City deal set to transform Western Sydney
Western Sydney University has welcomed the official signing of the Western Sydney City Deal, saying it’s a much-needed boost to employment generation, investment attraction and economic development in Western Sydney.
The Deal – which spans eight local government areas* dubbed the ‘Western Parklands City’ – takes in several major Western Sydney University education and research infrastructure sites across Sydney’s outer-west, including its Penrith, Campbelltown, Hawkesbury and Liverpool CBD network of campuses.
The City Deal was formally launched on 4 March by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at the University’s Werrington Park Corporate Centre, with support from senior ministers across the NSW and Federal governments, including Paul Fletcher, Senator Marise Payne, Stuart Ayres and Andrew Constance.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover, said Western Sydney University is central to driving the Deal’s bold educational, economic and ‘liveability’ objectives.
“Smart cities are connected cities – ones that make the exchange of ideas, research, expertise and enterprise easy. This plan prioritises those connections and world-class education is pivotal to making it a reality. We congratulate all three levels of government on their commitment to bring more knowledge jobs to the region, connect its residents, and transform it into a thriving region of technological innovation, research and commercial enterprise,” said Professor Glover.
“We are particularly pleased to see plans for both rail and rapid bus transit between St Marys and the Badgerys Creek ‘Aerotropolis’ – connecting commuters from two of Greater Sydney’s most significant areas of new residential development, and providing vital links between the region’s entrepreneurial businesses and high-tech industries.”
“Importantly”, said Professor Glover, “the Deal coincides with the opening of our campus in the Liverpool CBD where teaching has started this week.
"These students”, he added, “over 4,000 of them across Liverpool, will be critical to supporting the type of innovation the Prime Minister and Premier are looking to see at the Aerotropolis, and throughout the Western Parklands City.”
“The Deal”, said Professor Glover, “also aligns exceptionally well with the University’s commitment to a health and medical research facility in Campbelltown. Bringing world-leading research to one of the region’s fastest growing city’s is a priority this Deal supports through its liveability objectives and broader focus on improving lives. We’re proud to support that along with Campbelltown City Council, the Ingham Institute and the South Western Sydney Local Health District.”
Western Sydney University has long been working towards achieving many of the deal’s central objectives. “We matched a $13.5 million investment from the Federal Government in 2013 towards building the Werrington Park Corporate Centre,” said Professor Glover.
Five years on, the Corporate Centre has created 400 knowledge jobs and given rise to Western Sydney’s first and largest startup incubator network, Launch Pad.
Launch Pad co-founder and the University’s Assistant Vice-Chancellor, Dr Andy Marks said, “This shows what’s possible with firm commitment from governments, universities and industry partners.”
“Connecting sites like this” said Dr Marks, “to heavy rail – as the Deal will do – creates a multiplier effect. It provides a platform to expand and amplify the early inroads we’ve made.”
The knowledge-exchange framework of the Deal will also enable the intensification of the University’s and Launch Pad’s partnership with the Sydney Science Park, bringing specialist research, industry collaboration and STEM-focused education to the region.
* Local government areas included in the Western Sydney City Deal are: Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Hawkesbury, Fairfield, Penrith, Liverpool and Wollondilly
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