Sydney’s strong population and economic growth, while symptomatic of its success, has also led to challenges which affect Sydney’s global economic and liveability standing. Technological advancements and changes to the way we do business will also provide both challenges and opportunities that Sydney needs to be well-positioned to respond to.
The Chamber held a forum in early 2016 to gain insight from our members on the issues and opportunities they see to help make our city more Connected, Productive and Liveable. The Sydney Business Chamber utilise these insights when choosing projects to embark on.
Sydney must become a truly smart city that is well-positioned to take advantage of technological advancements to grow the economy and enhance its liveability. Sydney should be connected to the world through modern, world class, communications infrastructure that enables residents, businesses and visitors to efficiently access the digital economy wherever they are.
Sydney should also have an efficient and wide-reaching transportation network that connects Sydney to the world, connects Sydney’s residents to jobs, study and leisure, and connects goods to their markets. Sydney needs more capacity in its transport system to move our growing population and freight task, while also being smarter about the way existing infrastructure is used, especially during times of peak demand.
Priorities to make Sydney more connected include:
- The successful rollout of the National Broadband Network into the city to provide businesses and residents with fast and reliable digital connections.
- Free public Wi-Fi in select areas to improve the visitor and resident experience and promote business collaboration.
- A world-class, 24/7 airport in Western Sydney, supplementing Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport, that is linked by a fast rail connection to Parramatta and Sydney CBDs.
- A modern and expanded transport network through: the delivery of a Metro and Light Rail network; better road and public transport links between eastern and western Sydney economic centres; and an efficient bus network providing fast and flexible access across Sydney.
- A smart transport network that responds to customers’ needs. Sydney needs a transport demand management strategy developed by government, business and the community, which includes a range of short term and long term initiatives such as flexible work hours and road pricing options. Transport data should be publicly available to enable innovation in enhancing the customer experience.
- A dynamic transport system that is futureproofed to adapt to changing technology and needs. Transport policy-makers should be engaged with the technology sector to ensure existing and prospective infrastructure projects include scope for future technology advancements such as electric and autonomous vehicles.
Sydney should focus on growing its existing industries where it has a competitive advantage while also positioning itself to support new and emerging industries setting up in Sydney.
Priorities to make Sydney more productive include:
- Promoting Sydney as an IT and innovation hub that is the regional headquarters for global and Australian technology and innovation firms. Sydney needs stronger links between researchers and businesses to maximise Sydney’s research capability and drive innovation in our businesses.
- Cementing Sydney's status as one of the world’s top tourist and business events destinations. Growing and diversifying tourism and accommodation offerings should occur across all parts of the Sydney basin, and Sydney Harbour’s cruising capacity should be increased to enable Sydney to be the premier cruising destination in the world.
- Being home to internationally-renowned universities that attract students and researchers from all over the world. Sydney should be the premier destination for international students in Australia.
- Commencing planning for Australia’s first aerotropolis at the new Western Sydney Airport, to attract new and existing industries to locate near Sydney’s newest global gateway.
- Growing and modernising Sydney's global finance industry.
Sydney needs a robust, transparent and reliable governance system to strategically manage growth and land use planning. Sydney must manage our growing population and oversee Sydney’s transformation into a modern, well-planned, and affordable city to live and do business in.
Sydney should also be a world-renowned arts and cultural festival city, celebrated for its diversity and support for home grown and international artists. Sydney should also have a vibrant and safe night-time economy that attracts people of all ages and all backgrounds.
Priorities to make Sydney more liveable include:
- Having a modern planning and governance system to help Sydney thrive. Sydney needs fewer but stronger councils that are more accountable to its constituents, and an updated planning legislation to reflect a 21st century approach to the way we plan and use land. A strong Greater Sydney Commission will support local and state governments’ efforts to better coordinate local and state strategic planning priorities and better link transport and land use planning.
- Growing as a smart city that uses data to inform its planning and operation. Sydney should collect data on city performance and avail this to the private sector to offer innovative solutions that contribute to city planning and performance. Sydney should also use smart technology to improve wayfinding and enhance the operation of infrastructure networks.
- Undertaking urban renewal and increasing density near economic and transport hubs to increase the supply of residential and commercial offerings to help address housing and rental affordability.
- Accompanying new developments with suitable transport links to ensure good access to economic opportunities and social offerings.
- Attracting and collaborating with world-renowned talent for festival and cultural offerings while also supporting local and emerging talent.
- Having a range of arts infrastructure and cultural spaces across the Sydney basin to accommodate and encourage a diverse arts industry.
- Growing and diversifying Sydney's night-time economy by permitting and encouraging later trading hours for shopping and entertainment districts and facilitating the establishment of small bars and events.