Labor has announced that it will expand the Western Sydney City Deal to incorporate Blacktown City Council should the party win the upcoming federal election.
The Western Sydney City Deal, signed in March 2018, is a partnership between the Coalition Government, NSW State Government and eight regional governments: Camden, Hawkesbury, Liverpool, Penrith, Wollondilly, Blue Mountains, Fairfield, and Campbelltown.
Connectivity is a key element of the deal, including the development of the North South Rail Link.
The first stage of the line, a 30-minute train journey running from St Marys to Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis is intended to be completed in time to provide airport links in time for the opening of Western Sydney International (aka Nancy-Bird Walton) in 2026.
Shadow transport minister Anthony Albanese said that the Coalition Government’s decision not to include Blacktown in the deal was “short-sighted” and made no sense given the council area’s size and location.
Blacktown City Council hosts a population of over 370,000 people and is the second largest local government area in NSW, with 48 residential suburbs.
“Including Blacktown City Council in our City Partnership for Western Sydney makes strategic sense given its focus on job creation and unlocking a 30-minute city,” Albanese said.
“The Coalition’s decision comes despite the fact that Blacktown City Council has been included in the Western Sydney City Deal Planning Partnership, which looks at ‘innovative approaches to planning and delivery of housing’.”
The Western Sydney Business Chamber expressed its support for Labor’s plans to expand the deal to include Blacktown City Council.
David Borger, executive director of the Western Sydney Business Chamber, said it was important that Blacktown doesn’t miss out on the opportunities represented by the City Deal, including development of the Western Sydney Airport.
“The Chamber is pleased the Federal Opposition, if elected, will include Blacktown in the deal to realise the 30-minute city concept to ensure the area is not left behind other Western Sydney local government areas,” said Borger.
Labor also announced that it would invest $7.5 million in local priority projects within Blacktown City Council and called on the NSW Government to match this funding.