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Growing and strengthening the metropolitan cluster

Explore the plans

  • Infrastructure
  • Liveability
  • Productivity
  • Sustainability
  • All
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
Planning Priority W9

Central to the concept of a metropolis of three cities is the objective of a metropolitan centre for each city. The urban structure to support the metropolis of three cities needs to ensure people have access to a large number and range of jobs and services delivering a well-connected city - a 30-minute city. The Western Parkland City is an emerging city with a north-south geography extending for 54 kilometres. The presence of three long-established centres provides the opportunity for a polycentric urban structure. Here, a cluster of four centres will deliver the metropolitan functions of providing concentrations of higher order jobs and a wide range of goods and services. The cluster comprises:

  • Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis
  • Liverpool
  • Greater Penrith
  • Campbelltown-Macarthur.

Activities in these four locations will be influenced by both the significant population growth and the activities of Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis and the broader Western Sydney Employment Area. The potential to grow these locations will be enhanced by investment and activities of government in health and education.

Western Sydney City Deal Commitments: Skills and education

Building Partnerships through an Aerospace Institute

  • STEM university
  • VET facility in the Aerotropolis
  • New public high school focused on the aerospace and aviation industries

Education is the largest export service industry in NSW, with international enrolments growing at a faster rate than domestic. Government investment in, and the growth of, health and education precincts will:

  • diversify job opportunities across Greater Sydney
  • facilitate jobs closer to home
  • strengthen the international competitiveness of the economy, particularly in innovation.

The evolution of health and education precincts follows a maturity pathway described in A Metropolis of Three Cities16. As precincts evolve, their economic productivity increases substantially. This corresponds to three general models, which become progressively more diverse: Clusters, Precincts and Innovation Districts. The Campbelltown-Macarthur health and education precinct is at the Cluster stage and the Liverpool and Greater Penrith health and education precincts are at the Precinct stage. Each will need a tailored response to progress along the maturity pathway. It is not expected that all Precincts should, or will, develop into an Innovation District (refer to Figure 17).

In terms of higher education, the vision for the metropolitan cluster is to achieve a ring of university cities with collaboration between the three levels of government and the university sector. Each university campus will focus on a full faculty or university facility with a minimum of 10,000 students co-located with TAFE facilities where there is adjoining land.

Figure 17: Maturity pathway for health and education precincts.

Diagram showing maturity pathway, models and uplift for health and education precincts.
Download this image western_figure_17.jpg (format PNG / 289 KB )

The commitment to an Aerospace Institute at the Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis will be a significant foundation for this metropolitan centre evolving into a health and education precinct.

The Sydney Science Park will be designed to deliver 12,000 knowledge-intensive jobs and provide an industrial research and development business park by 2020. It will also include a retail and entertainment district, new homes and an education precinct.

Local health and education facilities such as TAFEs and schools, local hospitals and health services play an important role in the community as places where people work, learn and access services.

In light of the importance of delivering on these outcomes, specific governance arrangements have been established for each of these places. For the Western Sydney Airport and Badgerys Creek Aerotropolis, the tri-government Western Sydney City Deal and the three established centres have been identified as Collaboration Areas.

These four locations will be the main focus for access to goods and services; entertainment, leisure and recreational activities; as well as cultural and arts experiences. Planning to attract these land uses is critical. A place-based approach is to be adopted in planning for these centres (refer to W6).

Photograph of a courtyard outside Campbelltown Hospital.

Campbelltown Hospital


Liverpool CBD includes Liverpool Hospital, the Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research and the clinical schools of the University of NSW and Western Sydney University, South West Private Hospital and South Western Sydney TAFE.

In addition to the CBD, health and education precinct and nearby residential and industrial land areas, the Collaboration Area includes the Warwick Farm Precinct and the under-construction Moorebank Intermodal Terminal. Planning for the Collaboration Area will also consider the draft Georges River Masterplan, which aims to extend the Liverpool City Centre to create better connections to and through the river and to make Liverpool into a true river city.

Considerations for the planning of the Collaboration Area include:

  • strong developer interest in rezoning land for additional housing, including the currently industrial waterfront
  • the University of Wollongong and Western Sydney University campuses integrated into the City Centre. Western Sydney University is opening a new high-rise campus in the Liverpool CBD in 2018. It will use the most technologically advanced higher education teaching and research methodologies and platforms
  • proximity to the M7 and M5 motorways and infrastructure upgrades to support Western Sydney Airport
  • Western Sydney Airport Co the Australian Government agency established to develop Western Sydney Airport, will locate its offices in Liverpool CBD
  • the University of Wollongong will build a 7,000 student campus and will set up a training facility for 700 nurses to work with Liverpool Hospital.

