Chief Executive Officer's Report
We know that the decisions we make today will shape and drive the success of the Western Parkland City for generations to come.
In July 2020 the NSW Government expanded the remit of the Western City and Aerotropolis Authority (WCAA), restructuring the organisation and renaming it the Western Parkland City Authority. Soon after, the Authority shifted from the Treasury cluster to the Premier and Cabinet cluster to sit alongside and work closely with Infrastructure NSW, the Greater Sydney Commission and the newly established Investment NSW. I also had the great honour of being appointed CEO of the Authority. I would like to thank the inaugural WCAA CEO, Sam Sangster, for his contribution to our valuable work.
The expanded remit allowed us to consolidate a number of complementary functions from around government, including the Western Sydney Investment Attraction Office and the Western Sydney City Deal Delivery Office, while maintaining the strategic oversight of our Board.
The Authority now has a mandate to help coordinate and deliver infrastructure and major developments across the eight councils of the Western Parkland City, in close collaboration with our partners in local and Federal Government, to make sure we maximise our city-building opportunities. We also have a mandate to attract the global investment that will help drive job-creating innovation and development.
As the incoming CEO, I sought to deliver on three key outcomes in 2020-21. These were:
- Laying the foundations for an identity for the Aerotropolis Core Precinct city centre;
- Establishing a blueprint for the Western Parkland City’s infrastructure needs and a roadmap for its economic development; and
- Proactively and meaningfully engaging with our stakeholders, including the community and our industry partners.
During 2020-21, we delivered on these outcomes.
In March 2021, the Premier and the Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney announced that the heart of the Aerotropolis Core Precinct would become a new city centre called Bradfield.
In June 2021, to help kick start the Bradfield City Centre, the NSW Government announced over $1 billion in funding over seven financial years. This funding will help to deliver the enabling infrastructure – the pipelines, roads and basic services – up front. The Authority will also be leading the development of the First Building, an iconic, flagship building for the Bradfield City Centre that will house a visitors’ centre and an advanced manufacturing hub. Rounding out the funding commitment is a four-year pilot of a new, micro-credential training system that will be used to skill up the workforce.
In collaboration with the eight councils of the Western Parkland City, we began working on a blueprint for the Western Parkland City to help guide the investment needs and development decisions of the next five years that will shape the city’s future for the next 50 years. Alongside that work, we also began developing an economic roadmap and started shaping our approach to sustainability and improving Aboriginal outcomes. In addition, we continued our work on supporting a future agribusiness precinct and developing a case for innovative new approaches to the roll out of utilities.
The Authority also took on the role of coordinating the Western Sydney City Deal. We continued to work closely with our eight local government partners and the Commonwealth to deliver against the 38 commitments representing a joint investment of more than $20 billion of infrastructure in the Western Parkland City. As part of the City Deal, we were also able to coordinate the delivery of more projects across the eight councils as part of the $210 million Liveability Program, helping to improve the amenity of our communities at a time of changing climate and increased use of local spaces during the pandemic.
We also continued our strong engagement with the community, through ongoing communication and consultation, and with our industry partners. In 2018 we began to build a coalition of visionary partners who would help to lend their experience and expertise to the way we shaped the Western Parkland City. At the start of 2020-21 we had 18 Foundation Partners, taking the total to 26 by the end of the year. This strong interest from businesses and institutions from around the world demonstrates the enormous potential of the Western Parkland City.
With our expanded remit has come a growing team. We have been able to attract a group of talented people with incredibly deep experience and expertise who are all committed to delivering on our vision. I would like to thank them all for their contribution, as well as the Board for their ongoing support and guidance.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the impact of the pandemic on so many of our stakeholders and on the communities of the Western Parkland City. For many, 2020-21 was a challenging year filled with uncertainty. The vision for the Western Parkland City, however, is one of resilience and opportunity for the future and delivering on this vision has never been more important. We will continue to work on a pathway not only to recovery but to the future resilience and prosperity of the communities of the Western Parkland City.
Dr Sarah Hill
Chief Executive Officer
Western Parkland City Authority