Western Sydney Growth and Development
|About this Item||Subjects||Planning and Development; Regional Development; Western Sydney; Urban Development
||Speakers||Speaker; Allan Ms Pam; Beamer Ms Diane
||Business||Questions Without Notice
Ms PAM ALLAN: My question without notice is to the Minister for Western Sydney. What is the latest information on growth and development in Western Sydney?
Ms DIANE BEAMER: Over the past decade Western Sydney has experienced record growth. It is Australia's third largest regional economy, with 150 of Australia's top 500 companies being located in Western Sydney and the Parramatta CBD showing stronger commercial growth than the Sydney or North Sydney CBDs. The latest figures show that the Iemma Government's City of Cities Plan, combined with the opening of the Westlink M7, has sparked yet more strong growth in West Sydney. These figures have not been put out by the Government but by the respected international commercial real estate firm CB Richard Ellis. The report states that the City of Cities and the M7 are major drivers behind a massive 58 per cent jump in new commercial and industrial developments in the first six months of the Iemma Government. The Sydney Industrial MarketView report states that the City of Cities Plan and the M7 have created a surge of investor confidence. It states:
The Sydney industrial market has continued its stellar performance in 2005. Contributing to the star performance of this sector was the development and opening of the M7 Westlink. The New South Wales Government has also implemented the new metropolitan strategy, City of Cities, which sets out new employment zones.
This stronger activity will continue. MarketView reports that businesses across Sydney are currently planning another 2.27 million square metres of new industrial warehouses in 285 separate projects. That is more than 320 football fields of new industrial and commercial space to come on line by 2008, proof positive that the Iemma Government is getting New South Wales moving.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will come to order.
Ms DIANE BEAMER: As Minister for Western Sydney I am especially pleased to report that this surge in demand for industrial land growth is in Western Sydney. Two-thirds of all of Sydney's new industrial developments are in Western Sydney; 67 per cent of our commercial industrial growth is in Western Sydney. Coles is building a new high-tech distribution facility at Eastern Creek and is already planning further expansion. Companies such as Alspec, Life's Good, Boyded Holden and Makita led the way into these new employment hubs. Toll Logistics and Woolworths are planning massive distribution centres for Eastern Creek and Erskine Park. The strongest growth of course is along the M7 corridor. The opening of the M7, linking the M2, M4 and M5, has made Western Sydney the obvious choice for business. This independent analysis is a resounding endorsement of the Iemma Government's strong economic and planning performance. Government knows its planning is right when listed property trusts are the biggest land buyers. They want solid, secure investment.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member for Upper Hunter will come to order.
Ms DIANE BEAMER: Macquarie Goodman, Austral, Investa, Mirvac and ING are all investing in the Eastern Creek and Erskine Park hubs. The City of Cities Plan and the M7 are providing this long-term security. Stuart Ross, Director of Industrial Services, CB Richard Ellis, stated:
The City of Cities strategy has been key to people moving out west—it has given investors confidence in the future …
It gives everyone certainty and helps companies plan for their growth.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member for Murrumbidgee will come to order.
Ms DIANE BEAMER: As I have said, one of the main drivers of economic confidence is the M7 Westlink, which has been an incredible success. It has been a successful partnership between the New South Wales Government, the Roads and Traffic Authority, the private consortium and the Federal Government. This is one occasion when the Federal Government did pay its fair share—almost! If the Federal Government paid its fair share all the time the success of the M7 would be reflected right across the State. Imagine what we could do in Western Sydney with some of the $2.5 billion in GST revenue that should be going to New South Wales! It could go to roads, hospitals, schools, police and family services in Western Sydney, where it came from. Where is the Opposition on all of this?
While the Iemma Government is investing $1.17 billion in Western Sydney infrastructure creating an estimated 200,000 jobs over the next 15 years, the Leader of the Opposition has only one policy for Western Sydney. He is committed to cutting 29,000 jobs across New South Wales. How many jobs would he slash in Western Sydney? On his own figures, he would slash 9,000 jobs in Western Sydney. Some 800 Department of Community Services workers would go, and vital support for our teachers, police and nurses would be lost.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for Coffs Harbour to order.
Ms DIANE BEAMER: Police headquarters in Parramatta would lose more than 450 jobs, and other government offices in this booming central business district would be gutted. While commercial markets say that Western Sydney is booming and full of confidence, a Coalition government would rip out 9,000 jobs, destroying our local economy. But it does not surprise me that the Opposition can come up with only one knee-jerk policy for Western Sydney. Members opposite are not sure who the shadow Minister for Western Sydney is! The Leader of the Opposition says that he is the shadow Minister for Western Sydney. However, on 22 February I received a letter, the title of which stated "Shadow Minister for Western Sydney". The trouble is that the letter was from not the Leader of the Opposition but John Ryan in the upper House, who still thinks he is the shadow Minister for Western Sydney. Between the two of them, they can come up with one policy—slash jobs. We have an economic boom; they want to slash jobs.
Another problem is that the Leader of the Opposition simply cannot add up. Recently he was invited to outline his vision for Western Sydney. I could have told people that they would be disappointed, and they were. As we know, the Opposition has one policy—slash 9,000 jobs—but the Leader of the Opposition has his old hobbyhorse of ripping up government contracts and scrapping the desalination pilot program. The Leader of the Opposition said that he would use the $120 million he saved to employ 600 extra police, build new police stations across the State, provide hundreds of mental health workers and more funding for nurses, and spend another $116 million on extra school maintenance.
Employing 600 police is a laudable idea. The cost of that would be $117 million over two years. With the $3 million he has left he will fund new police station, provides hundreds of mental health beds and fund more nurses. On top of that, he will find $116 million out of that $3 million for school maintenance. It simply does not add up. It is typical—$22 billion worth of rash promises. He would send this State broke while slashing 29,000 jobs. As the C. B. Richard Ellis report shows, the State's economy is absolutely rock solid. New South Wales is open for business, and is attracting more investment in commercial and industrial land than any other State. The Iemma Government is getting things moving in New South Wales, cutting State taxes, slashing red tape and investing in future infrastructure. One need only look at the figures released today.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! It seems that some Opposition members believe the Minister needs musical accompaniment. I am sure she does not. Members who wish to practise their choral skills should do so outside the Chamber. If they do not, they may find themselves outside the Chamber against their wishes.
Ms DIANE BEAMER: New figures on employment released today show that New South Wales was the only reason the nation's unemployment rate fell, with the proportion of out of work people in the premier State down from 5.7 per cent to 5.13 per cent. All other States in Australia either had no change or their unemployment rate rose. New South Wales, with a falling unemployment rate, was the only reason that Australia has seen a fall in unemployment figures across the nation. New South Wales is leading the charge. The Iemma Government is leading the charge, and we look forward to strong commercial growth in Western Sydney in the future.