Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The Australian capital is undertaking a plan for infrastructure development in the Western City, where most of the growth is occurring.

The population of the Greater Sydney region is forecast to grow from 4.6 million currently to 6 million within the next 20 years and 8 million by 2056, with the majority of this growth occurring in Sydney’s west. If current trends continue, over 50 percent of Sydney’s population will live west of Parramatta by 2036. In response to this unprecedented population growth, Greater Sydney must be reimagined as three interdependent cities; the established Eastern City, the developing Central City and the emerging Western City.

The Three Cities Plan is the central and organizing principle of the Greater Sydney Commission, which was established in 2016 to lead and coordinate a metropolitan planning strategy aimed at maximizing economic growth while improving Sydney’s liveability, sustainability and productivity. The commission has been working closely with federal, state and local government agencies related to transportation, industry, education, health, planning and the environment to establish new strategies alongside other, key existing government policies.

The Western City Deal, a 20-year agreement aiming to transform Sydney’s outer west into the “Westland Parkland City,” was signed in March 2018. The Western City is a critical focus of the Greater Sydney region and one of the primary reasons for the commission’s creation. This city deal will build on the Australian government’s $4.1 billion ($5.3 billion Australian) investment in the new Western Sydney Airport, and will also cover the existing areas of Camden, Campbelltown, Liverpool and Penrith.

Key areas of focus of the deal, and those of particular relevance to Wisconsin companies include:

  • Connectivity:
    • Plans to connect the Western City through innovative road, trail, public transport, aviation and digital infrastructure
    • Plans for a North-South Rail Link connected to Western Sydney Airport;
    • A need for rapid bus services
    • A need for a focused 5G strategy and initiating trials of 5G mobile technology
  • Construction and planning:
    • Creation of an Aerospace Institute at the Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis, which will include a world-class STEM university;
    • A $538 million ($700m Australian) investment to plan, design and upgrade approximately 20 schools;
    • $23 million ($30m Australian) in government funding to deliver new housing and improve affordability under the Western Sydney Housing Package
    • Development of new transportation and water infrastructure models to streamline delivery in response to future needs.
  • Livability and environment:
    • Supporting new community infrastructure under the $115 million ($150 million Australian) Western Parkland City Livability Program

The commission has emphasized the importance of private-public partnerships to deliver innovative solutions for major, city-shaping projects. An implementation plan for the Western City Deal, due to be released later this year, will provide private sector players with further details on the commitments and timeframes of the deal. Wisconsin companies interested in exploring future opportunities related to the Three Cities Plan and Western City Deal are therefore encouraged to:

  • consider contacting the Australian Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, and specifically the Western City Deal team, to propose new initiatives related to Sydney’s cities;
  • register to receive email updates; and
  • review tender opportunities and quotation/proposal/expression of interest requests related to private-public partnerships, construction, environment etc. published on the TenderLink online procurement portal.