Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone said he won’t just “read the headline” when it comes to signing off on the Western Sydney City Deal.
Contrary to reports, Fairfield is yet to commit to a City Deal which will see eight council areas benefit from a $15 million grant to boost infrastructure and parklands.
On Sunday, Mayor Carbone was among eight Sydney council representatives to join Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for the announcement of the deal that will see a new economic zone around Sydney's second airport equipped with a rail connection from the day it opens.
While Fairfield agreed to “continue negotiations” with state and federal governments, mayor Carbone said he is not “completely satisfied” with the deal.
He said he will continue to advocate for the East-West rail link which will connect the western Sydney Airport to Parramatta with a route passing through Fairfield to alleviate traffic.
He also would like to see provisions for a Migrant Hub to be built to quicken up the settlement process for migrants and refugees and open up job opportunities.
“It’s important we don’t just read the headlines and make sure we read the fine print before we agree to the terms and conditions,” he told the Champion.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to not only get some funding but to have a seat at the table with different levels of government and the deal has the potential to provide benefits for new communities, but I am not yet satisfied that it adequately addresses the needs of existing and diverse migrant communities establishing in western Sydney.
“We will use the next few months to consult with our residents to ensure we respond to community needs.”
As part of the deal, the state and federal government will jointly fund a $100-million business case to investigate possible station sites for the new rail link from St Marys to the airport site at Badgerys Creek expected to be opened by the time the airport opens in 2026.
The city deal package also includes a $150 million liveability program which will deliver new parkland and community facilities and investment in 5G data technology. It will will also provide manufacturing and education centres, streamlined planning processes and a dedicated centre to attract investment to the region.
Mayor Carbone said he will not sign up to anything that will have a “negative financial impact” on local families and the community.
“This needs to be an agreement that benefits existing communities and not just growth communities and also diverse communities. At the moment not enough is being done to alleviate existing issues in our community like health, transport and livability. I’d like to see money for upgrades to Fairfield Hospital and out of this I want to make our city a more liveable city, a healthier city and a city that connect to jobs and education in a much better way,” he said.
“I need to make sure the interests of my community are first and foremost. A lot more needs to be done for existing issues for existing communities and not just projects that come into line 20/30 years down the track.”