WESTERN Sydney has been described as the heart of the state government’s economic strategy to drive growth and prosperity.
NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said he wants 50 per cent of all the new jobs which will be created to be in western Sydney.
Under the draft metropolitan strategy for Sydney to 2031, Parramatta will play an enhanced role as the city’s second central business district and growth corridors will be built along the North West Rail Link, Parramatta Road, and Anzac Parade.
Parramatta MP Geoff Lee said Parramatta’s size and opportunities for change and investment defines it as a city that will shape Sydney’s growth.
‘‘More jobs in our local area means more people can work and live close to home, not spend hours travelling to and from work every day,’’ Mr Lee said.
The strategy will improve transport corridors between Parramatta, Sydney central business district, Epping, Castle Hill and Bankstown.
It recommends an upgraded transit interchange, planning for rapid-transit to Epping and investigation of light-rail options to connect Castle Hill, Chester Hill, Bankstown, Blacktown and Carlingford.
Parramatta Lord Mayor John Chedid said the strategy had a greater focus on western Sydney and recognised Parramatta as Sydney's ''premier regional city''.
''The strategy is also spot-on with the idea of jobs growth in western Sydney – creating jobs closer to where people live will relieve congestion right across Sydney,” Cr Chedid said.
“We think the jobs target they have set for Parramatta is too low – we actually need twice the number of jobs the Strategy has projected.''
He said the council want a greater focus on providing knowledge-based jobs for western Sydney such as finance, IT, law, accounting and media.
He welcomed improvements to transport and said the council's proposed Western Sydney Light Rail Network would provide connections for the region.
"Connections to jobs, education, health and social activities. - that is why we have invested up to $1 million into a feasibility study on the Light Rail Network,” Cr Chedid said.