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300,000 jobs set for the west

Western Sydney will be the linchpin of the state government’s strategy to boost job growth in the city over the next two decades.

The government will today release its Metro Strategy – with plans to create more than 300,000 jobs in the west.

The plan will name nine important Sydney areas – called “city shapers” – to influence Sydney’s growth. Premier Barry O’Farrell has set himself a target of creating 625,000 extra jobs in Sydney by 2031 and wants 50 per cent of new employment to be in the western suburbs, calling this a “game changer” for the future of the city. “We’ve put western Sydney at the heart of our economic strategy to drive growth and prosperity of the city,” Mr O’Farrell said.

The government will announce a new western Sydney employment area, that lists Mt Druitt, Leppington, Rouse Hill and Prairiewood as potential job centres in the region.

The government is also investigating whether this could be expanded by a further 10,000ha in the southwest and is looking at a long-term strategy to release this land for future jobs development.

The government has stated a priority for jobs in the region that support the economy, listing industrial, freight, logistics and research and agribusiness as examples of the “critical” types of jobs that would be preferred.

Mr O’Farrell said the new job centres would make commuting to work easier for most western Sydney residents.

“This strategy puts western Sydney on the map as a major economic driver for our city that means more jobs closer to home for people in Sydney’s west – combined with improved infrastructure.”

The plan also details the need to improve transport connections to the new western Sydney employment area – listing possibilities like protecting a corridor for the western Sydney freight line, protecting an area at Eastern Creek for a major intermodal terminal and quicker connections between Mt Druitt, Fairfield and Leppington.

Parramatta has been singled out as Sydney’s “premier regional city”, and the Metro Plan expects the CBD to outgrow its boundaries into Westmead, North Parramatta, Harris Park and Rydalmere.

The government target is to increase jobs in the Parramatta CBD by 21,000, and add 7000 jobs in Westmead.

It also wants to make Rydalmere “western Sydney’s premier university precinct,” and sets a goal to improve transport between Parramatta and other western centres.

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