Council's plan for employment area

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Expanded Council borders, a new Western Sydney Infrastructure Fund and high intensity employment are just some of the issues on Penrith City Council’s agenda for the Broader Western Sydney Employment Area.

Councillors on Monday evening endorsed a submission on the NSW Government’s Draft Structure Plan for the region, which will eventually outline the land uses for the 10,000 hectare site to the south of Penrith.

Mayor, Mark Davies, said Council’s vision is to have a diverse employment hub that is properly supported by services and infrastructure.

“One of the things you need to get your head around is the size of this area, it’s 10,000 hectares with over 6,000 of that for employment. Western Sydney is known for manufacturing but we want to see high intensity employment; office jobs in a variety of sectors,” he said.

Council has recommended that land be identified in the Draft Structure Plan for specifically higher density employment and supports the establishment of specialised centres in the region to attract management level office jobs.

Penrith City Council also expresses in its submission a request to have Council’s boundaries rezoned to include the entire Employment Area, citing efficiency in management as the main benefit.

About 52 per cent of the lands are currently in Penrith’s jurisdiction.

Further, Council suggests a Western Sydney Infrastructure Fund be established to help kick start development on the site.

“I am also the spokesperson for the National Growth Areas Alliance NSW and what we have been looking at are fringe areas like Penrith where there is jobs potential. Western Sydney has the capacity to be the biggest growth area in the country and so will need appropriate services and infrastructure,” Cr Davies said.

This will include significant transport corridors for freight, rail, the Outer Sydney Orbital and connection to Sydney’s ports.

However, some councillors are more cautious about the development.

Cr Michelle Tormey says she would like to see greater detail on how the area’s Cumberland Plain bushland would be affected, and Cr Kevin Crameri has expressed concerns about what the significant development might do to the flooding patterns of South Creek at St Marys and Berkshire Park.

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