3000 jobs moving west, new offices to be built

Three thousand public servants will be moved to western Sydney and new office buildings will be built in Parramatta, Penrith and Liverpoool, Premier Barry O'Farrell announced this afternoon.

State-government agencies will move from next year and expressions of interest will be sought for 5000sqm of new commercial space at Penrith, Parramatta and Liverpool.

The plan aims to enable western Sydney residents to work closer to where they live and to reduce congestion in Sydney's CBD.

"This is really the dawning of a new age for Western Sydney." - WSROC president Tony Hadchiti

The individual agencies identified to move into new premises will include:

- NSW Community Relations Commission and divisions within Family and Community Services - moving from Sydney CBD and Ashfield to Liverpool.

- Ambulance Service of NSW - moving from Rozelle to North Parramatta.

- NSW Sport and Recreation - moving from Sydney Olympic Park to Penrith.

- Office of Environment and Heritage, Environmental Protection Agency and NSW Office of State Revenue - moving from Sydney CBD, Hurstville and existing Parramatta offices to be co-located in Parramatta.

- Service NSW – moving from Sydney CBD to Parramatta.

“Decentralisation makes economic sense and it has the added benefit of ensuring public servants are based in the communities they serve - improving the delivery of their services," Mr O'Farrell said. 

“The relocation of these agencies will also provide more opportunities for western Sydney residents who want to work closer to where they live, and will help reduce congestion in the Sydney CBD."

Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils president Tony Hadchiti said the announcement heralded the ‘‘dawning of a new age for western Sydney’’.  

“Best of all this sends a very strong message to the private sector that the government has confidence in Western sydney and sees it as the future of our city,’’ Mr Hadchiti said.

“Leading by example, this will pave the way for other companies to set up or relocate and provide a great boost to our economic development.”

"The airport along with government department relocations is the sort of activity we need in western Sydney to make a meaningful dent in our jobs deficit" - Sydney Business Chamber western Sydney director David Borger

The announcement increases the necessity of building a second Sydney at Badgerys Creek, according to the western Sydney director of the Sydney Business Chamber David Borger.

"Today's announcement of 3,000 government jobs moving to western Sydney only enhances the argument for the 28,000 jobs benefit of a Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek," Mr Borger said.

"The airport along with government department relocations is the sort of activity we need in western Sydney to make a meaningful dent in our jobs deficit - one that is expected to rise to 400,000 by 2050."

Mr O'Farrell revealed the plan at a NSW Business Chamber event at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse this afternoon.

Parramatta response

Parramatta Lord Mayor John Chedid said the decision is part of a trend in recent years that has seen state agencies such as Sydney Water and the Department of Attorney-General and Justice move to Parramatta.

“More than 3,000 new public service jobs put us in a solid position to further build on this success. It’s also a strong vote of confidence in the pro-growth vision our council has developed in recent years,” Mr Chedid said.

“This is great news for Parramatta as it will further cement our status as the capital of western Sydney and an economic powerhouse at the geographical heart of Sydney."

Parramatta Chamber of Commerce president Roger Byrne said the additional jobs would be a huge boost for small businesses. 

"It's good news for Parramatta, good news for small businesses, good news for the cafes and hopefully it's the start of more businesses moving out here," Mr Byrne said.

"We need more jobs out here and it's good that the government has taken the initiative and moved some of the jobs west. It's also a good thing that they are being spread around the rest of western Sydney as well." 

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