is another positive step towards securing a more flexible and dynamic workforce of the future.”

Currently, more than half of the Airport’s workers come from Western Sydney, with the Skills Exchange expected to equip workers with skills in areas including earthmoving, civil construction, safety and traffic control.

The programs offered by the Skills Exchange will adapt as the project moves from earthworks into future phases, including construction of the 3.7-kilometre runway, taxiways, passenger terminal and on-airport business park.

For media information

Catherine Nguyen — Communications Officer
Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue
catherine@westernsydney.org.au | 0477 772 171

Mapping Sydney's Latte Line

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue has released a fresh set of figures, providing a range of social, health and economic comparisons across Sydney.

The data in the Mapping the Latte Line report, released this week, outlines the points of difference between Sydney residents across a range of measures and highlights the need for Government to continue its policy and investment focus on Western Sydney.

“The aim of this report is not to reinforce, or dispel, negative perceptions of the region, but rather bring attention to the fact that there is still a divide that splits Sydney, and that it needs to be addressed,” Dialogue Executive Director Adam Leto said.

“Addressing geographic disadvantage needs to be at the heart of government’s planning and investment decisions so that this divide becomes less visible, and eventually disappears altogether – that needs to be the aim,” Mr Leto said.

Latte Line at a Glance:

  • Residents in the west are more likely to be hospitalised for preventable disease than in the east

  • East residents have a higher life expectancy

  • If you live in the east you’re twice as likely to have a bachelor’s degree. The west has a larger proportion of Certificate III or IV holders

  • Average taxable income is significantly higher in the east, which also accommodates the majority of the ‘top one-percent’ income earners

  • Those in the west are more likely to work a standard work week (35-39 hours)

  • The west is home to significantly more residents from a non-English speaking background

  • West residents are more likely to suffer lung cancer, while those in the east have a higher skin cancer rate

  • In the west, you’re less likely to be a volunteer

  • The west recorded 30% more tax deductions for work-related car expenses, however the average value per claim is around $300 higher in the east

  • West residents are more religious.

    Read the full report here.

Dialogue and Prime Minister praise Airport milestones

The Dialogue today joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the opening of the first public building at the Western Sydney International Airport.

Dialogue Executive Director Adam Leto said the Western Sydney International Experience Centre would provide residents and visitors with a window into the future of the $5.3 billion Nancy Bird-Walton International Airport.

 “This centre is our first glimpse of what our airport will offer - an opportunity to see first-hand the new doorway to one of the nation’s fastest growing regions,” Mr Leto said.

 “It’s also a great way to engage with local communities and not only detail the vision for the site but outline the opportunities it will provide.”

The centre’s education and exhibition space features viewing platforms of the terminal and runway as well as interactive digital displays and is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the airport prior to its opening in 2026.

Upon opening, Western Sydney International is flagged to service 10 million passengers annually via domestic and international flights. Freight flights will also operate.

Earthworks at the site are due to commence in early 2020, with Lend Lease and CPB Contractors securing the contract.