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Employment Lands are defined as those lands that are:

 

“zoned for industrial or similar purposes in planning instruments. They are generally lower density employment areas containing concentrations of businesses involved in: manufacturing; transport and warehousing; service and repair trades and industries; integrated enterprises with a mix of administration, production, warehousing, research and development; and urban services and utilities”.

 

Since 2008, Employment Lands have been categorised into precincts. These Employment Land Precincts were initially defined along industrial zone boundaries. Due to the implementation of the Standard Instrument Local Environmental Plan, these precincts may now include other business zones which permit a number of industrial uses.

Role of Employment Land - Jobs and Economic Contribution

Employment land (lands zoned for industrial or similar purposes) plays a crucial role in the functioning of the city.  With Sydney’s growing population the requirements for employment land will continue to escalate.

 

Sydney’s employment land supply provides a suitable location for: 

  • urban services that support the community and population growth; 
  • jobs to employ the residents; places for business creation and development; 
  • manufacturing premises and places for the distribution and sale of construction materials; 
  • warehousing for storage and logistics. 

Employment lands contributes to the economy of the local area, Greater Sydney and NSW as a whole. It is estimated that employment land in Sydney provides around 414,000 jobs and generates around $190 billion of output​1 (see table below).

 

District  Developed Hectares Jobs Gross Output Gross Output / Job Gross Output
/ Developed Hectare
Jobs /
Developed Hectare
Central  1,457.5 83,921 $37,827,497,000 $450,751 $25,953,686 58
North  533.0 56,397 $19,464,332,000 $345,131 $36,518,447 106
South  1,525.9 58,297 $27,917,836,000 $478,890 $18,295,980 38
South West  2,765.2 68,297 $33,774,836,000 $494,529 $12,214,247 25
West  1,100.1 25,411 $10,892,733,000 $428,662 $9,901,584 23
West Central  3,412.3 121,523 $62,385,782,000 $513,366 $18,282,619 36
Eastern Sydney  3,516.4 198,615 $85,209,655,000 $429,019 $24,232,071 56
Western Sydney  7,277.6 215,213 $107,053,391,000 $497,430 $14,709,986 30
Source: REMPLAN Economy (as at June 2017); ELDM 2017
1 REMPLAN Economy, 2017 - All figures, data and commentary presented by REMPLAN are based on data sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), most of which relates to the 2001, 2006 and 2011 Censuses. Using ABS data sets and an input / output methodology industrial economic data estimates for defined geographic regions are generated.

Western Sydney accounts for 67 per cent of total zoned and developed employment land in Sydney.  However, jobs and output generated are more evenly distributed across Sydney, with 52 per cent of jobs and 56 per cent of output generated in the West. 

 

Output per job doesn’t differ greatly across Sydney with gross output per job in Eastern Sydney being around $429,000 and in Western Sydney around $497,000. However, as jobs in employment lands are much denser in the eastern part of Sydney, jobs per hectare varies greatly, which results in large differences in the output generated per hectare.

Economic Changes Supporting Employment Land

The current strength of the NSW economy is influenced by the strong property market, buoyant population growth, a large pipeline of public infrastructure projects, and record low interest rates.  Economic strength forms the basis of underlying demand for industrial property and any deterioration in these economic conditions, or increase in interest rates, is likely to impact the rate of growth in business formation in Sydney’s employment lands.

 

Property analysts indicate that Sydney’s industrial market remains strong. There is solid demand for industrial space influenced by strong economic conditions and ongoing structural changes in the retail sector where businesses are adjusting to the increase in e-commerce. Retailers, wholesalers and logistics operators continue to strive for increased profits through outsourcing demand by supply chain management.

 

This structural change is reflected in the spatial distribution of the industrial development approvals and location of land take-up in Sydney during 2016. 

 

The strong residential property market in Sydney continues to result in increased household spending on homewares including appliances, furniture and hardware supplies.  Demand for industrial warehouses to supply these products to the market remains strong, and is likely to continue while Sydney’s housing market remains undersupplied.

Geographic Differences

Demand for land for new large developments continues to be concentrated to areas around the M4 and M7 interchange in Western Sydney where land is cheaper and with easy access to road transport links for shipping goods across Sydney and NSW.  These factors give Western Sydney a competitive advantage to other parts of Sydney. 

 

Western Sydney also has large undeveloped sites providing businesses with the flexibility to diversify away from local manufacturing into import and distribution models which require large floor plates and adequate hardstand circulation area for truck movements.

 

Undeveloped employment land in the eastern areas of Sydney is very constrained with demand exceeding supply in some areas such as in the South. Demand continues to favour smaller, unit type development for business and service style users. 

 

Employment land is evolving beyond only servicing the local population, with uses such as panel beaters, household trades and council depots, but also services that contribute to the functioning of the strategic centres such as data centres, print shops and concrete batching plants. High demand for land for residential development has resulted in ongoing loss of employment land stock in eastern Sydney. 

