THE WEST IS FORGING AHEAD AT GREAT PACE WITH INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS ABOUNDING BUT THERE IS PLENTY MORE TO DO TO ENSURE THE FUTURE DYNAMISM AND SUCCESS OF THIS VAST REGION, LOCAL LEADERS SAID.
The west is forging ahead at great pace with infrastructure projects abounding but there is plenty more to do to ensure the future dynamism and success of this vast region, local leaders said. Transport links are crucial for moving people between work, home and play but with such a young, diverse population, the area’s leaders are also calling for the cultural and social resources to bind and grow the region.
The Powerhouse’s move to Parramatta is a great start but should be just the beginning of cultural migration west.
Here are seven projects that western Sydney needs.
1. SLAM DUNK
With entertainers and performers abounding, Fairfield should have a Centre for Excellence in the creative arts. “A hub to support the West’s rich grassroots musical, theatrical and poetry-slam talent, ensuring the next generation of artists can thrive,” said Dr Andy Marks, the Director of the Centre for Western Sydney.
2. INDIGENOUS INSIGHTS
The Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue says the region needs its own Aboriginal Art Gallery & Cultural Centre.
“We have the chance to develop a truly world class gallery and artistic workshop to tell the story of our First Nations’ culture to residents and international tourists alike – while making a significant investment in national reconciliation,” said Christopher Brown, chairman of the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue.
3. NEW MEDIA HQS
The Centre for Western Sydney also supports moving the SBS to Bankstown from Artarmon to celebrate and embed the multicultural broadcaster in Australia’s multicultural heartland. Similarly it thinks the ABC should make a shift to Parramatta from Ultimo to place it in Sydney’s true centre and Australia’s fastest growing region.
4. SUBURBS OF THE FUTURE
Rather than vast developments of housing, new suburbs need to be precincts with great connections to work and lifestyle such as the planned Moore Point development on the Georges River and Walker Corporation’s Appin development.
5. BETTER CONNECTIONS
An extra stop on Sydney Metro West at Camellia, an old industrial area that has been forgotten and shed thousands of jobs as businesses have moved on over the past decades, would allow the suburb to reinvent itself as a mixed use precinct of housing, entertainment and smart jobs in the heart of Western Sydney, said David Borger, executive director of Business Western Sydney.
6. CENTRE FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH AT LIVERPOOL
Dr Marks is also looking to harness the brainpower of the future into a research facility to put western Sydney ahead of the game in pandemic prevention and preparedness.
7. FREE PRESCHOOL FOREVER
With such a young, growing population, access to childcare is essential, said Dr Marks. “Making the temporary free-preschool program a permanent measure is perhaps the greatest infrastructure investment the NSW Government can make if it is serious about supporting kids and women in the work force.”