Vision to raise local economy
There is great potential for the skills exchange model to go to other projects in the west
MT DRUITT and St Marys would get a huge economic boost, including more jobs, under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Smart Cities vision.
Mr Turnbull recently announced the policy, that all Australians living in a city should be within 30 minutes of work, recreation, shopping and education.
In Mt Druitt and St Marys, the key to this objective is education and stronger investment in infrastructure, according to local councils and TAFE Western Sydney director Robin Shreeve.
Economics firm Deloitte has put together a large team with the goal of creating 200,000 jobs in Western Sydney in coming years.
Mr Shreeve, a champion of the Deloitte plan, said TAFE campuses in Mt Druitt and Kingswood allowed young people to gain skills that make local employment possible.
He said TAFE had a skills exchange at Barangaroo in Sydney deal with the huge construction project and he hoped Badgerys Creek airport will get one as well.
Another area he nominated for growth was tourism and hospitality options.
Mt Druitt, Nirimba and Hawkesbury TAFEs are all equipped to offer tourism and cooking courses and even zookeeping.
Mr Shreeve said with an airport and a new Western Sydney zoo on the horizon, these created job opportunities near home for Mt Druitt and St Marys residents.
For some, the recent Federal Budget was a let-down as it did not include enough infrastructure planning and building funding for Western Sydney.
Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils president Councillor Tony Hadchiti said there should have been commitment to scoping transport options across the region, including north-south rail links that ran through St Marys.
“Such links are essential if we are to build up our regional centres, attract investment and boost jobs growth – allowing the 30minute ideal to become a reality for Western Sydney residents,” Cr Hadchiti said.
Penrith Council has highlighted the north-south rail link as a priority transport option, and $5 billion each year was needed for the region to catch up in terms of infrastructure to make Smart Cities a reality in Western Sydney.