Development for Now and the Future

In 2016, 84% of industrial development approvals in Metropolitan Sydney were for warehouses. This reflects the ongoing structural changes occurring in the retail sector influencing supply chain management. Retailers and the transport sector remain the prime source of demand for new, bigger and better located premises for logistical purposes and to ensure improved profitability arising from economies of scale.

 

Factories remain a small part of the demand story with the manufacturing sector in Australia now being driven by high tech research and development, production of niche components, and the production of perishable items. Traditional manufacturing of everyday products such as cars and whitegoods are much cheaper to manufacture overseas and to import and distribute across Australia, explaining the growth in warehouse demand over factories.

 

The future use of employment land will continue to change with technological advancements, globalisation and Australia’s role within in the world economy. It is forecast that:

  • Australia will continue to import everyday products from overseas with industrial facilities acting as the distribution spoke.  
  • There will be continued growth in high-tech manufacturing and component based specialised products.
  • There will also be continued emphasis on food manufacturing and distribution with the growth in overseas demand, particularly from Asia. 
  • Employment land precincts with superior access to markets will continue to be the most highly sought after.  

Investment by the NSW Government in road and rail infrastructure and by the Federal and NSW Government for the Western Sydney Airport, will act as a catalyst for the take up of employment lands in Western Sydney. 

Greater Sydney comprises the five districts as outlined in the Draft Greater Sydney Region Plan – Eastern City, Central City, Western City, North, and South. 

Zoned Employment Land Precincts Map for the Sydney Metropolitan Area:

Click to enlarge:

 

sydney_employment_zones_map_835x1181

Graph showing the supply of employment lands zoned and potential for 2016 01 compared to 2017 01
 

*Change in total supply potential can be attributed to some potential future employment land being rezoned in 2016. The total land area of the newly rezoned employment land may be less than the initial potential future land as a number of constraints have been taken into consideration. These may include riparian corridors, slope, vegetation, transport corridors, local roads and lot fragmentation. 

Zoned employment land stocks

As at January 2017 there were 13,826 hectares of zoned employment lands, including developed and undeveloped lands in Greater Sydney. This is an increase of 250 hectares from January 2016, resulting mainly from rezonings. 

 

Of the total zoned employment lands stock, 22 per cent or 3,032 hectares were undeveloped as at January 2017. This is an increase of 104 hectares from January 2016 and was mainly due to rezonings. 

 

Of the total undeveloped zoned land, 663 hectares were serviced with water and sewer lead-in services as at January 2017. This is an increase of 167 hectares from January 2016. The increase is mainly due to land in Moorebank and Eastern Creek being connected to water and sewer services in 2016. 

 

Over 60 per cent (1,842 hectares) of the total undeveloped zoned land stock is contained in just 54 lots of over 10 hectares in size. The majority of these lots are located in the key precincts of South of Sydney Water Pipeline, Eastern Creek, Ropes Creek, Moorebank and Marsden Park, and are predominately zoned IN1 General Industrial. 

Employment land rezonings

In 2016 there were 234 hectares of industrial zoned lands (IN1 General Industrial, IN2 Light Industrial, IN3 Heavy Industrial or IN4 Working Waterfront) added through rezonings in Employment Land Precincts across Greater Sydney. This included land at Moorebank (157 hectares), Mamre West (46.7 hectares) and Cudgegong Road Station (28 hectares).  

Twenty-one hectares of industrial land were rezoned for non-industrial purposes in 2016, including 17.5 hectares at Box Hill. 

A further 50 hectares were rezoned from industrial to B5 Business Development, B6 Enterprise Corridor or B7 Business Park zones in Employment Land Precincts. This included 43.6 hectares at North Rocks.

Current employment land planning proposals

In 2016 there were 12 planning proposals approved at the Gateway*. The finalisation of 10 of these proposals would result in a loss of around 24 hectares of employment land. The other two planning proposals would result in a minor gain of 0.2 hectares of employment land when finalised. 

As at January 2017, there was one further proposal lodged, but not yet determined, relating to employment lands. If finalised, this proposal would result in the net loss of 2.3 hectares of employment land.

*Refer to glossary for definition

Potential future employment lands

In addition to existing zoned employment lands, there were 6,654 hectares of potential future employment lands as at January 2017. The majority of these future areas are identified in the South West Growth Centre Structure Plan and A Plan for Growing Sydney.   

Not all these lands may be developable. These areas are subject to further investigations at the precinct planning stage to assess suitability for development. This will consider a range of constraints such as riparian corridors, slope, vegetation, transport corridors, local roads and lot fragmentation.


Development approvals

The value of building activity increased in 2016. Around $1.95 billion worth of industrial development was approved in 2016, compared with $1.6 billion in 2015. 

The majority of approvals (84 per cent) were in warehouses, with factories accounting for 6 per cent of approvals and the remainder being other industrial and agricultural and aquacultural buildings. 

The majority of building approvals were in the Western City and Central City with Fairfield, Liverpool and Blacktown LGAs accounting for 63 per cent of all approvals. 

