The Fire & Rescue NSW Academy is to be relocated to Erskine Park, creating a boost to Penrith City’s jobs and economy. The new state-of-the-art training facility will employ around 150 permanent staff, and see up to 200 additional firefighters and trainees on site on any given day. It will be developed on a six-hectare site on Mamre Road. Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown says: “Our Council has been pushing hard to see more government jobs in our City and we’re really proud Penrith will be the training ground for Australia’s best fire and rescue personnel.” The principal investor is First State Super, which owns the land and will fund the development of the facility by Altis Property Partners. FRNSW will have exclusive access to the facility under a leaseback arrangement for up to 25 years. The academy is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins and Minister for Emergency Services David Elliott are pictured with Cr McKeown. Watch the 7News video Click to get more information
Time to get serious about rail
It’s time for politicians to get serious about Western Sydney, Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown says. Labor leader Bill Shorten committed $400 million to kick start a rail link between the North West and South West Growth Centres, during his federal election campaign launch in Penrith on 19 June. The Coalition announced on 20 June it would implement a “City Deal” for Western Sydney to also include rail. Cr McKeown says: “We welcome recent announcements. Interest in our region ahead of the Western Sydney Airport is strong. But to realise the full potential of the airport and growth centres in Western Sydney, the region needs to be better connected through a reliable public transport system like a North-South Rail Link. Council is calling on the Government and Opposition to fully commit to a North-South Rail Link that will ensure Penrith and Western Sydney gets the maximum benefit from the future airport."
The industry welcomed the Western Sydney ‘City Deal’ announced by the Coalition in the lead up to the Federal Election. Read more from the Property Council of Australia, UDIA NSW and Urban Taskforce.
But InnovationAus.com slammed the Western Sydney ‘City Deal’ as it contained very little new funding and Fairfax media ran the piece Liberal and Labor promise everything and nothing to Western Sydney.
Penrith Council Assistant General Manager Craig Butler says Council agrees with both views. "By way of our active membership with the National Growth Areas Alliance, Council has consistently advocated for the establishment of a funded program for increased infrastructure investment and more action by all levels of government in meeting the needs of the high growth areas. We support the proposed City Deal, but we also feel that it should be accompanied by an infrastructure investment fund.”
The community’s vision to reinvigorate the Nepean River could be a step closer after the Federal Government promised $5 million if re-elected to upgrade boating facilities and the river bank area at Tench Reserve. After extensive community consultation Penrith Council formally developed the Our River Masterplan which outlined an ambitious plan to celebrate one of our City’s favourite places. Read more
Meanwhile, State and Federal Governments have committed $100m to widen Mulgoa Road to six lanes between the M4 and Blaikie Road. Council has been pushing for better movement across the city, lobbying hard to see the 6km stretch of Mulgoa-Castlereagh Road widened to three lanes each way. Read more
Unlocking opportunities in CBD
More than 80 Penrith City Centre property owners and investors attended an event hosted by the Penrith CBD Corporation on 28 June. The ‘Unlock your opportunities – Invest in New West’ evening provided insight into how the City Centre is changing. The CBD Corporation wants to help stakeholders position themselves to take advantage of opportunities, given the magnitude of recent investment in the City. This includes securing funding assistance and partnerships to rejuvenate local businesses.
Penrith Council Assistant General Manager Craig Butler and some of those who attended the event are pictured above. The graphic above also gives a snapshot of some of the development currently underway in the City Centre. Download 'Unlock your opportunities' (1.87MB pdf) for more information
NSW budget windfall
NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian and Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres were special guests at a Budget Breakfast hosted by the NSW and Sydney Business Chamber and Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce (PVCC) on 24 June. The treasurer outlined wins for the region in the State Government’s latest budget, including:
$37M for upgrades to the Western rail line.
$31M to start upgrading The Northern Road - M4 to Jamison Road.
$17.3M for social housing in Penrith.
$14.4M to start the Nepean River Green Bridge (about $10M to come).
$2.9M – Mulgoa Road upgrades (on top of those already underway).
$1M for rail corridor protection, to include the South West Rail Link Extension.
$1M to plan the Nepean Hospital upgrade.
Ms Berejiklian is pictured above (centre) with Mr Ayres, PVCC president Gina Field, Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown and Western Sydney Director of the Sydney Business ChamberDavid Borger (left to right). Credit: Sharon Newman Photography Click for more information