The City of Parramatta has undergone a complete transformation over the last few years. In 2017/18, Council’s Land Use Planning team integrated the Local Environment Plans (LEP) from the five Councils that existed prior to 12 May 2016. That financial year, City of Parramatta managed more than $5.5 billion worth of assets, and spent more than $104 million on improving assets and infrastructure. Between 2016 and 2036, the population of the city is forecast to increase by 155,000. We have been home to the Darug peoples for more than 60,000 years, with more than 800 archaeological and heritage sites, and are proud conservators of our expansive native bushlands. City of Parramatta remains dedicated to its community, its environment and its heritage as it embraces a thriving urban future.

The City of Parramatta Council has been identified by the NSW Government and the Greater Sydney Commission as the emerging centre of Sydney — 2.3 million people live within a 45-minute commute to the Parramatta CBD. The $2.4 billion Parramatta Square, slated for completion in 2022, is set to become a landmark destination in the heart of this new centre. We’ve created 11,500 jobs in the last 5 years; we have zero vacancy in our A-grade commercial buildings. City of Parramatta is working to deliver State masterplans and grants, including the Stronger Communities Fund, the Precinct Support Scheme, and the Parramatta Road Urban Amenity Improvement Program among other State and Federal partnerships. The Westmead Innovation Precinct, the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences and new cultural precinct, and the ‘Civic Link,’ which will create a green, pedestrianized link from the river to the CBD, are just a few of our transformative projects over the next 20 years.

Council is working to ensure that this rapid growth is shared with the community, and is balanced by transparent and strategic planning. Council runs a 9,143-strong online community that gets community members involved in local issues regularly. Our community shaped the 6 goals that drive our development: to be a Fair, Accessible, Green, Welcoming, Thriving and Innovative city. Over the past few years we have developed 8 overarching strategies to meet those goals, which together address our city’s economic, environmental, and social visions and the practical steps we can take to implement them.

While great development moves forward, we have maintained a satisfaction score of 68% (compared with the NSW average of 58%), and we’ve shifted the perception of Parramatta so that more people are seeing it as a destination of choice; it is a place where people want to live, study, work and play.

Abstract from ICTC 2019 Conference
Author: Donna Davis, Councillor, City of Parramatta