Governing the Region's Growth

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue (WSLD), in partnership with the Sydney Business Chamber, has launched a new paper aimed at stimulating discussion about how the region’s growth is governed.

The discussion paper – Governance Reform for Growth: Ideas on how we can best plan, finance, build and govern the growth centres of Greater Western Sydney – was launched at the Western Sydney University’s vertical campus in the Parramatta CBD, in front of leaders in government, the private sector and community, and has put forward a number of options for consideration.

These include:

  • Implementation of “real” local government reform measures such as election of full-time mayors, mandatory professional training for all councillors, improved protection for staff and CEOs, and stronger probity controls.
  • The creation of bigger, fewer and better resourced Councils.
  • Having the Greater Sydney Commission (GSC) take on the role of Co-ordinator General, overseeing the development of major precincts such as the Western Sydney Aerotropolis and Greater Parramatta Olympic Park Peninsula (GPOP), and having the GSC report directly to the NSW Premier.
  • Examination of the role of the private sector, in funding infrastructure via ‘value-capture’.

WSLD Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, said the paper was not intended to provide all of the answers, for a nuanced and complex area, but to spark discussion about the need for a clearer model of governance.

“The Western Sydney City Deal, in addition to the population explosion that is driving our growth, has shone the spotlight on the region. It also means we need a structure in place that can deliver transparency, accountability, and importantly, results,” Mr Brown said.

“Western Sydney was embarrassed by the appalling governance issues at Auburn Council and we need new systems in place to attract and retain municipal talent, to weed out corruption and to ensure ratepayers get value for money. This region should be a beacon for best practice, not a sanctuary for spivs.”

Sydney Business Chamber, Western Sydney Director, David Borger added:
“The strategic vision for Western Sydney has largely been set, but how do we begin the transition from planning to delivery? The development of cities requires co-ordination across all levels of government – who is going to take the lead role? And importantly, who is going to pay for all of these important infrastructure projects?

For Media Information – Adam Leto, Director, WSLD 0419 019 637