THERE was further welcome economic news this month with Premier Barry O'Farrell announcing 3000 state public service jobs would be relocated to Parramatta and western Sydney. I congratulate the premier on this decision, which is a real vote of confidence in our council's pro-growth vision of recent years and will boost economic activity for local businesses.
More than 50,000 people already work in the Parramatta CBD and we are planning for the infrastructure and services to support thousands more.
The premier's 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.
We will soon welcome to Parramatta other departments including the Ambulance Service of NSW, the Office of Environment and Heritage, the Environment Protection Authority and the Office of State Revenue.
Also this month, a major report by PwC Australia showed economic growth in Parramatta is higher than in Sydney's CBD.
We now have 1.6 per cent growth compared with the Sydney CBD's 1.1 per cent.
This strength was also reinforced by a survey showing Parramatta CBD's six per cent office vacancy rate is one of the nation's lowest.
Vacancies were down about one per cent for the six months to January 2014, one of the few vacancy falls recorded, and the strongest result among Sydney's office towers.
Bringing jobs to Sydney's demographic centre boosts sustainability by reducing pressure on roads and public transport, and our proposal for a Western Sydney Light Rail Network will make it easier for Parramatta-based workers to commute from areas such as The Hills and Ryde.
Many companies are also being attracted to Parramatta's CBD because of significantly lower rent than Sydney.