The sustainable funding of Western Sydney Parklands has been secured for generations after the NSW Government awarded the long-term lease of a 35-hectare parcel of land at Eastern Creek.
The Eastern Creek Light Horse Business Hub, at the intersection of the M4 and M7 Motorways, will be developed into an employment hub which will create more than 2,500 jobs for Western Sydney and inject $300 million into the local economy.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the 90-year-lease, secured by Greater Sydney Parklands which manages Western Sydney Parklands, would result in jobs, investment and funding for 5,280 hectares of public space.
“This is an outstanding outcome that locks in funding for Western Sydney Parklands and its playgrounds, natural habitats, cycleways and walking tracks well into the next century,” Mr Stokes said.
“It means that Greater Sydney Parklands can concentrate on maintaining and improving Western Sydney Parklands rather than worrying about how to fund it.
“Money doesn’t grow on trees, but massive tree planting requires money. This lease provides the financial engine to support great social and environmental outcomes.
“This model will help us realise our vision of a city within a park by growing a green and connected network of public spaces right across Sydney.”
Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres said this investment in the Western Sydney Parklands will create both the jobs and open spaces local communities need.
“Access to good, quality, green open space is at the heart of what makes communities thriving and enjoyable places to live,” Mr Ayres said.
“The Light Horse Business Hub fits with our vision for Western Sydney, providing thousands of jobs closer to home while ensuring we will have access to parks and playgrounds to relax, kick a football or ride a bike.”
Greater Sydney Parklands Chief Executive Suellen Fitzgerald said the lease would result in strong environmental and recreational benefits.
“This lease will unlock funds for the restoration of more than 1,000 hectares of Cumberland Plain Woodland, the creation of an additional 1,000 hectares of bushland and new playgrounds, tracks and trails all free to the public,” Ms Fitzgerald said.
“This project is the fifth business hub to support the remaining 98 per cent of the Western Sydney Parklands. The business hubs are specifically located in areas of low recreation and ecological value.”
The Light Horse Business Hub project was approved through the Planning System Acceleration Program, designed to fast-track the determination of shovel-ready projects to stimulate the NSW economy in response to the pandemic.
Construction works are expected to start in the second half of 2021. Charter Hall has also committed to a minimum 5-star green star rating for the development.
Western Sydney Parklands is the largest urban park in Australia, covering more than 5,280 hectares and stretching 27km from Blacktown to Liverpool.