Plans to kick-start 'heart and soul' of Sydney

The Liverpool CBD. Picture: Simon Bennett
The Liverpool CBD. Picture: Simon Bennett

A tailored reopening package, upskilling young people for the post-lockdown economy, small infrastructure projects and housing affordability opportunities were some of the ideas put forward by western and south-western Sydney business and community representatives to "kick-start" the region's recovery at a virtual forum yesterday.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet hosted the two-hour forum which gave representatives from chambers of commerce, peak bodies, community organisations and local businesses a chance to put forward ideas to the state government about how to reignite the economy.

"The government will look at every single idea raised as we finalise strategies for our economic recovery, because we know if it works in Western and South-Western Sydney it will work across NSW," Mr Perrottet said.

"These areas are the heart and soul of Australia's biggest city and it is imperative we get them pumping again as quickly as possible. We are all in this together now and we will come out together, too.

"We thank all of the participants for taking part in this forum where we heard a range of great ideas on how we can help kick start the region's recovery."

Some of the other ideas put forward to reboot business activity included employment incentives and confidence-building initiatives aimed at getting more people back to work. The proposals put forward at the forum will help shape the state government's economic recovery efforts for the area as well the rest of the state.

The forum, which was introduced by Premier Gladys Berejiklian, was hosted alongside Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres and Finance and Small Business Minister Damien Tudehope.

Mr Ayres said the almost quarter of the population living in west and south-west of Sydney have been through an "incredibly tough" period.

"It's really inspiring to see everyone working together to find the best ways of moving forward," Mr Ayres said.

"Western Sydney is ready to bounce back strongly but we know it won't just happen on its own, so the ideas raised during this forum will play a vital role in developing the strategies to make it happen."

Mr Tudehope said small businesses would be front and centre of the economic recovery.

"This is not just about recovery - it's about making sure businesses come out of this stronger," he said.

"Western Sydney is the engine room of NSW, driven by thousands of hardworking small businesses. Turbocharging their recovery with innovative ideas and solutions is my number one priority."

Last month Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone wrote to Premier Berejiklian requesting a more "targeted" financial business support package for business and a greater financial assistance for Fairfield residents.

"Our area has had the toughest restrictions imposed in Australian history, which has meant that the financial implications and hardship have been greatest in our region and our community," he said.