New South Wales

Major infrastructure spend required to accommodate Parramatta's future growth: report

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THE City of Parramatta has identified at least $1 billion worth of infrastructure that is required in the coming years if Parramatta is to keep pace with growth and fulfil its role as Sydney's Central City.

The 'Draft Parramatta CBD Infrastructure Needs Analysis' is part of a Discussion Paper on Infrastructure Planning and Funding in the Parramatta CBD, which explores various funding options to ensure the delivery of essential infrastructure as the City grows in area and density.

The Discussion Paper, which is currently on public exhibition, outlines Council's currently available sources for infrastructure funding and estimates there will be a funding gap of between $394 to $549 million over the next four decades.

"Council is seeking the community's feedback on both the discussion paper and the needs analysis. The draft list of infrastructure projects we have identified has been aligned to address the City of Parramatta's new Statement of Vision and Priorities, which was guided by extensive community consultation," City of Parramatta Administrator Amanda Chadwick said.

The infrastructure is designed to address key priorities including:

  • Managing growth and transport;
  • Promoting green spaces and the environment;
  • Providing opportunities for recreation and leisure;
  • Creating a strong economy with a strong City Centre;
  • Having a community focus; and
  • Supporting arts and culture, celebrations and destinations.

The draft list details large scale projects including: the Parramatta River foreshore renewal; a modernised and expanded performing arts precinct; and new public plazas. It also includes new childcare centres, new sportsgrounds and playgrounds as well as upgrades to existing assets such as bridges and roadways.

Infrastructure Planning and Funding in the Parramatta CBD - Discussion Paper

"Infrastructure is a critical component of any great city and we have to plan for the future to ensure our needs are met. This is about City of Parramatta exploring innovative options for delivering Sydney's Central City, as envisioned by the Greater Sydney Commission," Ms Chadwick said.

The Discussion Paper explores value sharing as a potential funding option for Council to consider in order to help address the funding gap and meet the significant infrastructure demand.

The Discussion Paper reveals that, based on different development scenarios, value sharing could reduce the infrastructure funding gap to between $26 and $312 million, ensuring that more key infrastructure projects can be delivered.

Value sharing is a way of raising money towards the cost of infrastructure from those who benefit from planning decisions that increase the development capacity of their land.

If implemented, it would only apply to new residential development (non-commercial) within the Parramatta CBD and only where developers are seeking densities beyond the current planning controls.

In April 2016, the former Parramatta City Council proposed a Planning Uplift Value Share (PUVS) mechanism for residential buildings as part of the Parramatta CBD Planning Proposal, which proposes significant density increases to create an additional 20,000 dwellings and 49,000 jobs.

Prior to proceeding with this proposal, City of Parramatta Council Administrator Amanda Chadwick resolved to undertake an independent review of value sharing and further consultation.

A peer review was conducted by Aurecon and Land Econ Group and has made a number of recommendations that support value sharing as a mechanism to fund local infrastructure for the community.

Council will consider both the findings of the peer review and community and stakeholder feedback on the Discussion Paper before finalising a policy position on infrastructure funding for the Parramatta CBD.

Committee for Sydney Chief Executive Officer Tim Williams said the concept of value sharing is worth exploring and could be an innovative way to fund local infrastructure.

"Western Sydney is central to providing the infrastructure for a growing Greater Sydney, both in terms of access to jobs and transport choices, as well as access to key public services such as health and education. I commend the City of Parramatta for producing a clear analysis of their future needs and for exploring innovative and inventive solutions to funding infrastructure. This paper may well become the model for other areas to fund their infrastructure needs," Mr Williams said.

"There are concrete benefits to investing in local infrastructure that go beyond physical buildings and help to support the resilience and sustainability of our city. The Committee for Sydney is working closely with the City of Parramatta, the Greater Sydney Commission and other Western Sydney councils to deliver the right infrastructure in the right places to create long-term benefits for Sydney as a whole".

The community and affected stakeholders are encouraged to have their say on the Discussion Paper, the Peer Review and the Draft Parramatta CBD Infrastructure Needs Analysis.

More information is available from the City of Parramatta website at <http://www.cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/about-parramatta/news/on-exhibition>. Submissions can be made until 24 March 2017.

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