Penrith is leading Greater Sydney, NSW and Australia in regards to job figures, cementing its position as the powerhouse of the nation. Small Area Labour Markets figures for the last reported quarter show the jobless rate in Penrith City was 4.36%. The Greater Sydney rate sat at 5.09%, state wide it was 5.30% and nationally 5.90%. The unemployment rate for Penrith has been trending downwards since mid 2014. Watch the 9News video: Jobs boom
However research shows the improving jobs rate is not enough to support the predicted population surge in Western Sydney over the next 20 years. “If this trend continues, the growing number of commuters travelling to work will strangle Sydney and crush the capacity of roads and public transport,” Director of the Centre for Western Sydney Philip O’Neill said. Download 'Addressing Western Sydney's Jobs Slide'
The Western Sydney Science Centre, to be established at WSU’s Penrith campus, has been revealed for the first time.
The multi-billion-dollar centre will attract young people to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics – required to support high-tech industries that will emerge along the Innovation Corridor and around the future Western Sydney Airport.
It will complement the Sydney Science Park at Luddenham and be based on models such as the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Read more on what the science centre will bring to the region
Apartments on the rise
Penrith City is delivering diverse housing options to cater for the changing needs of our growing population. With 25,000+ new dwellings needed in Penrith by 2031, it is projected that the fastest growing household types will be lone person households (growing by nearly 80%), couple-only households (growing by 54%) and single-parent households (growing by 50%). Assistant General Manager Craig Butler said Council is pleased with the significant increase in development applications for apartments, in recent years. “It fits with the vision for a vibrant, desirable and truly liveable city – which caters for a population of 260,000 people and a regional economic catchment of 1 million by 2031,” he said. “Apartment style living will serve the growing and diverse needs of students and young professionals, Penrith’s ageing population, home buyers, visiting executives and also regional, national and overseas visitors. Servicing these demographics will help create a vibrant city with a flourishing night time economy, in particular." Download Housing Demand, Supply and Feasibility Study (2015) Read The Western Weekender's Thousands of units planned for Penrith
Assistant Minister for Cities Angus Taylor visited the New West on 15 April. Mr Taylor, who is also the Member for federal electorate Hume, said he was keen to create more jobs locally. "Western Sydney Airport will bring extraordinary opportunities for the area but we need to get transport services, including rail, and other services absolutely right,” he said. “The Government is taking a new approach to funding big infrastructure projectswhere we'll be getting in earlier in the proposal stages as an active investor not a passive grant giver. Our cities agenda is about partnering with local and state governments, capturing more value from the Government's infrastructure investments, and building better cities.”
“I get the feeling that Penrith is on the cusp of great change. There’s clearly a lot of development happening.
I think there’s a real optimism.”
Hania Radvan – CEO of Penrith Performing and Visual Arts in The Sydney Morning Herald’s Spectrum, April 16-17.