The federal government, NSW government and eight Western Sydney councils have struck a multi-billion City Deal that will see the development of a $7 billion Western Sydney Airport rail line, a Badgerys Creek “aerotropolis” and a $150 million liveability package.
The 20-year agreement between federal, state and local governments puts into practice the Greater Sydney Commission’s vision for a Western Parkland City, the western-most city of its three 30-minute cities plan.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, launching the deal on Sunday with NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, said the deal, centred around the new Western Sydney Airport, would “ensure the prosperity, the liveability and the sustainability of the Western Parkland City”, and create 200,000 jobs.
Key to the package is a $7 billion North-South Rail Link connecting the aerotropolis and airport with the Sydney rail network at St Mary’s, and potentially Leppington in future. However the state and federal governments have only committed $100 million to the project so far.
“This rail line will be truly city-shaping; linking communities, building new ones and connecting Western Sydney’s residents to the countless job opportunities that will flow from that investment,” Mr Turnbull said.
“Our joint aim is to have the rail line connected to the airport in time for its opening.”
The NSW government is also committing to a rapid bus service that will connect to Penrith, Liverpool and Campbelltown.
The nearby Badgerys Creek aerotropolis is being zoned to allow for advanced manufacturing, research, medical, education and commercial uses.
There are six priorities in the City Deal:
- Connectivity – connecting the Western City by road, rail, aviation and digital infrastructure.
- Jobs for the future – building on the unique opportunity of the Western Sydney Airport to drive business investment and employment growth.
- Skills and education – coordinated approach to education, skills and training to ensure all people have the opportunity to equip themselves with the skills to take advantage of the substantial job opportunities now and into the future.
- Planning and housing – a package of reform across the whole planning spectrum to improve housing supply and affordability.
- Liveability and environment – working together to ensure the Western City is a great place to live, with inclusive and welcoming communities and celebrated natural assets.
- Governance – a shared vision and implementation plan for the Western City.
The federal government said the $30 million housing package – the Western Sydney Housing Package – would support new housing and improve affordability.
“The City Deal commits to smart planning for future housing and streamlined processes for delivering new homes that meet community expectations of local character, good design and access to services and transport,” a statement said.
It is expected 184,500 homes will be needed over the next 20 years, with the NSW government to produce five and 20-year housing targets.
The liveability package will involve a $150 million investment in community facilities and amenities.
“We all share the Greater Sydney Commission’s vision of the Western Parkland City, where quality of life is put at the centre of any development,” Mr Turnbull said.
The package will be used to fund local facilities that promote “healthy, active lifestyles and support the arts, culture and creativity”, and will include a “blue and green grid” to protect the South Creek between Narellan and the Hawkesbury, “providing parks, community activity, urban cooling, walking and cycling trails, and local habitat”.
A Western Sydney Centre of Innovation in Plant Sciences and Western Sydney Health Alliance will be established to support the goal.
Wollondilly Shire councillor Judy Hannan said the deal would attract an extra 1.5 million people to the area.
“Everybody is going to want to come and live in Western Sydney,” she said. “It’s going to be the best place to live, to work, to learn, have investment in it. Certainly, we’re also going to play, it’s going to be a great place to play.”
An implementation plan for the Western Sydney City Deal will be released in 2018.