The Collaboration Area aims to:

  • increase housing diversity and provide affordable housing
  • improve and coordinate transport and other infrastructure to support jobs growth
  • develop smart jobs around the health and education precinct, particularly in the areas of advanced manufacturing and logistics, automation and translational research
  • improve the night-time economy, mixed-use and transport connections
  • improve urban liveability and Liverpool's sense of place
  • improve environmental outcomes around the Georges River
  • develop Greater Sydney Green Grid projects
  • capitalise on Western Sydney Airport and the Western Sydney City Deal
  • revitalise the Liverpool CBD
  • examine flooding issues and water management
  • consider the opportunities presented by the Liverpool Water Recycling Facility
  • undertake urban renewal at Warwick Farm and retain a social housing mix.
Liverpool Jobs
2016 estimate 29,000
2036 baseline target 36,000
2036 higher target 39,000


Data sources: Public open space - Sydney Open Space Audit (DPE 2016), aerial photo - Nearmap 2018.

Download this image western_liverpool_optimized_0.png (format PNG / 2,332 KB )

Greater Penrith

The Collaboration Area for Greater Penrith covers the Penrith CBD, the health and education precinct and the tourism precinct from Penrith Lakes along the current length of the Great River Walk to the M4 Motorway. It has the potential to grow up to 45,000 jobs - a 35 per cent increase - over the next 20 years.

As a Collaboration Area, Greater Penrith's growth will be supported by a whole-of-government approach to align the activities and investments of government and key stakeholders in the area. The Penrith health and education precinct is based around Nepean Hospital, the Western Sydney University Werrington Campus and Nepean College of TAFE Allied Health Facility. It generated 6,000 jobs to 2011, representing an almost 300 per cent growth from 2001.

The Penrith CBD is a significant commercial centre and serves a substantial catchment which extends to the west into the Blue Mountains. The $550 million upgrade of Nepean Hospital will enhance innovation, research, health and education activities, and attract complementary businesses. Nepean Clinical School is at Nepean Hospital and is one of the eight Clinical Schools of the University of Sydney.

Nepean Hospital is supported by district-level services at Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury hospitals. Also, Greater Penrith will benefit from the construction and operation of Western Sydney Airport, and forecast increases in tourism to the Blue Mountains and Metropolitan Rural Area.

The Collaboration Area aims to:

  • revitalise and grow the Penrith CBD
  • develop a major tourist, cultural, recreational and entertainment hub
  • protect and expand the health and education precinct
  • address flooding issues
  • implement Greater Sydney Green Grid projects and promote ecologically sustainable development
  • improve housing diversity and provide affordable housing
  • diversify the night-time economy
  • implement healthy city initiatives and improve social infrastructure.
Greater Penrith Jobs
2016 estimate 33,400
2036 baseline target 44,000
2036 higher target 45,000

Data sources: Public open space - Sydney Open Space Audit (DPE 2016), aerial photo - Nearmap 2018.

Download this image western_greater_penrith_optimized.png (format PNG / 1,901 KB )


Campbelltown-Macarthur is developing into Greater Sydney's newest health and medical hub with research and specialist community-based care in paediatrics and gastrointestinal disorders. It contains Campbelltown public and private hospitals, Western Sydney University Campbelltown Campus, and TAFE NSW Western Sydney. Collectively, these elements form the health and education precinct and the Collaboration Area also includes Macarthur Square, Campbelltown Mall and surrounding government services.

The centre has the potential to grow up to 31,000 jobs (a 52 per cent increase) by 2036. The Western Sydney University has a strong health focus linked to the hospitals and centred around its School of Medicine and Nursing and Midwifery. Programs of note include:

  • 7,000 students enrolled at the Campbelltown campus, with 632 studying medicine
  • almost 3,000 students enrolled in nursing and midwifery programs and approximately 12,100 enrolled in allied health programs
  • the new NSW Government- University funded Macarthur Clinical School at Campbelltown Hospital17.

The NSW Government has committed $632 million for the Campbelltown Hospital Redevelopment Stage 2, mental health services and paediatric services. This follows the completion of the $134 million Stage 1.

The construction of the Campbelltown Sports and Health Centre of Excellence at Western Sydney University, planned for early 2018, will improve access to high quality sport and recreation facilities and provide programs for sports science and sports business.

Health care and social assistance is the most significant employment category in the Local Government Area, with 16 per cent or 8,000 jobs. The sector is forecast to grow by 2.35 per cent a year, resulting in approximately 13,500 jobs by 204118.

The Collaboration Area will enable a focus on opportunities to generate growth in economic activity, employment and investment. There are opportunities to:

  • protect and grow core health and education activity
  • provide new research facilities and related commercial premises
  • plan for complementary uses and increased cultural, creative, digital or technology businesses and employees
  • establish, enhance and promote the interdependencies between health and education to grow innovation, start-up and creative industries
  • improve east-west connections and liveability of the area
  • support affordable housing opportunities for students and moderate-income households.
CampbelltownMacarthur Jobs
2016 estimate 20,400
2036 baseline target 27,000
2036 higher target 31,000

Data sources: Public open space - Sydney Open Space Audit (DPE 2016), aerial photo - Nearmap 2018.

