Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:53

Message from the President: Collaboration key a better future for Western Sydney

WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali. WSROC President Cr Stephen Bali.

 

This month we saw our first glimpse of the Greater Sydney Commission’s (GSC) draft District Plans for Greater Sydney.

Led by Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull, the GSC have taken the pieces of our patchwork city – infrastructure, transport, culture, environment and housing – and worked it into a coordinated blueprint for our future.

This is the first time we have had a comprehensive plan for Sydney, and the Commission should be congratulated on bringing it together in such a short period of time.

We hope the District Plans will ensure that future planning is about more than just housing targets, but building more sustainable, liveable, connected communities – particularly in Western Sydney.

There is no doubt that Sydney needs more housing, but if the communities we are building aren’t liveable and affordable, with good access to employment, transport, services and recreation then we are doing our residents a major disservice.

For a long time planning has focused on Sydney as our city’s only CBD. This has come at the cost of the West, due to a build-up of jobs, recreation and services in the East.

WSROC welcomes the Commission’s preference for a three cities vision, but if we are to achieve this there is much to be done.

Shifting economic focus from the Sydney CBD will require significant investment in public transport linking Western Sydney’s CBDs and regional centres. 

It will require a more equal distribution of arts and cultural funding to support creative industries in the West, and it will require a coordinated approach to economic development and a solid plan for jobs across the region.

We hope that the state and federal governments will lead the charge on jobs by moving more public service departments West of Parramatta.

While we commend the vision the District Plans set, all levels of government will need to be closely involved in their implementation to turn good intentions into reality.

Local, state and federal planning processes all impact on each other, and this makes the Commission’s focus on collaboration all the more important.

WSROC is keen and ready to work closely with both the GSC and government agencies in building our future city, and already has a number of professional committees who are well placed to respond to the opportunities and challenges presented in the District Plans. 

Councils have a great depth of knowledge when it comes to the needs of their local communities and I hope we will have every opportunity to feed this knowledge back into the greater plan for our region because this will be essential to it success.

 

Related content:

Greater Sydney Commission - draft District Plans (consultation closes March 2017)

- Central West
- West
- South West

Last modified on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 16:04