Heritage as tourism drawcard

Twelve months ago Premier Barry O'Farrell gave the green light for the Parramatta Heritage Precinct Master Plan.

This plan recognises the precinct's potential to inject up to $1 billion in investment into the Parramatta economy.

I am delighted that community and industry consultation has now begun.

The Heritage Precinct is made up 135 hectares of state-owned lands including the Old Kings School, Parramatta Park, Pirtek Stadium, Female Factory, Norma Parker Correctional Facility, Cumberland Hospital and Parramatta Gaol.

The Precinct offers an unprecedented opportunity to refurbish, adaptively reuse and welcome the public to some of Australia's most valuable historic assets in the heart of Parramatta. This could reposition Parramatta as a "must-see" tourist attraction.

The collection of heritage buildings is the largest in Australia and one of our best kept secrets.

Most tourists visit the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and then catch a bus to visit the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains. Most don't stop at Parramatta.

We need to change this.

Making the Heritage Precinct a tourist destination will preserve our national treasures, grow our local economy and reposition Parramatta.

For details and to have your say, go to www.urbangrowthnsw.com.au

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