THE Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) has recently released a report proposing Parramatta as Australia's next CBD. The report states that Parramatta will become increasingly important on a regional, state and national basis as Sydney's population is projected to increase to 7 million in the next 40 years.
The report states that the expansion of 'Greater Parramatta' will "require a co-ordinated planning, investment, marketing and governance strategies that drive the economic, social and environmental frameworks essential for a second CBD."
It states that expected population growth and concern about congestion, unemployment, immigration and amenity means that organic growth cannot occur. Rather, the report states that "a more deliberate effort" is required to manage the growth and development of Greater Parramatta and cope with the expected population growth.
To achieve the vision, the report promotes the creation of a new governance authority that can develop and implement a vision and 40-year master plan for Western Sydney and in particular, the Parramatta region. It also believes that reform of local government is needed to create eight 'super councils' which would provide the necessary scale, resources and authority to manage the region.
The report argues that Parramatta is the correct choice for a second CBD. It says Parramatta possesses the "existing scale, the civic institutions, the demographic and geographic centrality and the political primacy to be considered the obvious candidate for promotion."
The report focuses on 7 themes that could be leveraged to develop Parramatta as Sydney's second CBD:
- A Sporting and Recreation Centre – including upgrades and development of sporting facilities;
- A Creative Centre – including regeneration and revitalisation of public spaces and historic buildings to attract creative businesses and host arts venues;
- A Commercial and Employment Centre – including a major study of potential businesses that could be attracted to the region;
- A Sustainable Centre – including the establishment of "robust sustainability and liveability targets for Parramatta" and the promotion of transit oriented development;
- A Smart and Healthy Centre – including upgrades to Westmead Hospital and the University of Western Sydney as well improvements to transport connections;
- A Connected Centre – including the development of a radial transport network for Parramatta; and
- Opportunities for Urban Renewal – including the creation of a regional planning committee and development of a master plan.
The report argues for local, state and federal government involvement, which could allow "for the first true model of 'co-operative federalism' applied to urban planning.
The report was authored by Christopher Brown, the Managing Director of the Tourism and Transport Forum, which advocates the public policy interests of 200 corporations and institutions involved in Australian tourism, transport, aviation and investment.
More information on the report, titled 'Parramatta - Australia's Next CBD – A proposal to Stimulate, Manage and Govern Growth in Greater Western Sydney', is available from the Tourism and Transport Forum website at <http://www.ttf.org.au/>.