This year’s WSBC State of The Region Address with the Hon Mike Baird MP, Premier of NSW saw a great turnout of more than 460 business leaders from Western Sydney.
With a 50% increase in attendance from last year, this key event in the WSBC year clearly drew a lot of interest with its new format and demonstrated WSBC's continued transformation to provide better engagement and connections for its members.
Our Premier shared key priorities in the region, discussed the progress made thus far and detailed Government’s plans to transform Sydney’s West.
With the population forecast to almost hit three million by 2031, he said his government was the best placed to deliver the jobs, housing and infrastructure needed to underpin the economy.
“It is a challenge but I prefer to see it as a once in a generation opportunity,” he said.
“We need to build more infrastructure than we have ever seen before.”
On the jobs front, Mr Baird cited examples of his government laying the foundations for value added jobs growth. In the south west region, he said the second airport at Badgerys Creek Creek will anchor future job creation of as many as 57,000 jobs.
“That is going to be the lifeblood of employment in this great region, in this great city,” he said.
He said the government was in discussions with a global aeronautic services firm who had flagged a $250 million investment in the region which would create thousands of skilled and graduate job opportunities.
Other incentives to boost job growth included cuts in payroll tax, reduced workers compensation premiums and a rebate for employers who take on new employees. To meet the huge demand for new housing in western, he said more than a million new dwellings are needed by 2031.
“How the government responds to this will define not only the economy but I think it defines the overall opportunities in this region,” he said.
He said his government’s incentives including the Housing Acceleration Fund and the First Home Owners Grant were key drivers of housing growth in the region.
“The growth in housing is definitely underway and we are seeing that across all parts of Western Sydney,” Mr Baird said.
Building the necessary infrastructure to cater for the population explosion in the west is one of the greatest challenges facing the government, he said.
Mr Baird listed the $30 billion worth in transport, roads, health and schools infrastructure projects earmarked for the west over the next decade.
“You don’t realise how significant the investment in infrastructure [in Western Sydney] is going to be in the next ten year. It is almost unprecedented,” he said.
“If we are successful in implementing this, then not only will Western Sydney thrive, but Sydney will thrive, the State will thrive and the opportunities of the next generation will be forged over the next ten years.”
WSBC is delighted to be working closely with the Premier's team to ensure that Western Sydney businesses benefit from these plans and will keep member informed of developments.
The State of The Region Address was proudly supported by event partners Penrith Panthers Group, NRMA, the University of Western Sydney and media partner, News Corp Australia. These event partners were also involved in a Q&A with the Premier and WSBC General Manager on stage as part of the new format.
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