New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet has today unveiled his vision for Greater Sydney to include Newcastle, the Central Coast and Wollongong regions.
Speaking at The Daily Telegraph’s Bradfield Oration at the Opera House today, the Premier said Sydney will be expanded from a city of three cities into a city of six cities.
The vision expands on Former Sydney Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull’s idea of Sydney being a city of three interconnected cities – an Eastern Harbour City, the Central Parramatta River City and a Western City.
“These are cities already undergoing rapid change and revitalisation. They have been the industrial workhorses of the past. And they should continue on their trajectory to become future focused precincts of tomorrow,” the Premier said.
A dedicated Minister for Cities will be appointed to oversee this vision and drive investment in these regions, Mr Perrottet said.
The Greater Sydney Commission will also be transformed into the Greater Cities Commission.
Mr Perrottet said his vision for Sydney will revolve around transforming the city into a “liveable, workable and beautiful” city.
“My vision for Sydney can be summed up in three words: liveable, workable, beautiful. Our starting point is that we want everyone to be able to enjoy the world’s best quality of life no matter what your postcode is.”
Response from Committee for Sydney
The Committee for Sydney, the city’s peak advocacy and urban policy think tank, has long been an advocate of expanding the remit of the Greater Sydney Commission. Particularly, the Committee has been pushing for a fast rail network to connect Sydney with its surrounding megaregion, – which according to the Committee’s 2018 report makes up over 70 per cent of the NSW population.
Gabriel Metcalf, CEO of the Committee for Sydney welcomed today’s announcement by the NSW Premier.
“This is exactly the right move. Sydney is not an island, it is part of a broader megaregion that includes Newcastle and Wollongong. This has been the missing scale of planning,” he told Roads & Infrastructure.
“To make this idea really live up to its potential, it needs to be backed up by an investment in transport that will actually tie the megaregion together. We think the starting place is a fast, one-hour rail connection between Sydney and Newcastle, to be ultimately followed by rail upgrades to Wollongong and Canberra.
“Focusing a Cities Minister at this scale opens up big opportunities to think about settlement plans. Perhaps more people would like the chance to be live in the Central Coast where temperatures are lower in summer.
“But equally this initiative needs an economic development focus to bring jobs to Western Sydney and Newcastle. It’s not simply a traditional town planning exercise.”
The annual event, to honour the legacy of NSW engineer John Bradfield, is sponsored by News Corp Australia and The Daily Telegraph.
Addressing the Bradfield Oration, Prime Minister Scott Morrison highlighted the Western Sydney Airport as the cornerstone of the city’s growth.
“It is great to be here supporting this year’s Bradfield Oration. The oration challenges us to think of the Sydney of the future. To lift our vision – and to imagine what could be,” he said.
Mr Morrison said the $14 billion Western Sydney Airport development would be a “bridge to the future,” generating 28,000 jobs over the next five years.
“And it’s a bridge to an even stronger economy in Western Sydney. We’re investing over $14 billion in the airport, road and rail – and during construction, it will support 11,000 jobs,” he said.
Among other comments by NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet , he addressed the issue of housing affordability in the city, referring to it as a “generational issue fast reaching crisis point.”
“If we want future generations to conserve our Australian way of life, we must enable them to claim their stake, so they have something of their own to conserve.”
Mr Perrottet said reforming stamp duty and boosting supply were critical to housing affordability.
“As Premier I will use every lever at my disposal – whether it’s tax, planning, supply, or working with the Commonwealth – to give more people in NSW the opportunity to own their own home.”
The Premier also announced the appointment of a Commissioner for Modern Manufacturing, saying the advanced manufacturing sector was critical to the state’s post-Covid recovery.
“The sector has grown with strategic government support. But I want to do more. So today I can announce we will appoint a Commissioner for Modern Manufacturing,” he said.