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Economic sectors are targeted for success

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A city supported by infrastructureInfrastructure
A collaborative cityCollaboration
A city for peoplePeople
Housing the cityHousing
A city of great placesPlaces
A well connected cityConnected
Jobs and skills for the cityJobs
A city in its landscapeLandscape
An efficient cityEfficiency
A resilient cityResilience
Objective 24

Australian, NSW and local governments are working together to drive key industry and economic developments that will create a highly skilled workforce able to access high quality local jobs.

Government strategic planning must manage competing opportunities and protect land values for industries that are fundamental to the overall economy. This is required for a range of sectors, from industries that build and grow the city, to areas of agriculture that feed the city and to the special places that attract visitors and provide services to Greater Sydney. District Plans will identify the strong industry sectors in each of the three cities.

Industry sector strategies

The NSW Department of Industry is leading the development and coordination of sector-specific industry development strategies to grow and globally position key sectors of the economy. Priority sectors are selected on their contribution to economic growth, jobs creation, innovation and global competitiveness.

The strategies are being developed in consultation with industry, government partners and other key stakeholders. They build on and leverage existing industry and government activities and plans, and focus on delivering high-impact practical initiatives to drive sector growth through industry, academia and government collaboration. Some initiatives are spatially based.

NSW Government initiatives for achieving this goal are in the areas of industry skills and capability building; investment attraction; export growth and facilitation; industry showcasing and promotion; government procurement; and government and industry partnerships.

Strategies to be delivered in the short term are: cyber security; advanced manufacturing; medical technologies; financial services; and creative industries.

The NSW Government is committed to the development of key precincts to drive economic activity and jobs growth. These include:

  • Westmead Precinct: The Westmead Precinct is currently the largest health hub in NSW. The Westmead Precinct is a priority for employment and business growth. The NSW Government will work with stakeholders to develop an integrated vision for the precinct and lead efforts to cluster health, education and research activities.
  • Western Sydney Aerospace Precinct: The NSW Government, in partnership with the Australian Government, is leading the development of a world-class aerospace and defence industries precinct, adjacent to the Western Sydney Airport. The precinct aims to create approximately 7,500 jobs and over $15 billion of gross value add over the next 30 years.
  • Launch Pad: This is a business and innovation support program that provides facilities, assistance and resources for start-up and highgrowth technology businesses in Western Sydney.
  • NSW Government's Decentralisation Program: The NSW Government is delivering the Decade of Decentralisation policy with the aim of relocating public sector jobs from the Harbour CBD to other parts of Greater Sydney with a particular focus on Western Sydney. The target is to relocate and consolidate more than 3,000 public servants to Parramatta, Liverpool, and Penrith to stimulate economic growth, long-term job generation and to provide jobs closer to homes.

Cross-sectorial initiatives

Boosting Business Innovation Program: This $18 million program is accelerating innovation in NSW by supporting greater collaboration between the 11 NSW universities and the CSIRO, start-ups, and small-tomedium enterprises. Through the program, Western Sydney University is establishing an advanced manufacturing community of practice assisting early stage and established businesses to scale up, through exposure to leading edge technologies.

Part of the Boosting Business Innovation Program is the TechVouchers scheme which funds new research collaborations between small-to-medium enterprises and Western Sydney University.

Knowledge Hubs: Knowledge Hubs drive collaboration between the NSW Government and industry in five key sectors - financial services, medical technology, creative industries, transport and logistics, and energy and resources. Knowledge hubs in these priority industries deliver projects that build better collaboration and encourage economic growth. Each Knowledge Hub is a central point for people in an industry to collaborate and connect with the NSW Government and universities.

Government Procurement: The NSW Government is connecting businesses to the procurement process for major infrastructure projects such as WestConnex, Parramatta Light Rail, redevelopment of the Parramatta CBD, new public schools (Bass Hill, Oran Park, Spring Farm, Parramatta) and the Western Sydney Airport.

The Western Sydney Procurement Toolkit: The Toolkit has been developed by the Australian and NSW governments, Australian Industry Group, Regional Development Australia - Sydney, Western Sydney Business Connection, Western Sydney Business Chamber, and Industry Capability Network NSW to assist businesses in Western Sydney. It will complement the NSW Governments' specialist Business Connect procurement advisory services.

International investment attraction and export support: NSW Trade & Investment helps develop industry sectors through international investment attraction, export support and the promotion of NSW as a globally competitive, strong and agile economy.

In May 2017, Competing Globally: NSW Trade and Investment Action Plan 2017-18 was released to provide a framework and pathway for growing the NSW economy. It is a whole-of-government plan that outlines practical actions to improve global competitiveness, focus efforts in areas of competitive advantage, engage effectively with priority markets and work collaboratively with partners.

These actions are supported and driven by an investment and markets team in Sydney, StudyNSW, an export team with strategic positions in the regions, and a network of international trade commissioners and business development managers in the key markets of China, Japan, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Korea, India, the United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Photograph showing The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

The Children's Hospital at Westmead

NSW Trade & Investment also works closely with domestic and international partners including business chambers, industry bodies, not-for-profits and private enterprise - on targeted sector events and investment activities.

