The urban growth areas of Western Sydney are being supported by substantial infrastructure spending to ensure the continued growth of the area.
Infrastructure projects either currently underway or in planning should maintain growth in the area well into 2030. Projects include a multi pronged approach to supporting urban growth in Greater Western Sydney including the delivery of new urban release areas and the required upgrades to services, the development of the Three Cities Plan to create job opportunities within the area and upgrades to the rail and road networks in order to provide access throughout the area.
Of particular note is the $8.3 billion North West Rail Link – Australia’s largest public transport infrastructure project currently under construction and a priority rail project for the NSW Government. The project will deliver eight new railway stations at Cherrybrook, Castle Hill, Showground Road, Norwest, Bella Vista, Kellyville, Rouse Hill and Cudgegong Road with a direct underground connection into the existing Epping to Chatswood rail line at Epping and 4,000 commuter car parking spaces to Sydney’s growing North West.
The project includes construction of twin 15 km tunnels from Bella Vista to Epping – Australia’s longest rail tunnels. This contract was awarded in late June 2013. The North West Rail Link is expected to open to customers in the first half of 2019.
The Sydney Metro City & Southwest project is also currently under construction. The project will extend Sydney Metro Northwest from Chatswood on the North Shore, to Bankstown in the city’s south-west via the Sydney central business district, with increases in densities and building heights surrounding transport hubs.
Western Sydney is also seen to benefit from the construction of Badgerys Creek Airport and associated surrounding development. This $5.3 billion project is anticipated to be completed by 2026 and will provide a full service international and domestic airport. Greater Western Sydney currently has a population of some 2 million people and is Australia’s fourth largest city by population and is the third largest economy in the country. The population is anticipated to grow by over 1 million people by late 2038.
The airport will connect businesses to national and international markets, deliver world-class transport links, improve business links and support jobs closer to home for Western Sydney residents, with almost 28,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2031. It will also support tourism in the region providing better access to destinations across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
Good road and rail links will allow the airport to meet its full potential. The Australian and NSW governments are constructing new and upgrading roads around the airport under the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan. Both governments have also committed to a long-term rail network to support Western Sydney, including a North South Rail Link from Schofields to Macarthur via Western Sydney Airport.
In an Australian first, the University of Newcastle, UNSW Sydney, University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University have combined expertise and collaborated in delivering a world class higher education and research centre situated within the Aerotropolis precinct at Badgerys Creek Airport. The innovative teachings will bring researchers and academics specialising in science, technology engineering and mathematics, and provide future job opportunities into advanced manufacturing, aerospace, defence and agricultural opportunities. With construction commencing on the $5 billion Sydney Science Park in 2018, stage one of the campus is anticipated to open in 2026.
Within The Metropolis of Three Cities Plan prepared by The Great Sydney Commission the aim is to coordinate growth throughout the Greater Sydney area over the next 40 years. The plan seeks to create a 30 minute city providing greater equity and access to services, transport, cultural events and employment. Within this plan the Western Sydney Parkland City will centre on the opportunities provided by the Badgerys Creek Airport development and will be supported by new employment lands, government services and a variety of housing styles and options.
These significant infrastructure projects should maintain and enhance growth and underpin property prices throughout Western Sydney for the foreseeable future. Despite the recent market corrections experienced throughout Sydney, development opportunities in Western Sydney should be viewed with the changing nature of the area in mind.