Multi-million dollar Health and Education Precinct set to transform employment opportunities in Greater Western Sydney
Watch the video of The Hon. Tony Burke, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities making the announcement at UWS.
The University of Western Sydney has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement of $13.5 million for the Werrington Park Corporate Centre – the first step to establishing a multi-million dollar Health and Education Precinct for Penrith and Greater Western Sydney. The Precinct will have the capacity to generate 6000 “knowledge jobs of the future” over the next 20 years, in areas such as health, engineering, digital communications and education.
Announced today by The Hon. Tony Burke, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, the $29.5 million Werrington Park Corporate Centre is a major collaboration between the University of Western Sydney, Penrith Business Alliance and Penrith City Council.
The injection of funds from the Australian Government’s Suburban Jobs Program will see the first stage of Werrington Park get underway, with the development of a new 7000 square metre office building on the UWS Werrington South campus, which is set to become an important business incubator for Greater Western Sydney – home to nearly 2 million people.
Taking a tour of the site: (L-R) Peter Eeles, Director, UWS Campus Development Unit; Ed Husic, Federal Member for Chifley; David Bradbury, Federal Member for Lindsay; Minister Tony Burke; Paul Brennan, Penrith Business Alliance; Rhonda Hawkins, Acting Vice-Chancellor, UWS; Councillor Jim Aitken, Penrith City Council; Michelle Rowland, Federal Member for Greenway; Mayor Greg Davies, Penrith City Council
The building will seed the longer-term plans to create a 58-hectare business park, which it is hoped will deliver thousands more local jobs over the next decade in a broader range of knowledge-based industries, all the while reducing valuable commuting time for residents.
More than 60 per cent of Penrith’s residents travel outside the LGA for work, spending an estimated 1 hour and 50 minutes travelling to and from their workplace.
UWS Acting Vice-Chancellor, Ms Rhonda Hawkins said the Werrington Park project illustrates the strength of cooperation between Penrith Business Alliance and Penrith City Council to innovatively work together for the broader community’s economic and social benefit.
“The University is delighted to receive the Australian Government’s significant support for the Werrington Park vision, and plans to contribute another $14.5 million of its own funds to realise the development of the project.
“Greater Western Sydney is one of the fastest growing regions in the country – and is predicted to grow by another one million people by 2036 – so we need a ‘can do’ approach to developing regional employment hubs that can offer local job opportunities so people can learn and work where they live,” said Ms Hawkins.
An artist impression of the proposed multi-million dollar Health and Education Precinct, to be based on the UWS Werrington South campus
“As both a research institution and a major provider of new graduates to the workforce, UWS is firmly committed to working together with government at all levels, along with business and the community, to support jobs growth and facilitate new, transformative employment opportunities for the region. We look forward to Werrington Park becoming a major catalyst for attracting more industry, investment and research to Greater Western Sydney.”
Penrith Business Alliance Chairman, Mr Paul Brennan, said that the PBA will jointly deliver Werrington Park together with the University – importantly, ensuring that the local business community is fully involved along the way.
“This funding is the first major government announcement in support of the Penrith Health and Education Precinct – a vision that was developed by the community, and that will see Penrith transform itself into one of Australia’s premier destinations for health education, research and related industry over the next 10 years,” said Penrith Business Alliance Chairman, Mr Paul Brennan.
A birds-eye-view of the development location, alongside the Great Western Highway on the UWS Werrington South campus
“I would like to congratulate UWS for supporting this vision and putting real capital behind making it come to life.”
“This project will create an even greater diversity of employment, investment and business choices within Penrith, meaning less commuting and more time with family for a wide range of workers,” said Penrith City Mayor, Greg Davies.
“The successful UWS, PBA and Council consortium demonstrates the power of alliances and what we can do to deliver local infrastructure in the communities where it is needed.”
25 July 2012
Photos: Sally Tsoutas