Why the west is to be won

Paul Van Bergen, Partner R&D Tax
Paul Van Bergen, Partner R&D Tax

Greater Western Sydney is ‘on the move’.

This morning the vertical campus of Western Sydney University hosts the Premier of NSW Gladys Berijiklian to present her Western Sydney address ‘Building the Education and Skills Foundation for the Jobs of the Future’.  Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister was opening a state of the art pharmaceuticals business in Eastern Creek (in the geographical midpoint of Greater Sydney). The week before that Western Sydney Airport construction commenced in earnest with the relocation of high voltage transmission lines.

These are three of many examples that highlight the sheer scale and trajectory of growth in Western Sydney. Importantly, in each case, there is a realisation and recognition at all levels of government and with leaders in the business and social communities that this growth has to create knowledge based jobs whilst nurturing vibrant communities for people who will reside in the west.

Businesses who wish to profit from the growth and planned developments will need to think strategically for the long term. What goods and services will they supply or need?  What skills will their workforce need? How do they use automation and robotics to be viable and competitive in an increasingly global market?  For business wanting to win out west, they have the added complexity of ever increasing technology disruption and burgeoning demographic changes.  In decades gone by, the west offered cost savings in the form cheaper (than Sydney at least) land and population growth delivering human capital.

It’s not just traditional businesses. There is enormous potential in the growth of tourism in Western Sydney.  This creates employment opportunities in its own right but also makes the west more liveable

The lack of potable water in Sydney town meant that Parramatta accommodated many of our first settlers. Parramatta’s heritage buildings – the Female Factory, Parramatta Gaol, Old Government House – have visual appeal as well as great stories to tell.

The multicultural population means there are  real ethnic dining and cultural enclaves: Harris Park, Auburn, Granville & Wentworthville have over a hundred cultural groupings and the food to match. You are more likely to get an authentic dining experience in parts of Western Sydney than in their home countries.

If you just want to get away from the hustle and bustle, there is 60,000 hectares of Bungaribee Park.

Sydney Zoo, aiming to be the world’s most technologically advanced zoo with no cages, has just opened. They also have signed up a  local Indigenous business Muru Mitigar to provide cultural context and education that will enrich the experience for family, tourist and student visitors.

Finally, as a technology nerd, there is Western Sydney University’s Science Park, a $60 million immersive experience to encourage interest in STEM.

So if you don’t have a business in Western Sydney, the likelihood is strong there will be a marketplace and rich cultural experience demanding your attention.

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