Dialogue renews call for Federal funding on Metro West

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue today renewed its call for the Federal government to commit priority funding to Metro West as part of the next cycle of transport ‘strategic congestion-busters’ in Western Sydney.

The call followed a dire warning in a new report from the Commonwealth’s own development agency that Western Sydney may face crippling congestion by 2031 without additional immediate action.

Dialogue Chairman Christopher Brown AM described Infrastructure Australia’s five yearly audit report, released today, as an “alarm bell for Western Sydney commuters”.

“We recognise appropriate funding must be given to Western Sydney Airport now, however sequencing projects, such as securing infrastructure funding for Metro West, is critical to ensure Western Sydney maintains its role as the future economic engine room for Australia,” Mr Brown said.

“The report makes it clear that it’s time to loosen the national purse strings to help the NSW State government which has already shown sustained commitment to improving public transport in Western Sydney with some key projects, like Sydney’s Metro and the Parramatta Light Rail project.”

“Committing government funding now to Metro West will help plans to reduce congestion along precisely the kinds of increasingly clogged urban arterials this report is warning us about,” he said.

“Meanwhile the successful first stage of the Metro, which is getting cars off the road in the rapidly growing north-west, makes long-overdue Federal backing for Metro West, an absolute given.”

Infrastructure Australia’s Urban Transport Crowding and Congestion report described Sydney’s rapid expansion as ‘the new normal’ and says the cost of lost productivity due to gridlock is set to double over the next 12 years to more than $38.8 billion.

According to the report Sydney and Melbourne will be impacted the most by population and infrastructure growth as the cost of overcrowded public transport increases. Mr Brown said the Dialogue acknowledged the commitment already made by the NSW Government to transport projects in the region within the last state budget, despite weakening projected revenue, and Canberra’s support for the Western Sydney Airport and its land transport links.

Dialogue confident of Parramatta Light Rail stage two delivery

Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Chairman Christopher Brown AM said today he has full confidence that NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance will deliver stage two of the Parramatta Light Rail in a timely manner to match regional growth.

“The Transport Minister Andrew Constance promised us, publicly and privately, that light rail would eventually link Parramatta and Olympic Park and I know he is a man of his word. He has always delivered on his promises in the past,” Mr Brown said.

“Stage two of the Light Rail is a fundamental plank in the Greater Sydney Commission Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull’s GPOP (Greater Parramatta Olympic Peninsula) vision, allowing for renewal of the public housing stock of Ermington, and will provide relief for the residents of Wentworth Point who have been denied appropriate transport access for too long.”

“In return for the NSW Government’s commitment we need to accept that this project needs funding and the Metro West Rail business case to be finalised. We would expect however a commitment to deliver the Light Rail stage two immediately after the Metro West project has been confirmed,” he said.

Dialogue Launch: Best of the West

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres today officially launched the new Best of the West guidebook. Created by the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Best of the West is an inaugural regional snapshot of the best places and events, infrastructure and innovations, in this dynamic area.

Best of the West was produced in order to share the Dialogue’s insight into the range of suburbs, projects, events, centres of education, activities, business successes, natural assets and hidden gems that are helping shape the growth of the most dynamic region in the country.

Executive Director Adam Leto said the Dialogue proudly partnered with Western Sydney University to produce Best of the West.

Best of the West brings together the proud and diverse range of Western Sydney communities and encourages everyone to think broadly about experiences in our part of the world,” Mr Leto said.

“Growth and change never stop in Western Sydney. The Dialogue is proud to share the education, business, health and community goings on from our unique perspective in the driver’s seat of the nation’s fastest growing region,” he said.

The insider’s guide was designed to spark a debate in the community about all that is great in the area which is too often dismissed by its eastern and northern neighbours.

An electronic copy of the 151 page guidebook can be accessed free here or via the Dialogue’s website. A selection of heads of industry from the public and private sector, representing Western Sydney stadiums, airports and more attended the launch by Minister Ayres, who is also the Member for Penrith, which was held at West HQ in Rooty Hill.

The community is encouraged to join the wave of Twitter and Instagram contributors nominating their own suggestions for #bestofthewest at @bestofthewest_ Limited hard copies are available on request.

