Edward Boyd, The Daily Telegraph
Parramatta’s position as the economic heart of Sydney will be realised under a phased development plan announced by the Greater Sydney Commission today. The plan is the next step in the three cities vision that was announced by GSC chief commissioner Lucy Turnbull at The Bradfield Oration three years ago.
The new proposal outlines about $30 billion worth of infrastructure the Parramatta region will need over the next 20 years to help it grow into Sydney’s economic heart — including new transport routes, housing precincts, parks, schools and hospitals.
The area — coined the Greater Parramatta to Olympic Peninsula (GPOP) by the commission — is already receiving about $11.3 billion in infrastructure investment, but the GSC said this will need to be tripled over the next two decades if the “transformative” scenario for the region is to be realised.
The report comes ahead of the launch of The Daily Telegraph’s Bradfield campaign tomorrow — named after the Harbour Bridge designer John Bradfield — which celebrates visionary thinking for future development in the Sydney region.
There is already major investment in the GPOP region, including $2.4 billion for Parramatta light rail, $1 billion for the Westmead hospital redevelopment, $619 million for the new Children’s Hospital at Westmead, $645 million towards the new Powerhouse precinct and $225 million for redevelopment at Arthur Phillip High School and Parramatta Primary School. A further $6.4 billion has also been committed to Sydney Metro West.
The GSC’s “transformative” scenario — which requires some land use changes around the new metro stations, a light rail line through Ermington and Olympic Park, and improvements to the T1 railway line from Granville to Strathfield — will add 105,000 jobs and 84,000 new dwellings by 2040.
“A breakdown of the estimated capital infrastructure costs over 20 years apportioned to GPOP for the ‘transformative’ scenario … these costs were estimated at between $20 billion and $30 billion,” the GSC report reads.
Ms Turnbull (pictured) said the plan builds on the GSC’s 2016 idea for Sydney to grow into three cities — the Eastern Harbour City, the Central Parramatta River City and a Western City in and around the new airport.
“We have done much more detailed planning for GPOP, it has been a two or three-year project. The (three cities vision) was the broad outline and now we have done the work for one of the key areas within Greater Sydney,” she told The Daily Telegraph.
Ms Turnbull said her organisation would seek community feedback on the proposal until December 18 before it is presented to government for a response.
Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said: “With new businesses, universities and transport solutions, there are few more dynamic economic precincts in Australia today than GPOP.”