Parramatta - the Centre of Sydney

Parramatta is a primary centre in the Greater Sydney Region, second only to central Sydney in the size of its workforce and range of functions. With rapid growth in the Greater West, Parramatta is now both the geographic and demographic centre of metropolitan Sydney. Over the next 30 years, the population of the region is expected to exceed two million and Parramatta's workforce will more than double.

"The region's steady expansion has provided Parramatta with a strong sense of identity," said Lord Mayor Cr Paul Garrard. "To accommodate this growth and achieve desired outcomes, Council has put a great deal of effort into establishing a common vision for where Parramatta intends to be by 2020." He said the key to formulating and achieving that vision has been the forging of partnerships with the community and other stakeholders.

The vision states: 'Parramatta will become Sydney's primary centre for living and business; conserving our national heritage; providing a safe, vibrant, cosmopolitan and sustainable City'. To achieve this vision, over the past two years Council has been working with the State Government and other stakeholders to develop two major integrated strategic plans.

These are the Draft Parramatta Regional Environmental Plan (REP), which covers central Parramatta; and the Draft Parramatta Local Environmental Plan (LEP), which will apply to the remaining Local Government area. Council is also preparing the Draft Parramatta Strategic Plan 2000-2020 which will be ready for the new Council to consider following elections scheduled for September this year.

"Parramatta is the leader of the West," Cr Garrard said. "Our vision and the strategies developed to achieve it will keep us in this position. "Lifestyle issues are the key. This is a vibrant, livable City with a cosmopolitan community that is a microcosm of Australia's ethnic mix."

He said the City's multilingual workforce, location and excellent transport facilities are attractive to many businesses. Various companies have selected Parramatta as the site for their regional, national or Asia Pacific Headquarters.

"If the Greater West is seen as the powerhouse of Sydney then Parramatta is undoubtedly the engine room," Cr Garrard said. "We no longer need to speak about our potential, things are happening here right now. "However, we must continue to build on what we have achieved. This means widening our approach to work with a number of partners, both in the private and public sectors.

"Council has always been a good team of natural talent, but by taking this strategic approach, in partnership with the community and other stakeholders, we have become more directed and performance driven."