The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue has called on the NSW Government to expand the boundaries of the Western Parkland City to include the Blacktown Local Government Area in a move that would better align it with neighbouring councils in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis and also help ensure it was involved in the Western Sydney City Deal.
Dialogue Chairman Christopher Brown AM said the Greater Sydney Commission’s (GSC) ‘three-city metropolis’ was largely established as a way of managing Sydney’s long-term growth and to help co-ordinate transport and land-use planning with the aim of delivering improved economic, social and environmental outcomes.
He added that the GSC had set a new benchmark when it came to regional collaboration and governance, particularly within the Western Parkland City, which includes the eight council areas of Penrith, Liverpool, Fairfield, Camden, Campbelltown, Wollondilly, Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury.
“All of these areas are connected to each other, not just by their geography, but the role they will undoubtedly play in helping shape the future of the Western Sydney Aerotropolis,” Mr Brown said. “All of these areas are also linked via the Western Sydney City Deal, which unites local, state and federal governments as a way to unlock opportunities in the Parkland City, and with Blacktown right on its fringe, it makes sense that they have a seat at the table.
“The Australian Catholic University recently announced plans for a new Blacktown campus, which received a further boost with the Federal Opposition committing $7m towards its development. Add that fast-track funding to a Council that has committed itself to a much-needed revamp of its city centre and there are some exciting times ahead for the city.
“The GSC, and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres, deserve plenty of credit for their respective roles in driving increased co-ordination and collaboration across the Parkland City and Aerotropolis, and as the vision for these areas has grown and become clearer, so too is the obvious need for Blacktown to be included,” he said.
Mr Brown added that securing Blacktown’s involvement in the Western Sydney City Deal should ensure the city is eligible for State and Federal funding, through the existing Liveability Fund, and deliver rapid bus services to the Western Sydney Airport, as has been promised to other centres such as Penrith, Liverpool and Campbelltown.
“Blacktown’s case for inclusion in the City Deal and Parkland City grouping should hasten the extension of the Airport rail-link north from St Mary’s toward Marsden Park and beyond. Blacktown is also featured within the Western Sydney Employment Area and is home to one of the biggest populations in Sydney, so bringing it closer to the Aerotropolis and other neighbouring councils is sure to generate a range of opportunities,” Mr Brown said.
“Blacktown’s inclusion in the Western Sydney City Deal, and in the Aerotropolis Authority region, will require of the Council a more productive embrace of the economic benefits that could flow to local residents from the new airport.
“Blacktown deserves a seat at Western Sydney’s head table as its exclusion is wrong. However, the region can also expect the city to play a more effective and collaborative role in driving the Aerotropolis forward.” Mr Brown concluded.
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