Jobs for NSW Fund

The Jobs for the Future report, by Jobs for NSW, identifies 11 segments that NSW should target as part of its whole-of-government agenda to create 1 million new jobs in NSW by 2036. These are tradeable segments with the potential to be globally competitive and create additional, resilient jobs. The segments are:

  • international education
  • financial and professional services
  • regional headquarters of multinationals
  • tourism
  • start-ups and digital innovation
  • food and other quality goods to Asia
  • infrastructure and smart cities
  • creative industries
  • advanced manufacturing
  • life sciences
  • environmental technologies.

Together, these segments could deliver up to 43 per cent of jobs growth over several years, while representing only 28 per cent of current jobs.

Jobs for NSW is undertaking a range of strategic initiatives to support job creation and acceleration of the target segments through the $190 million Jobs for NSW Fund. Jobs for NSW's support is particularly focused on the start-up sector, small-to-medium enterprises that are scaling up, and companies developing innovative technologies. Jobs for NSW has a range of different financial products to directly fund businesses to grow and create jobs.

Strategy 24.1

Consider the barriers to the growth of internationally competitive trade sectors including engaging with industry and assessing regulatory barriers.

Photograph showing Macquarie Park.

Macquarie Park

Supporting small business

The NSW Small Business Strategy aims to make NSW the easiest place to start or grow a business.

Through the Easy to do Business program, managed by the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, the NSW Government has invested over $15 million to create an online, one-stop shop for business customers, streamlining the way businesses transact with government, and cutting time and costs.

The $30 million Business Connect business advisory program, managed by the Department of Industry, provides advice through a network of business advisors across NSW to support digital readiness and increase industry capabilities, to reach new markets and support business growth.

The NSW Government provides opportunities for leading NSW companies to showcase their capabilities by trade shows at major industry events.

Eastern Harbour City: Mobile Business Advisors are based at Harbour CBD, Inner West, Randwick, Ryde, North Sydney and Northern Beaches. Specialist services include digital, creative industries, access to finance, disability sector, skills and disruption along the Sydney Light Rail construction route.

Western Parkland City: Mobile Business Advisors are based at Katoomba, Narellan, Penrith and Springwood. Specialist services include digital, creative industries, access to finance, disability sector, skills and multicultural.

Central River City: Mobile Business Advisors are based at Castle Hill, Fairfield and Parramatta. Specialist services include digital, creative industries, access to finance, disability sector, skills and multicultural.

Education and training

International Education Strategy: StudyNSW collaborates with education institutions, industry and local government in Western Sydney on implementing programs that enhance the student experience for international students. Western Sydney University is a main provider of higher education in the Central River and Western Parkland cities. Other campuses include University of Sydney (at Camden, Cumberland, and Westmead), Charles Sturt University (Parramatta) and the University of Wollongong (Liverpool).

Training Services NSW: Training Services NSW is responsible for implementing funded programs, including Smart and Skilled, apprenticeships and traineeships, adult and community education, and Aboriginal employment and business development.

Smart and Skilled: This program is available to support full and part qualifications in the vocational education and training sector. Much of the expected jobs growth in Western Sydney will require people with these qualifications. Smart and Skilled funding can be used to prepare people for employment by providing foundation and basic technical skills. It can also be used to up-skill existing workers. SkillsPoints are being established by TAFE NSW to deliver industry based training products and contribute to innovation to support the growth and development of the region.

Infrastructure Skills Legacy Program: This program enables NSW to benefit from an employment and skills development outcome from the $73.3 billion infrastructure investment. Targets have been set, as part of the tender process for demonstration pilots for apprentices, learning workers, women in non-traditional pathways including trade occupations, Aboriginal participation, youth and local employment. Training Services NSW is working with a number of government agencies and principal contractors to embed the Infrastructure Skills Legacy Program targets in projects for Western Sydney. The NSW Government has allocated $10 million over four years for project coordination statewide to the program.

Refugee Employment Support Program: This program supports refugees and asylum seekers into sustainable and skilled employment. It helps participants develop career plans and links them to employers, and assists with recognition of their overseas skills and qualifications, education and training. The program will assist up to 4,250 refugees and 1,000 asylum seekers across Western Sydney with an allocation of $22 million over four years.

Aboriginal programs for Western Sydney: Training Services NSW provides support for Aboriginal people in NSW including Smart and Skilled, the Way Ahead Aboriginal Mentoring Services, Aboriginal Enterprise Development advisory services and the New Careers for Aboriginal People job brokerage service.

The Western Sydney Aboriginal Centre of Excellence is a $20 million investment in a cultural and skills hub for Aboriginal youth in Western Sydney. Western Sydney has a significant Aboriginal population and is an area of significant population and economic growth. As well as providing opportunities for strengthening individual and community resilience, this initiative will focus on ensuring that local Aboriginal people, particularly young people, are equipped for opportunities stemming from growth. A key objective of the initiative will be to deliver programs and services that support young Aboriginal people making the transition from school into further education and employment.