Out There: WooTube fever hits Western Sydney

NSW ‘Master Teacher’ Eddie Woo has delivered an optimistic outline for Western Sydney education, singling out the important role of students in unlocking the potential of the region.

The WooTube creator, who has given rise to a new global movement of mathematics fanatics, said the rise of Western Sydney as a new cultural centre for NSW was fuelled by the creativity of those who want to learn.

Delivering the Lachlan Macquarie Lecture, as part of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue’s Out There Summit, the online mathematics rock star stressed the importance of embracing and connecting the wide range of cultures and languages found in Western Sydney’s communities.

“Lachlan Macquarie looked at Western Sydney and instead of seeing a dry and desolate space he saw potential,” Mr Woo said.

“There are three directions that we in Western Sydney must ensure we move in order to continue to advance as a community. You need to plant a seed and provide it with an environment in which it can flourish,” Mr Woo said.

Mr Woo told the audience of 300 people, which included Greater Sydney Commission Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull AO, Former NSW Premier Bob Carr as well as a host of local leaders from a broad range of sectors, that Western Sydney region must remain focused on education, creativity and diversity.

In the past the Dialogue’s Lachlan Macquarie Lecture had been delivered by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Woo said of growing up in Western Sydney, “I learned the social and economic danger of cultural enclaves. Multiculturalism means nothing if we do not connect the diverse perspectives and strengths of Western Sydney,” he said.

Earlier this month, Premier Berejiklian announced Eddie's new role as a 'master teacher' with the New South Wales Department of Education, as leader of innovation for maths teaching.

He joined the line-up of famous faces at the Out There Summit, among them were actor Bryan Brown and sporting commentator Phil ‘Gus’ Gould.

Dialogue Executive Director Adam Leto said Mr Woo, a Cherrybrook Technology High School maths teacher, offered a unique perspective on his unique lived experience as a child of migrants who now works and resides in Western Sydney.

“The Dialogue’s Out There Summit has highlighted the role our local leaders are playing in helping support Western Sydney’s next generation, and Eddie Woo is a wonderful example of that,”  Mr Leto said.

Read more about the Out There Summit speakers and award winners on our events page.

Out There: Western Sydney Leadership Awards

Sydney Water and its Managing Director, Kevin Young, has taken out the prestigious 2019 Pemulwuy Prize at the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue’s annual Out There Summit held at Bankstown’s Bryan Brown Theatre, today.

Named after the famed local Indigenous warrior, the Dialogue created The Pemulwuy Prize to honour a leading group that has made an outstanding contribution to the region, with past winners including the Bankstown Poetry Slam, the Western Sydney Diabetes Initiative and Savannah Pride. 

Sydney Water was one of seven Leadership Award finalists in contention for the Pemulwuy Prize (Leadership Prize recipients listed below), with the top-gong judged by the Dialogue’s Patrons.

Dialogue Executive Director Adam Leto paid tribute to the success of Sydney Water, which through its Managing Director Kevin Young, had proven to be a willing regional collaborator and major contributor on planning issues.

“Managing Director Kevin Young has led Sydney Water’s success over the past five years, with the state-owned corporation playing a key role in helping shape the region’s environmental, social and economic future – from its office in Parramatta,” Dialogue Executive Director, Adam Leto, said.

“Sydney Water has embraced new technologies, innovations and partnerships that have saved tax-payers millions of dollars, while also generating improved environmental outcomes.

“It has shown that it also has a firm eye on the future, having worked closely with councils, the Greater Sydney Commission, the State and Federal Governments, fellow utility groups and the private sector to ensure that water is firmly embedded within the early parts of the urban planning and design of Western Sydney.”  

Sydney Water and its Managing Director, Kevin Young has taken out the Pemulwuy Prize in recognition of the organisation’s ongoing contribution to environmental, economic and social outcomes in Western Sydney.