Land take‐up

Take-up of employment land for industrial development was 171 hectares in 2016. This compares with 105 hectares in 2015 and 121 hectares in 2014. The majority of the land take-up (95 per cent) occurred in western Sydney including 126 hectares in the Western City. 

Take-up activity was concentrated in the precincts of Yarunga/Prestons (34.4 hectares), South of Sydney Water Pipeline (25.3 hectares), Marsden Park (22.8 hectares), Minto (8.4 hectares), Condell Park and Wilton (8.4 hectares), Erskine Park (6.3 hectares) and Smeaton Grange (5.7 hectares).

Historical take-up of employment lands between 2008 and 2016 (Greater Sydney)

 

Graph showing take up of employment lands for Greater Sydney from 2008 to 2016

The Employment Lands Development Monitor (ELDM) tracks the stock of employment land at progressive stages in the planning and development process and estimates the supply of employment lands at different take-up rates.

Assuming an average take-up rate of 157 hectares per annum (average over the last 9 years, it is estimated that there is 42 years’ remaining supply of potential future employment land (6,654 hectares) and 19 years’ remaining supply of undeveloped zoned employment land (3,032 hectares)). 

The potential future employment lands are subject to further investigations at the precinct planning stage to assess suitability for development. This will consider a range of constraints such as riparian corridors, slope, vegetation, transport corridors, local roads and lot fragmentation. 

The Central Coast comprises the Central Coast Local Government Area (previously reported as the Gosford and Wyong Local Government Areas).

Zoned Employment Land Precincts Map for the Central Coast Region:

Click to enlarge

 

central_coast_employment_zones_map_835x1181

 


Zoned employment land stocks

As at January 2017, there were 1,988 hectares of zoned employment land in the Central Coast, up one hectare from January 2016. The total stock change was the result of data refinements.

Of the total zoned employment land stock, 54% or 1,067 hectares was undeveloped at January 2017. 

Of the total undeveloped zoned land, 220 hectares were serviced with water and sewer lead-in services. Most of the undeveloped and serviced land was at Somersby (80 hectares), Wyong (63 hectares) and North Wyong (29 hectares). 

Over 60 per cent (674 hectares) of the total undeveloped zoned land stock is contained in just 27 lots of over 10 hectares in size. The majority of these lots are located in Bushells Ridge and are zoned IN1 General Industrial.

Current employment land planning proposals

In 2016 there were four Planning Proposals approved at the Gateway* relating to employment lands in the Central Coast. The finalisation of these proposals would result in a net gain of around 5 hectares of employment land.

*Refer to glossary for definition

Potential future employment lands 

In addition to existing zoned employment lands, there are 467 hectares of potential future industrial land identified in the North Wyong Structure Plan

Not all these lands may be developable. These areas are subject to further investigations at the precinct planning stage to assess suitability for development. This will consider a range of constraints such as riparian corridors, slope, vegetation, transport corridors, local roads and lot fragmentation. 

Development approvals

The value of building activity on the Central Coast increased for the sixth year in a row, with over $66 million worth of industrial development approved in 2016.

Land take‐up

Take-up of employment land for industrial development in 2016 was 12 hectares, up from 4.3 hectares in 2015. The majority of land take-up was at Somersby (10.9 hectares).

The Hunter comprises the ten Local Government Areas of Cessnock, Dungog, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Muswellbrook, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Singleton and Upper Hunter. 

The Region also contains the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan area which comprises Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle and Port Stephens Local Government Areas.

This is the first year that the ELDM has reported on the Hunter Region. This includes all industrial, B5 Business Development, B6 Enterprise Corridor and B7 Business Park zoned land, and Special Use zones related to the port and airport. No individual employment land or business park precincts have been identified. 

Zoned Employment Land Stocks

As at January 2017, there were 8,131 hectares of zoned employment land in the Hunter Region. Almost 80 per cent of this land (6,523 hectares) is within the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan area (Cessnock, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle and Port Stephens Local Government Areas).  

Of the total zoned employment land stock, 51 per cent or 4,179 hectares was undeveloped at January 2017 with 12 per cent of supply being either a B5, B6 or B7 zone. Almost 80 per cent of the undeveloped zoned employment land was located in the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan area

Of the total undeveloped zoned land, 3,747 hectares were serviced with water services (within 30 metres of a water main). Most of this land was located in the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Area (3,034 hectares), including Cessnock (919 hectares), Port Stephens (899 hectares) and Newcastle (828 hectares). 

Over 90 per cent of the total undeveloped zoned land stock is in lots of over 10 hectares in size.

Current employment land planning proposals

In 2016 there was one Planning Proposal relating to employment lands in the Hunter Region. If finalised, the proposal will result in a net gain of 175 hectares of employment land at Black Hill (Cessnock LGA).

Development Approvals 

In 2016, there was $111.7 million of industrial building activity approved in the Hunter Region (excluding agricultural and aquacultural buildings).

Page last updated: 15/12/2017