Thursday, 09 June 2016 16:57

Federal Election 2016: Jobs and economic growth

Creating new and diverse employment opportunities is one of the biggest challenges facing Western Sydney in 2016.

Western Sydney is Australia’s third largest economy, however this booming region has been unable to keep up with rapid population growth. The ratio of jobs to residents has fallen consistently since the turn of the century.

Today, well over 200,000 residents leave Western Sydney each morning for jobs in the East. This is a huge daily migration that puts enormous pressure on Sydney’s transport network, as well as on families who spend a large part of their day commuting.

A growing number university-educated resident workers, has caused a rise in demand for locally-based employment opportunities in new and diverse industries.

The region is now home to twice as many business service professionals as business service jobs; forcing a growing number of Western Sydney workers to face long commutes east for work.

Traditionally Western Sydney has been heavily reliant on manufacturing and other 20th century industries - industries which are expected to continue their decline over the next 20 years. This decline has already reduced employment opportunities for resident workers in some parts of the region.

Other sectors, such as the construction industry are experiencing labour shortages due to Sydney’s ongoing residential housing and infrastructure boom.

Unemployment is also a major issue in some areas of Western Sydney and is a particular problem for Indigenous communities, newer settlers from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, and for a growing number of disengaged young people.

The proposed Badgerys Creek airport is often cited as the silver bullet for Western Sydney’s employment issues, however the project is only expected to deliver a fraction of the jobs the region needs (around 60,000 jobs over the next 30 years).

In the past, a passive approach to jobs creation, including the release of employment lands, has not been effective in generating the required density and diversity of employment the region needs; and therefore is unlikely to do so in the future.

There must be an intensive, dedicated approach to job creation in Western Sydney if we are to reduce the Western Sydney jobs deficit, see more residents employed in the workforce, and reduce the number of residents travelling significant distances to work each day.


Articles from Western Sydney:

The Australian – Badgerys Creek ‘needs to be more than just an airport’ (Published 2 June, 2016)

Sydney Morning Herald – Liverpool emerges as new growth centre (Published 3 June, 2016)

Penrith Press - Can you really live within 30 minutes of work, rest and play? (10 May, 2016)

Penrith Press – First business-led plan for jobs creation in Western Sydney targets grey collar workers (14 December, 2015)

Sydney Morning Herald – The daily exodus from Western Sydney (Published 5 April, 2014)


WSROC media releases:

West demands a plan for Badgerys (Published 6 June, 2016)

Fewer than 20% of jobs accessible by 30 minute car trip (Published 18 May, 2016)

Budget generous but will not deliver Smart Cities for the West (Published 4 May, 2016)

VET policies should focus on skills shortages (Published 20 June 2016)

WSROC welcomes holistic approach to West (Published 20 June, 2016)


Further information:

WSU Centre for Western Sydney: Addressing Western Sydney’s jobs slide (Published 7 April, 2016)

SGS Economics – Attracting jobs to outer urban growth areas (Published 2015)

WESTIR: Who works where and how do they get there? (2011 Census data)

WSU Centre for Western Sydney: Addressing Western Sydney’s jobs slide (Published 7 April, 2016)



Last modified on Friday, 24 June 2016 17:19