Thursday, 10 May 2012

Region. Compulsory land acquisition

The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) said the NSW government must look at compulsory land acquisition to solve Sydney’s housing shortage. The 2012 UDIA State of the Land Report said fragmented land ownership was making development unviable across much of the south-west growth area designated for new housing in Sydney.


Top Ryde. Shopping centre on the market

The Top Ryde shopping centre is expected to be on the market within weeks. The centre has been in the hands of receivers McGrathNicol since the company behind the property, Bevillesta, entered voluntary administration in February 2011 after being unable to repay debts. The centre covers 78,215 square metres of retail space. Crown International Holdings is working on a $500 million development of 500 apartments above the centre.

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Region. Epping-Parramatta rail link

Premier Barry O’Farrell “has less firm ground to complain about the [federal government’s refusal in the budget] to divert the $2.1 billion promised for the Epping-Parramatta rail link to his pet north-western suburb line. The former at least completes a circular rail loop around the inner city. The latter, as the federal advisory body Infrastructure Australia has just pointed out, is not only massively expensive at $8.5 billion, but comes without planning for the extra traffic it will throw onto the already stretched lower north shore lines across the harbour into the city centre”, said a Sydney Morning Herald editorial.


Silverwater. 90,000 products photographed

David Jones is building a photographic studio at its warehouse in Silverwater to accommodate the massive task of photographing and processing the 90,000 products that will be available on the new web store later this year, according to The Australian Financial Review. Mondo Digital expects to photograph and process 600 to 900 products daily at peak times and will employ 17 full-time photographers and stylists and about 50 part-time staff.


Region. Little stimulus to employment

Dr Kevin Daly, from the School of Economics and Finance, at the University of Western Sydney, said: “There’s not much in the [federal] budget to stimulate further employment or provide infrastructure and industry assistance to business in areas such as Greater Western Sydney. And it completely ignores the problems with the government’s preferred site at Wilton for a new Sydney airport, which is lacking the necessary infrastructure to quickly transport people to the CBD.”


Sydney Olympic Park. Masterplan approved

The Department of Planning & Infrastructure has approved the Wentworth Point Masterplan. Wentworth Point is the tenth urban precinct of Sydney Olympic Park, supporting the future growth of the town centre as well the adjacent parklands and the communities of Homebush Bay West, Newington and Rhodes peninsula. The ferry wharf makes it another of the major gateways to Sydney Olympic Park and a significant future transport hub for the precinct.


Region. Richmond for commercial use

The Tourism Industry Council is pleased that its views have been heard and taken into account with regards to the use of the Richmond RAAF base as a commercial operation, the NSW general manager, Andrew Jefferies, said. His comment follows the federal government’s announcement that detailed investigative studies into the social, economic and environmental impacts for the suitability of Wilton as an airport site and the Richmond RAAF Base for limited commercial operations. “The Council has previously advocated for the use of Richmond to be used for low cost carrier operations, following upon the success of Avalon Airport, west of Melbourne, Newcastle and Gold Coast Airports,” he said.


Moorebank. Funds to move Defence

A sum of $559 million has been allocated in the federal Budget to relocate the Department of Defence facilities, at Moorebank, to enable the establishment of the proposed Moorebank Intermodal Terminal.


Parramatta. 'Re-Thinking Sydney'

Parramatta Lord Mayor, Lorraine Wearne, said council’s second economic development forum, ‘R-thinking Sydney’, will facilitating ideas and change, and taking advantage of the opportunities that exist in Western Sydney.

“The simple fact is that by 2036 half of Sydney’s six million population will reside in the west. This means that nearly three million people will require access to employment opportunities, education facilities and social, cultural and lifestyle options close to their homes,” she said.

“We need to make the important decisions now - we can’t continue to look towards the Sydney CBD as the sole answer. Instead let’s get on with the job of building cities, better links to our growth areas, infill housing, and encouraging business and cultural investment in Sydney’s west.

Parramatta is the centre of our nation’s most significant economic region and is the place to do business and seize opportunities for growth, so we must be the starting point. Let’s bring a more balanced approach to how we plan for our city and promote the understanding that a new Sydney has emerged – Western Sydney.”

The forum will be held on May 16, at the Sydney Opera House, involving influential leaders in business, planning, education, politics, tourism and sport. The event can be watched live on council’s website and follow #rethinksydney to join the conversation on Twitter.