Wednesday, 02 May 2018 10:43

What does the City Deal mean for the West?

Western City councils with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Gladys Berejiklian at the signing of the Western City Deal. Western City councils with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Premier Gladys Berejiklian at the signing of the Western City Deal.

The long awaited Western City Deal was finally announced in March, following months of negotiation between participating councils, the state and federal governments.

Signed by eight councils including: Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Penrith and Wollondilly, the deal focuses on the development on the Greater Sydney Commission’s third ‘Western Parklands City’.

Major announcements from the Deal include a $150 million Liveability Fund, shared among the eight participants, and joint federal-state funding of the first stage of an airport rail link to St Marys.

Mayors from WSROC’s participating councils have welcomed the Deal, with some reservations to be worked out as implementation progresses.

 

Blue Mountains City Council

Mayor of Blue Mountains City Council, Cr Mark Greenhill, said signing the City Deal has not weakened Council’s opposition to a second Sydney airport.

“Importantly the Western Sydney City Deal recognises the Council’s ongoing opposition to Western Sydney Airport.

“We know that the second airport is not in the best interests of the Western Sydney community. As we look to the future of the Western Sydney region, I wanted future generations to know that Blue Mountains City Council stood up for its principles and for its community, and that the city deal document reflected this.

“Even though none of our nominated projects for city deal funding are connected to any airport proposal and nor do they enable it, it is important that the city deal acknowledges that we have a policy position opposing the Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek and that this position is different to the federal and state governments and many councils.

“This was a key outcome, because it means we have secured millions of dollars in funds for our city and our community while our individual position is recognised by other levels of government,” he said.

 

Fairfield City Council

Mayor of Fairfield, Cr Frank Carbone, was concerned that residents could be forced to pay for their own infrastructure improvements.

Cr Carbone said it was important that Council was part of discussions on the future direction of the Western City Deal.

“We will use the next few months to consult with our residents to ensure we respond to community needs,” he said.

“The Western City Deal has the potential to provide benefits for new communities, but I am not yet satisfied that it adequately addresses the needs of existing and diverse migrant communities establishing in Western Sydney.

Mayor Carbone did not sign Section II of the Western City Deal, which commits to the possibility of value sharing to fund projects such as a rail links.

“Council will not sign up to anything that will have a negative financial impact on family homes or that will leave our community worse off.”

“I need to make sure the interests of my community are first and foremost. A lot more needs to be done for existing issues for existing communities and not just projects that come into line 20/30 years down the track,” he said.

 

Hawkesbury City Council

Hawkesbury Mayor, Cr Mary Lyons-Buckett, has described the newly announced Western City Deal as ‘significant’ for the Hawkesbury.

“The Western City Deal has a strong focus on liveability, which can benefit every resident and business for generations to come,” she said.

“I’m proud to be among the eight mayors who have embraced this opportunity, as it will help to support a vibrant and resilient future for the Hawkesbury.

“The Hawkesbury needs to be included in significant projects like this; we are on the Western Sydney map and our region deserves every boost it can get.”

She said the fact all three levels of government had agreed to the deal was encouraging.

“This is a strong commitment from the federal and the state government to work together to focus on our local communities and regional infrastructure,” she said.

“I’m truly optimistic that the Western City Deal will create a more connected and sustainable Western City, which will benefit the eight local government areas involved, including the Hawkesbury.

“We are witnessing, and participating in, a significant and positive shift in collaborative projects, which is a sure sign of good things to come.”

 

Liverpool City Council

Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller has celebrated the historic signing of the Western City Deal as a huge win for the people of Liverpool.

“This is the start of a new era in Western Sydney with federal and state governments realising they need to step up and deliver for the people of the West,” Cr Waller said.

“For years Liverpool City Council has been making the case on behalf of its residents for better transport, for a focus on education, skills and jobs and for investment in our public spaces, parks and community centres.

“Today, with the signed commitments of Prime Minister Turnbull and Premier Berejiklian, we have secured the foundations for the future development of Liverpool as a dynamic centre of South West Sydney.

“With this will come jobs and opportunities – specifically the opportunity for our residents to find work close to home, with access through good public transport and improved roads.

“We know that breaking the two-hour commute will have a huge impact on people’s quality of life: the hours saved is time they can spend with their families, friends and community.”

Cr Waller said the establishment of an Industry Attraction Office in the CBD confirmed Liverpool’s status as the premier airport city.

“WSA Co, the company that will build and run the airport, opened in the heart of the city. Now we have this key industry office as well sending a very clear message: if you want to be part of the airport and the opportunities that will grow up around it, you need to be in Liverpool,” she said.

“On top of that we now have the opportunity to access a $150 million Liveability Fund which will be used to help support major community projects.

“What a great day this is for Liverpool," said Mayor Waller.

 

Penrith City Council

Penrith City Council was particularly pleased with the commitment to the North-South Rail Link.

Mayor of Penrith Councillor John Thain said "The North-South Rail Link will transform this region; stimulating the growth of local employment hubs, invigorating housing development, slashing commuting times and creating thriving communities unshackled from the constraints of poor connectivity."

Cr Thain said with all the planned development, preserving our unique way of life and supporting environmental assets and ecology was an important feature of the deal.

"Locally the shared $150 million Liveability Fund will be used to deliver parts of the Our River Masterplan, which Council has been advocating for since 2013. This will bring our river to life, to allow more people to enjoy our natural asset while boasting tourism and recreational activities for residents and visitors to our city.

"With this Western City Deal we now have a framework to create a smart city that is more liveable, more productive, has more advanced skills and is more innovative. Now the work begins to ensure that all opportunities are maximised for the people of Penrith," Cr Thain said.

"There is no doubt that the Western City will be the powerhouse of the state and a key player on the world stage. It's an exciting time to live in Penrith; the heart of this new Western City," he said.

 

WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali, said that greater collaboration between the three levels of government is always good news but was disappointed that not all Western Sydney councils were given the opportunity to participate.

“We are very pleased for those communities who will benefit from the Western City Deal, and hope that similar support will be given to other rapidly growing communities in the Western Sydney LGAs of Blacktown, Cumberland and Parramatta in future,” said Cr Bali.

“I think we can all agree the Deal has great potential, but much more work lies ahead to turn vision into reality.

“I have no doubt that councils are up to the task of ensuring the Deal is implemented in a way that produces the best outcomes for their local communities,” said Cr Bali.

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 May 2018 14:49