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    Parramatta urban renewal helping to push Sydney westwards

    Branko Miletic

    Looking at the latest raft of announcements about plans for the greater Parramatta area, the NSW government has finally committed itself to moving Sydney’s CBD westwards.

    Tuesday’s announcement of the creation of more than 110,000 new jobs and the building of 72,000 homes in the greater Parramatta area has underlined this commitment.

    According to the NSW minister for planning and housing, Anthony Roberts, his government’s 20- year plan is to deliver more homes, jobs, open space and services to cater for the city’s booming population, and also to help bring one step closer the vision of Parramatta as Sydney’s second CBD.

    The centre of population of metropolitan Sydney as at June 2016, is the suburb of Rosehill, south of the Parramatta River.

    The total population for the Parramatta local government area (LGA) in 2016 was 238,850 almost 20,000 more that the City of Sydney LGA (183,300). By 2036 the Parramatta LGA is projected to have over 100,000 more people than the City of Sydney LGA, with 416,750 compared to 315,200, according to the NSW department of transport. 

    “Greater Parramatta is a popular place for people to live, but has more room to grow. The plan will see more than 72,000 new homes built in the 12 precincts which will help first homebuyers get a foot on the housing ladder,” Roberts says.

    “By growing Parramatta, we are creating opportunity for people in Sydney to live closer to where they work and spend more time with family than commuting.”

    “There will also be a green grid along the Parramatta River foreshore with connected open spaces, walkways and cycle ways for the recreational needs of a diverse population,” he says.

    “There will also be a green grid along the Parramatta River foreshore with connected open spaces, walkways and cycle ways for the recreational needs of a diverse population,” says Roberts.

    According to the member for the seat of Parramatta, Geoff Lee, Parramatta has always been greater Sydney’s true centre.

    “Our goal with this plan is to provide a variety of homes close to where people work and play.”

    “The shared vision is that Greater Parramatta will become an urban hub with great jobs attracting the best and brightest from here and overseas,” Lee says.

    “This is a fantastic part of greater Sydney to grow and the NSW Government is ensuring that infrastructure, both economic and social, supports the planned growth,” he says.

    To help fund this vision, government says it is looking to charge levies of up to $20,000 per dwelling on the many thousands of new homes that will be built in the area covering more than 3,400 hectares and incorporating 12 precincts which will undergo urban transformation.

    “Special Infrastructure Contributions (SICs) are being introduced and will apply only in priority growth areas and precincts at this time,” says a NSW department of transport spokesperson.

    These precincts are Westmead, Parramatta North, Parramatta CBD, Harris Park and Rosehill, Rydalmere, Carlingford Corridor (including Telopea and Dundas), Silverwater, Camellia, Sydney Olympic Park and Carter Street, Homebush, Parramatta Road and Wentworth Point.

    According to minister Roberts, the corridor will be serviced by the yet-to-be built Parramatta light rail and the Sydney Metro West.

    “The Parramatta light rail will be the backbone of this growth area connecting the world-class medical, education and research hub of Westmead to Parramatta North, Parramatta CBD and Carlingford via Camellia,” he says.

    According to the Transport for NSW, Stage 1 of the light rail will connect Westmead to Carlingford via Parramatta CBD with a two-way track spanning 12 kilometres.

    Construction of this first stage is expected to start in 2018, with operations to commence in 2023.

    “An estimated 130,000 people will live within walking distance of light rail stops by 2026, increasing to 180,000 by 2041, more than half the population in the area. Sydney’s next big railway investment, the mainly underground Metro West will be operational in the second half of the 2020s,” said a department spokesperson.

    “This growth is just the beginning for this important area. We look forward to continuing to work with the Greater Sydney Commission on the vision when the District and Metropolitan Plans are finalised,” says Roberts.

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