Download this image western_campbelltown-macarthur_optimized.png (format PNG / 2,590 KB )

In addition to the Collaboration Area process outlined above, carry out the following:

a. protect and develop the commercial core
b. improve and coordinate transport and other infrastructure to support jobs growth
c. develop smart jobs around the health and education precinct
d. build on the centre's administrative and civic role
e. improve public domain including tree-lined, comfortable open spaces and outdoor dining
f. improve connectivity and links to the Georges River and prioritise pedestrian, cycle and public transport facilities
g. encourage a vibrant mix of uses, new lifestyle and entertainment uses to activate streets and grow the night-time economy
h. capitalise on the Western Sydney Airport and Western Sydney City Deal initiatives.

Liverpool City Council, Greater Sydney Commission and other planning authorities.


In addition to the Collaboration Area process outlined on the previous page, carry out the following:

a. support the transformation of the City Centre to grow to its ultimate potential
b. support and enhance a viable commercial core
c. reinforce, capitalise and support the expansion of the Penrith health and education precinct
d. facilitate the attraction of a range of uses that contribute to an active and vibrant City Centre
e. facilitate opportunities for a diverse economy that delivers jobs of the future, strong employment sectors and improves access to education and training
f. capitalise on opportunities associated with the Western Sydney Airport including Western Sydney City Deal initiatives
g. encourage new lifestyle, tourist and cultural uses to activate streets and grow the tourism and night-time economies
h. activate primary and secondary streets and deliver contemporary urban public spaces
i. improve transport connectivity, walkability and safe cycling connections within and to the Penrith City Centre
j. connect and activate the Nepean River as a focal point and a destination
k. promote urban living by improving amenity within the City Centre and activating public spaces
l. support and demonstrate innovation.

Penrith City Council, Greater Sydney Commission and other planning authorities


In addition to the Collaboration Area process outlined above, carry out the following:

a. protect, develop and expand the commercial core
b. protect and grow the health, medical and education core precincts
c. investigate opportunities for the growth of allied health and medical related businesses, research, science and advanced manufacturing
d. enhance the centre's civic, cultural and heritage role
e. increase opportunities for creative, digital and technology businesses and employees
f. encourage new lifestyle and entertainment uses to activate streets and grow the night-time economy
g. improve east-west pedestrian connectivity across the southern rail line
h. improve accessibility to walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing
i. support mixed-use development and surrounding high quality apartment and medium density residential development
j. capitalise on the Western Sydney Airport and Western Sydney City Deal initiatives.

Campbelltown City Council, Greater Sydney Commission and other planning authorities


Facilitate health and education precincts that:

a. create the conditions for the continued co-location of health and education facilities, and services to support the precinct and growth of the precincts
b. have high levels of accessibility
c. attract associated businesses, industries and commercialisation of research
d. facilitate housing opportunities for students and workers within 30 minutes of
the precinct.

Councils, other planning authorities and State agencies



a. public transport investments to improve the north-south and east-west connections to the metropolitan cluster
b. infrastructure investments which enhance walkability within two kilometres of the metropolitan cluster or strategic centres or 10 minutes walking distance of a local centre
c. infrastructure investments, particularly those focused on access to the transport network, which enhance cycling connectivity within five kilometres of strategic centres or 10 kilometres of the metropolitan cluster.

Councils, other planning authorities and State agencies


Support and facilitate the development of the metropolitan cluster by:

a. supporting commercial development, aerospace and defence industries and the innovation economy
b. supporting internationally competitive freight and logistics sectors
c. planning vibrant strategic centres and attracting health and education facilities, cultural, entertainment, arts and leisure activities
d. creating high quality places with a focus on walking and cycling
e. improving transport connections to the centres from across the District

Councils, other planning authorities and Australian and NSW government agencies


In Collaboration Areas, Planned Precincts and planning for the metropolitan cluster:

a. investigate opportunities for precinct-based provision of adaptable car parking and infrastructure in lieu of private provision of car parking
b. ensure parking availability takes into account the level of access by public transport
c. consider the capacity for places to change and evolve, and accommodate diverse activities over time
d. incorporate facilities to encourage the use of car sharing, electric and hybrid vehicles including charging stations.

Councils, other planning authorities and State agencies


Deliver the Land Use and Infrastructure Implementation Plan for the Western Sydney Airport Growth Area.

State agencies


Review the current planning controls and create capacity to achieve the job targets for the District's metropolitan cluster.

Councils, other planning authorities and State agencies