More than half of Sydney's population will reside in western Sydney within the next 25 years and at its heart is a growing, thriving and vibrant centre with a $14.8 billion annual output – Parramatta. Which is why Parramatta City Council has launched a new brand at Parramatta Town Hall today.
Parramatta lord mayor Lorraine Wearne said councillors voted unanimously to go ahead with the new brand, called simply Parramatta: Future Generation, which supports the view Parramatta CBD has a bigger role to play in Sydney than it has up until now.
"We believe Parramatta offers the future; the 'next generation' for Sydney," Cr Wearne said.
"The City of Sydney is a point of the coast, but where are the people? They are in the west."
Dr Tim Williams, CEO of the Committee for Sydney, agreed.
The Committee for Sydney states on its website that it ‘‘tackles issues from a ‘whole of Sydney’ perspective’’.
With this in mind, Dr Williams said he hoped there would come a time when there was no east or west Sydney, only Sydney.
‘‘And the future of Sydney is here [Parramatta],’’ Mr Williams said.
‘‘We want to see another CBD develop in Sydney.’’
In developing Parramatta's new city identity, hundreds of residents, workers, visitors and people connected to the city were interviewed and asked to provide their Parramatta story on the website www.futuregeneration.me, which Cr Wearne encouraged people to keep providing.
“We’ve taken these comments on board to establish an identity that is unique and that supports our status as a leading city – a place that has high liveability standards and that people want to visit, live, invest in and work in,” she said.
‘‘This brand is going to become so well known that when people see [it] they’ll know it’s Parramatta."
Dr Williams said: “The evolution of Parramatta as Sydney’s second largest CBD is essential to maintaining Sydney’s competitiveness.”
Which is why it is vital to grow Parramatta's job market, Cr Wearne said.
She said the council was committed to creating 10,000 new jobs in the Parramatta central business district ‘‘in the near future’’, to help make Parramatta attractive to a new generation of business leaders.
Figures show 47,000 jobs are required in Parramatta CBD by 2036 to match the population growth, but the current job growth is 27,000 jobs for the same period.
To help drive Parramatta: Future Generation forward, an independent advisory group, the Parramatta Partnership Forum, has been established.
The group is made up of influential people who believe in Parramatta and, combined with the input of the city’s diverse communities, will promote awareness and enhance perceptions of Parramatta across the investment, worker, visitor, residential and student segments.
Christopher Brown, interim chair of the Parramatta Partnership Forum, said: “As a local boy, born and raised in the area, it is an honour to act as interim chair of the Parramatta Partnership Forum. I look forward to working with the lord mayor Lorraine Wearne, [Parramatta City Council] CEO Dr Rob Lang, and the national business leaders assembled within the forum, to advance Parramatta and cement its position at the centre of Sydney’s economy and society.”