As Australia's prime international gateway, Greater Sydney welcomes around 3.75 million international visitors who stay 77.7 million nights and spend $9.03 billion a year. The tourism industry contributed $15.4 billion to the economy (4.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product) and directly employed 74,300 people in 2014-15. Strong growth in the visitor economy is across all facets including business, leisure and visiting friends and family.

Destination NSW has developed the Western Sydney Visitor Economy Strategy and will continue to secure and grow events in Western Sydney.

Visitors' experiences are shaped by major attractions and events and equally by the places they visit, the facilities available and how their needs are met.

The Western Sydney Airport creates opportunities for the Western Parkland City to become an alternative to the Eastern Harbour City for international tourists with more affordable accommodation and attractions like the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, Aboriginal heritage, historic rural villages and scenic landscapes.

Alliances between councils and key industry stakeholders create opportunities to cross-promote events, develop and support a wider range of activities and, importantly, realise the opportunities as the Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis develops.

The Central River City tourism offer is multifaceted. Sydney Olympic Park is a major attractor, hosting sporting and cultural events. Visitation is set to increase with investment in institutions such as the Western Sydney Stadium, Stadium Australia Redevelopment and a new museum in Parramatta.

In the Eastern Harbour City, alongside iconic landmarks, beaches and the Harbour is the network of cultural institutions and conference centres. Linking business and leisure visits provides better experiences and has widespread benefits.

Strategy 24.2

Consider the following issues when preparing plans for tourism and visitation:

  • encouraging the development of a range of welldesigned and located facilities
  • enhancing the amenity, vibrancy and safety of centres and township precincts
  • supporting the development of places for artistic and cultural activities
  • improving public facilities and access
  • protecting heritage and biodiversity to enhance cultural and eco-tourism
  • supporting appropriate growth of the night-time economy
  • developing industry skills critical to growing the visitor economy
  • incorporating transport planning to serve the transport access needs of tourists.

Rural industries - agriculture and resources

The main rural industries of the Metropolitan Rural Area are intensive agricultural production on relatively small land parcels and resource extraction in the Western Parkland City with some activity in the North District.

The value of agricultural production in Greater Sydney in 2015-16 was $645 million or five per cent of the value of NSW's agricultural output45.

The Metropolitan Rural Area is of specific importance for poultry, eggs, vegetables including mushrooms, nurseries, cultivated turf and cut flowers (refer to Objective 29). It is important to retain, and where possible, increase opportunities for agricultural and horticultural uses to keep fresh foods available locally.

Significant mining and extractive resources include existing underground coal mining operations and coal seam gas primarily in the south west of Greater Sydney, and extractive industries more broadly distributed. Extractive industry resources are used to produce construction materials for roads, concrete, bricks, building stone and landscaping. Mining and extractive resources are expected to have an ongoing role in meeting energy needs, generating continuing export income and providing cost-competitive inputs into the region's growing infrastructure and construction needs.

The proximity of rural-residential development to agricultural, mining and extractive industries that generate odour, noise and other pollutants can be a source of conflict. There is a need to provide important rural industries with certainty so their operations can continue without encroachment from incompatible land uses. At the same time, the protection of land for biodiversity offsets and the rehabilitation of exhausted resource extraction areas supports the re-establishment of significant ecological communities in the Metropolitan Rural Area into the future.

The Department of Primary Industry's Agriculture Industry Action Plan and International Engagement Strategy provide the direction for government and industry to work together to accelerate growth in NSW agribusiness.

The management of agricultural and extractive activities in this Plan is integrally linked to the general approach to managing the Metropolitan Rural Area (refer to Objective 29).

Strategy 24.3

Protect and support agricultural production and mineral resources (in particular construction materials) by preventing inappropriately dispersed urban activities in rural areas.

Adapting to changing technologies

The digital economy is disrupting businesses and the workforce worldwide with emerging technologies and innovations including the development of artificial intelligence, quantum computing and big data, robotics, autonomous vehicles, 3D printing and nanotechnology.

It is also dramatically changing the way people and goods move around, providing more efficient transport services.

Digital technology has improved efficiencies in administration, manufacturing, wholesale and retail and is increasingly transforming the knowledge and professional service sectors. While advancements can reduce demand for certain types of jobs, they enable innovation, new knowledge-intensive jobs and business opportunities.

Economic development strategies must embrace the digital economy and capture its benefits and productivity improvements. They must focus on sectors that will enhance Greater Sydney's global competitiveness and the creation of high-value jobs.

Embracing economic opportunities from new technology relies on education, ongoing workplace training and building business and worker resilience. Businesses and governments must continually engage with industry, assess regulatory barriers and manage data.

The NSW Government supports the expansion of the State's Information Communications Technology (ICT) sector by providing businesses with information on NSW and Australia's ICT markets, site selection and government incentives. The NSW Data Analytics Centre is a boutique scholars' program for data science and analytics. NSW is investing $25 million in the Jobs for Tomorrow Scholarship program for 25,000 students undertaking eligible science, technology, engineering and math-related qualifications from 2016-2019.

Strategy 24.4

Provide a regulatory environment that enables economic opportunities created by changing technologies.