May 2024


Prime Minister Albanese at the Dialogue's event this month
Advanced Manufacturing Research Facility at Bradfield

Why Australia’s Future can be Made in Western Sydney

Adam Leto, Chief Executive Officer

This month, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese addressed over 400 community, business and government leaders in GWS with a clear message; Western Sydney is critical to the nation’s future. 

There aren’t many better opportunities to realise that than with the $22.7 billion Future Made in Australia Plan, designed to reshape Australia’s economy driven by advanced manufacturing.

In giving his first post-budget address in Western Sydney at the Dialogue’s 2024 Prime Minister’s Luncheon, Mr Albanese outlined how these opportunities can be realised by local suppliers. A key plank of the Federal Government plan is its focus on supporting clean energy industries, which may not be a well-known strength of the region, but to discount Western Sydney as a major contributor in this space would be to ignore its history.  

Manufacturing has long been part of Western Sydney’s DNA. Much of the region’s identity has been shaped by the makers, builders and innovators who for close to a century opened the factories and firms that helped turn it into a twentieth-century industrial powerhouse.

Tucked away behind some of the city’s major highways are a long list of unpretentious, but highly productive, global success stories. 

Like the renowned Darrell Lea manufacturing centre at Ingleburn, or Kurrajong Kitchen, with its tasty lavosh found on supermarket shelves Australia-wide, based in Windsor. 

"When it comes to the future of manufacturing in Australia, Western Sydney can be the engine room of Australia"
Adam Leto
CEO, Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue

While traditional manufacturing may have slowed, or ceased completely in some areas in the country, the industry response to innovative technologies and automation in Western Sydney has been strong. 

More than 80,000 people work in manufacturing in our West, and it remains one of the top five employment industries. Like the region itself, the manufacturing sector has shown that it’s resilient, and prepared to meet new challenges head-on. 

GWS is benefiting from the impending Western Sydney International Airport and the surrounding Bradfield City Centre which, with its own Advanced Manufacturing Research Facility, has sent a clear signal to industry that it wants to back and fund innovative and progressive businesses.

When it comes to the future of manufacturing in Australia, Western Sydney has proven that it has the smarts to be the engine room of the nation.

GWS Housing Targets 

Premier Chris Minns has confirmed the rebalance of Sydney’s future housing growth. With a focus on councils in our north, east and inner west to build more of their fair share of housing, the Premier hopes infrastructure funding incentives to meet housing targets will “put us on a different path” to “more affordable housing built around quality infrastructure and world class transport”. 

The Premier outlined the plan, stating over the next five years NSW must build 377,000 homes.

An analysis of the government’s housing targets and a breakdown using traditional LGA borders across our city shows the 13 established Western Sydney LGAs will build 150,000 homes and account for 39% of the 377,000 required homes by 2029. 

The top five GWS LGAs with the most dwellings set to be delivered by 2029 are the Hills Shire (23,300), followed by Blacktown (21,400), Parramatta (19,500), Liverpool (16,700), and Canterbury-Bankstown (14,500).

The 20 LGAs in the rest of Sydney will contribute 29% of future NSW housing (113,000), with the City of Sydney set to build the most (18,900), followed by Ryde (11,600). 

The Hunter, the Central Coast and Illawarra LGAs will together contribute another 15% worth of housing in NSW by 2029 (58,600), with Newcastle (11,100), Central Coast (9,400) and Wollongong (9,200), contributing the most. 

The rest of regional and rural NSW will have a target of just over 50,000. 

The Government’s data shows Greater Western Sydney’s housing contributions will largely come from homes already in the planning system and the rest of Sydney’s will mostly come in the form of additional homes.

It indicates the future growth of Sydney has shifted eastward, but nevertheless maintains GWS as the region doing Sydney’s heavy lifting and will deliver the largest portion of housing over the next five years.

The Dialogue has long-advocated for a rebalance of Sydney’s housing growth, arguing that Western Sydney has traditionally accepted the burden of population increases, but without the necessary investment in supporting infrastructure.

The Dialogue is pleased to see the government has taken important steps to incentivise councils to meet and beat their housing targets with hundreds of millions of dollars available from the State Government to accelerate infrastructure like green space and roads.

Dialogue CEO Adam Leto said:

“The updated housing targets and substantial planning reforms like the transit-oriented development (TOD) program show the government has a clear intent to develop built up areas that have existing infrastructure.

“It is important that we build housing that isn’t isolated from jobs, services, public transport and amenity.

“While the government has made a shift to infill development, the Dialogue reaffirms the need for greenfield projects in Western Sydney to still play a role to play in Sydney’s housing mix, particularly in our north and south west growth areas.”

South West Sydney Housing & Infrastructure Forum

Following the recent release of NSW Housing Targets, the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue is pleased to host the South West Sydney Housing & Infrastructure Forum in Campbelltown on Thursday, 25 July 2024

Featuring NSW Planning & Public Spaces Minister, the Hon. Paul Scully MP, and as the State Government looks to rebalance housing growth across the city, this half-day forum will bring together state and local government leaders and key stakeholders across a range of sectors to discuss the critical infrastructure required to support future development in the south-west.

On the day, we will highlight industry sentiment, along with the supply chain and labour shortages impacting delivery. We’ll also examine opportunities to bolster housing supply along the Sydney Metro Airport line, showcase some of the major residential and infrastructure projects in the pipeline, outline the need for more social and affordable housing and look at how new developments can be connected to attractive blue and green spaces.

Don’t miss this important event. Register now

Featured Speakers

Paul Scully MP, NSW Minister for Planning & Public Spaces 

Kiersten Fishburn, Secretary, NSW Dept. of Planning, Housing & Infrastructure

Greg Warren MP, Member for Campbelltown

Clr George Greiss, Mayor of Campbelltown

Paul Plowman, GM Liveable Solutions, Sydney Water

Dialogue Scholarship Awarded to Western Sydney students

The Dialogue was honoured to present local students the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Scholarship at the Public Education Foundation Ltd’s ‘Proudly Public’ awards in May.  
Now entering its seventh year, the scholarship helps public high school students in the region complete their senior years of education.  
This small amount of support can make a big difference in the lives of these young students, as they deal with a range of financial, social and cultural challenges.

So far, the Dialogue has supported more than 30 students from a range of different backgrounds.

Dialogue Head of Policy & Analysis, Lauren Nicholls (L) awarding the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Scholarship

NSW TODs inquiry

The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue’s Executive Director, Policy & Advocacy, Luke Turner presented at the NSW Government’s inquiry into the Transport Oriented Development (TOD) Program. 
Mr Turner reaffirmed the Dialogue’s position which supports the spread of the population growth and housing development across the Sydney Metropolitan area. For Western Sydney, unlocking TOD will ensure new population growth is better connected to jobs and essential services. 
Importantly, the Dialogue urged the NSW Government to work in good faith with GWS councils and communities to address concerns around impacts of increased housing density, and to bring as many stakeholders on board with these reforms.