Luke Foley’s vision for western Sydney includes a push to create jobs close to home, planning to build new schools, town centre rejuvenation, a focus on south west Sydney and a plea to decision-makers and business not to forget the pockets of disadvantage.
Mr Foley, introducing himself as “Auburn’s second most famous politician” in a not-so-subtle dig at Auburn’s Salim Mehajer, outlined his top 10 priorities for western Sydney and lead off with one “every subsequent priority relates to”: jobs growth.
“If we’re talking about the quality of life and very livability of western Sydney… we must create jobs in the region,” Mr Foley said.
“Its the only congestion buster… the road and rail projects we must invest in, but unless we grow half a million jobs in western Sydney in the next 25 years congestion will grind this city to a halt.”
He identified growing health and education precincts and partnering with Western Sydney University’s vision for a technology sector on the region.
Mr Foley said the public sector should play a part, but moving those jobs “can’t create anywhere near half a million jobs in the next 25 years”. He did say the Parramatta Square project should include public sector jobs.
The second priority was “a relentless focus on south west Sydney” for Mr Foley. He said that was because the scale of the growth in the region would be so large.
He said the region of 800,000 people will become a region of 1.3 million people, “in less than 20 years that is an additional half a million people”. His policy was to move the ministry of health from North Sydney to Liverpool to supplement the teaching hospital and metro rail should be extended there.
Other solutions he identified for the region were to activate the Badgerys Creek area to create an aerotropolis not just an airport, investing in the Olympic Stadium instead of Moore Park, give Lucy Turnbull’s Greater Sydney Commission more power to bring government agencies together and plan to build new schools to educate the 300,000 students that will need to have places in the next 15 years.
Mr Foley’s 10 priorities in western Sydney:
1. The top priority and every subsequent priority relates to this: growing jobs.
2. Relentless focus on south west Sydney.
3. The Badgerys Creek airport area.
4. Parramatta to Olympic Park investment.
5. Invest Lucy’s GS Commission with the scope to get the job done.
6. Town centre renewal across western Sydney.
7. Better planning for new schools.
8. Invest in language education.
9. Arts and culture.
10. Social housing - let’s not forget the disadvantaged.