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Monday, 9 November 2015
Page: 12539


Ms SCOTT (Lindsay) (12:54): ยท   I rise today in support of the motion put forward by the member for Ryan. The Turnbull government recognises Australian cities as the powerhouses they are, through management, investment and the appointment of the Minister for Cities and the Built Environment. I note the motion recognises that two-thirds of all Australians live in capital cities. As it stands, Western Sydney is one of the largest economies in Australia, with the Penrith local government area alone having a gross regional product of $7.61 billion. The Penrith region is also home to some 200,000 people, and that number is likely to swell to 260,000 by 2031. What does this mean? This means we have to plan for some 30,000 new homes. We need to create an additional 50,000 jobs just to account for the new residents moving in. That is before we take account of the fact that two-thirds of our current local workforce have to commute out of the region every single day for work. This is a huge challenge for Western Sydney and requires big thinking.

Future major developments across the region include a proposed science park at Luddenham; a sports academy, entertainment and leisure precinct at Penrith Panthers; a health, education and innovation precinct that should alone create 13,000 new jobs; and the planning of the Western Sydney Employment Area, an area of some 10,000 hectares which is substantially within the Penrith LGA—the state government suggests that as many as 200,000 jobs might be possible in this space. But no longer can we see innovation as something that can be defined by the inner urban areas of capital cities. We need to look at the outer regions as well and at what innovation can happen in our greenfield sites. Western Sydney is in a key, prime location for this. We also need to look at the collaboration between the universities, industry, business and government to ensure that the best attributes and potentials of all of our cities are realised, ensuring the development and growth success of our cities, particularly in growth regions like Penrith.

Western Sydney University's innovation corridor strategy is a prime example of such university driven collaboration for the building of better cities. Barney Glover, the vice-chancellor of Western Sydney University and the chair of Universities Australia, said:

The Innovation Corridor sends a signal, regionally, nationally and abroad, that Western Sydney is an exceptional and thoroughly capable place to build and grow the world's best innovation based enterprise. The Commonwealth's and NSW government's recent investment in large-scale infrastructure across the region provides additional security and capacity for the region.

These are great words. The Western Sydney strategy defines the opportunity of the outer corridor, with work already underway on many of the projects—for instance the Sydney Science Park, a 250-hectare site with fully-integrated commercial and residential properties and a town centre, providing 12,200 jobs in high-end research. The Western Sydney University's Werrington Park Corporate Centre, or Sydney HQ, and the new federally co-funded administration building is another such project.

We have international companies wanting to come and invest and innovate in our region. The Penrith Panthers Rugby League Club's expansion includes developments such as mixed-use accommodation, as well as leisure, lifestyle, retail and sporting facilities, including the Panthers academy and the multi-use, world-class Western Sydney Community and Sports Centre, which will essentially be an indoor rugby league field on a timber-sprung floor and, when not hosting sporting activity, will be the third largest exhibition space in New South Wales.

The planned Western Sydney Airport will act as a transport feeder to many of these visionary developments and will connect our region to the world. But, for it to work, we have to make sure that we get all of this right. That includes roads, and I am proud to be part of a government that has invested $3.6 billion into the road infrastructure across Western Sydney, not only through the Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan—WestConnex and other projects will also get our region moving. We are a prime example of a growth city. We are a prime example of where the future of our region will go. I am proud to be part of a government that now has a minister in charge of this to ensure we get this development right.