By DALLAS SHERRINGHAM
WESTMEAD will be transformed into a world-class innovation hub as the nation’s premier health district over the next two decades.
The integrated planning and transport vision for the district has just been unveiled by the NSW Government in Western Sydney.
Minister for Planning and Homes Anthony Roberts said the finalised Westmead Place Strategy would guide future planning and development decisions to create Australia’s premier health and innovation district.
It is the next stage of Westmead’s growth from an overflow facility for the crowded Parramatta District Hospital in the 1970s.
The Westmead Hospital, initially known as the Westmead Centre, was established on November 10, 1978 and was opened by Premier Neville Wran with former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam as guest of honor.
Acute services were relocated to Westmead Hospital with the Parramatta building continuing to function as the rehabilitation arm of Westmead Hospital. In 1991, all services moved out of the old Parramatta Hospital and in 1995 the building was decommissioned and redeveloped into the Parramatta Justice Precinct.
“The plan includes 12 directions, supported by planning priorities, to transform Westmead and Parramatta North into a world-leading economic powerhouse,” Mr Roberts said.
“Prioritising new jobs, encouraging greater housing diversity, boosting open space and protecting some of our nation’s oldest heritage sites, are just some of the priorities underpinning our vision.”
Minister for Transport, Veterans and Western Sydney David Elliott said the Westmead Place-based Transport Strategy in Western Sydney would be integrated with the wider Place Strategy to support jobs, public transport accessibility and high-quality open space.
“Central to this strategy is a transport vision for Westmead that is well-connected and sustainable while anticipating changes in land use, population and travel demand,” Mr Elliott said.
“It will capitalise on more than $14B committed by the NSW Government for public transport, including the Parramatta Light Rail and Sydney Metro West, to support our target of 50,000 jobs in Westmead by 2036.”
Minister for Active Transport and Cities Rob Stokes said 43 initiatives had been identified to achieve the vision for future transport in the area.
“These initiatives include the transformation of Westmead Station as a centrepiece of the precinct, along with a walking and cycling network that links locals and visitors to nearby beautiful open spaces,” Mr Stokes said.
“The implementation of this strategy will greatly increase access to and from Westmead within a 30-minute public transport journey, and we will explore a trial of night-time on-demand services for the activation of a 24-hour economy.”
The NSW Government will now progress the outcomes of the Westmead Place-based Transport Strategy and collaborate with councils to prepare an integrated transport and traffic study to support the future rezoning of the area.
For more on the Westmead Place-Based Transport Strategy visit Future Transport (nsw.gov.au)
For more on the Westmead Place Strategy visit Westmead – (nsw.gov.au)