Friday, 12 June 2020 15:37

Aerotropolis jobs alone won’t plug the gaps Featured

Media release, 11 June 2020

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils welcomes the NSW Government announcement that 5,200 new jobs would result from a new precinct fast-tracked for development near the new Western Sydney Airport, but warns that forecasted impacts on regional employment post-Covid-19 could push the existing local jobs deficit even further. 

A study released last month by the University of Newcastle has mapped disadvantage in NSW due to covid-19 job losses, indicating that the existing jobs gap in Western Sydney is expected to increase[1].

According to the study’s Employment Vulnerability Index (EVI), Western Sydney features as being both historically disadvantaged, and emerging as likely to be even further impacted by job losses resulting from an economic downturn following the pandemic crisis.

Australian demographer profile.id recently forecast that almost 80,000 jobs will be lost in Greater Western Sydney in the 2020 June quarter alone, as a result of Covid-19.[2]

WSROC President Barry Calvert said, “WSROC acknowledges the NSW Government’s evident commitment to investment in improving transport infrastructure and in growth - particularly in Western Sydney’s Aerotropolis precinct. While 5,200 new jobs is great news on any day, the uncertainty of a post-Covid economic landscape is compounded by existing employment gaps in the region. We are concerned that projected job losses may worsen the situation.

“Work in Western Sydney has long been identified as being in deficit: not enough jobs, no local jobs, no transport to connect people with jobs in the region.[3] Residents still endure some of Greater Sydney’s longest commutes, the majority made by car: at present over 300,000 Western Sydney residents leave the region each day for work. By 2036, this number will have increased to over 400,000. [4]

“There are huge gaps to be filled in transport planning so that Western Sydney residents can get to the new airport-based jobs. While the Aerotropolis will significantly add to localised employment, it will not single-handedly address the existing or future employment needs of the region.

“WSROC is aware that the impacts of economic downturn on Western Sydney’s projected growth are, as yet, uncertain. While the focus stays on the aerotropolis juggernaut and the new developments, these wider regional concerns are eclipsed.

Clr Calvert continued, “Specifically, we need a concurrent focus on stimulating job creation in regional centres like Penrith, Blacktown, Liverpool, Hawkesbury and Campbelltown as well as connection to the Central City; without this, the local job aspirations for the greater Western Sydney region will simply not be achieved.

“Our position is that more needs to be done, prioritising planning for those intra-regional links that will connect the region’s workers with local employment opportunities.

“Councils’ inherent advantage is working most closely with our communities. The road ahead for Western Sydney promises greater potential when it involves stronger engagement between federal and state government agencies and local government.

Clr Calvert concluded, “We need more timely and effective collaborative action between these three levels of Government, to address the jobs gap, in the joint contexts of resident worker growth and infrastructure. The stability of communities, now and in the long-term, depends upon it.”

[ENDS]

Media contact: Kate O’Connell or Kelly Gee, e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., t: 02 9671 4333 

 

[1] University NSW News Researchers map emerging disadvantage in Australia due to COVID-19 job loss https://www.newcastle.edu.au/newsroom/featured/researchers-map-emerging-disadvantage-in-australia-due-to-covid-19-job-loss

[2] Centre for Western Sydney, Profile id http://economy.id.com.au/cws/covid19

[3] ‘Addressing Western Sydney’s Jobs Slide’, Western Sydney University & Profile id, 2016 – https://www.westernsydney.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/1064701/JTW_report_complete_7April.pdf

[4] Transport for NSW - Household Travel Survey https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/data-and-research/passenger-travel/surveys/household-travel-survey-hts

Last modified on Monday, 15 June 2020 10:35

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