The 2019 Leadership Prize winners announced today are:

·         Billie Sankovic, CEO, Western Sydney Community Forum, Leadership Prize for her contribution to Public Policy with the Build Beyond Bricks Report

·         Usman Iftikhar, Leadership Prize for Entrepreneurial Achievement for empowering refugees and providing professional and personal support to migrant entrepreneurs

·         Phil Gould AM, Leadership Prize for Regional Advocacy for his commitment to community development and services to charity

·         Richard Errington, Leadership Prize for Innovation and Reputation for driving reputational change through the establishment of West HQ, including Sydney Coliseum, and as a key partner in the inaugural Run West and his role in regional branding

·         Dorothy Hoddinott AO, Leadership Prize for Community Advocacy for services in education and for advocacy for refugees and migrants in Western Sydney

·         Dr Aniss Chami, Leadership Prize for Corporate Achievement for his corporate success through Vitex Pharmaceuticals

·         Kevin Young, Managing Director, Sydney Water, Leadership Prize for Sustainability and Collaboration, and the Pemulwuy Prize, for an ongoing contribution to environmental, economic and social outcomes in Western Sydney

A full run-down of all award winners can be found at www.westernsydney.org.au

The Out There Summit saw some of Australia’s most recognised leaders meet in Bankstown, including Former NSW Premier Hon. Bob Carr and Greater Sydney Commission Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull AO as well as NSW Education Minister Hon. Sarah Mitchell.

Out There also featured presentations of the Western Sydney Leadership Education Scholarship, presented to local senior high school students, and an address by one of the world’s most famous maths teachers, Eddie Woo. Known widely as Mr WooTube, he was named Australia’s 2018 Local Hero, but today he outlined his vision for the future of Western Sydney education, and its role in unlocking the potential of the region.

NSW rugby legend Phil ‘Gus’ Gould AM also addressed the 300-strong audience as part of the summit, which saw live entertainment from award winning Punchbowl Boys’ High band 320 as well as a poetry slam by Australian Actor Bryan Brown.

Productions by Western Sydney filmmakers were also featured at the summit, showcasing the creative talent in the region.

“Since 2016 Out There has proved to be the place where Australian leaders discuss the important policies shaping the nation and celebrate very best of Western Sydney achievement,” Mr Leto said.

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue is a not-for-profit community initiative designed to give voice to this dynamic region and boost its social and economic progress.

Read more about the Out There Summit and award winners via our website events page.

New Scholarship opportunities for Western Sydney students

Applications are now open for the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Scholarship, run in partnership with the Public Education Foundation, to help local students achieve their potential.

Five student scholarships are being offered for senior high school students in Western Sydney starting in 2020, with seven scholarships having already been determined for 2019.

“Education is a key plank underpinning the successful future growth of the region and we’re proud to continue to support initiatives aimed at enhancing Western Sydney’s capacity and to help provide opportunities for the next generation of leaders,” Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown said.

Each scholarship will provide $1000 financial support per year for   two years ($2000 total). Applications open today and students can apply up until September 17. Only students in Year 10 qualify and more information can be found here: https://publiceducationfoundation.org.au/western-sydney-leadership-dialogue-scholarship/

The inaugural seven scholarship recipients who will be recognised publicly next week at the Dialogue’s Out There Summit are: Holroyd High School Graduate Baraa Omar; Bankstown Senior College Graduate Hani Abdile; Northmead CAPA High School student Aylin Nazari; Airds High School student Harley Young; Bossley Park High School student Emily Kamanjasevic; Casual High School Graduate Glenys Castello and Chester High School Graduate Mona Basha.

Mr Brown said the scholarship program recognised students for their dedication to both community life and their studies. He said the scholarships, which will pay for tutoring, uniforms, stationery, books, laptops plus excursions and camps, will help children overcome barriers and support their future studies.

“We want students to apply who want to help shape the future of Greater Western Sydney, and through our scholarship program, ensure they are better positioned for TAFE or tertiary education,” he said.

The Out There Summit, to be held on July 2 at Bryan Brown Theatre in Bankstown, is the Dialogue's flagship policy and community event, bringing forward great new ideas for Western Sydney.

Out There sets the debate for regional investment, growth, governance and social inclusion and the year focuses on education infrastructure. See https://westernsydney.org.au/out-there-summit-2019 for details of the event.

The Public Education Foundation works in collaboration with the schools, communities, business and both the state and federal governments to provide equity and excellence scholarships for students and educators in public education; and enhance the value and reputation of public education.

For media information and images

Sarah Campbell — Communications Manager or to apply visit www.publiceducationfoundation.org.au