Regional City status recognised

Penrith City Council has been officially recognised as a Regional City under the NSW State Government’s Metropolitan Strategy. This will help to ensure that the City enjoys the benefits of Sydney’s growth over the next 25 years. Council will now have greater access to health, education and recreation services.

Mayor of Penrith, Councillor John Thain, said Council had long recognised the City’s regional role in providing services for people from Greater Western Sydney.

“The State Government officially recognising Penrith City in its ‘City of Cities’ plan will help ensure that we are a priority in State Government planning, and brings a commitment to support Council’s long term goals,” he said. “About half of Sydney’s 500,000 new jobs will be created in Western Sydney, and some 100,000 will be in our region, with Penrith as a key centre.

“Council has for many years, through its Strategic Plans, identified the opportunities in managing sustainably its share of Sydney’s growth.

This has resulted in strategies being developed for housing growth, rural lands, industrial/ commercial development and our City Centres.

“Our City already has attractive major attributes such as a university, a teaching hospital, TAFE, schools, and community colleges, all of which will form the basis of a knowledge corridor.

The City is well placed to deliver housing diversity and attractive vibrant town centres with a range of lifestyle and business options that established parts of Sydney would find more difficult to provide.”

While the status will provide a greater diversity and range of quality jobs, commercial, retail, health, cultural, recreation, entertainment, and lifestyle opportunities, Councillor Thain said the Strategy also brings challenges.

“Our Regional City status again reinforces the need for adequate infrastructure support from the State Government,” he said. “This is vital for Penrith to fulfil the Government’s expectations within the Metropolitan Strategy. The City is crying out for a link from the Erskine Park Employment Area to the M7, for the national road network to be finalised, the UWS rail station to be built, major improvements to the arterial road network and public transport, improving public space, and establishing a State Government office precinct.

“All this must be provided in a sustainable manner to ensure that generations far beyond the next 25 years are guaranteed the lifestyle and economic opportunities that we are set to enjoy.”