Sydney University’s Western Sydney vision must continue
19 Feb 2020
The Western Sydney Business Chamber and the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue have praised the leadership of Michael Spence as Vice Chancellor of the University of Sydney and looks forward to working with his successor to maintain the momentum on the proposal to create a new Western Sydney campus in North Parramatta.
The University of Sydney is currently in negotiations with the NSW Government about the opportunity to create a new university campus on the Cumberland Hospital site located adjacent to the Westmead Health Precinct.
“Michael Spence has been a fantastic advocate for the University of Sydney over the past 12 years and his vision to expand the University in the heart of Western Sydney with a new campus is a legacy that must be continued by his successor,” said David Borger, Executive Director of the Western Sydney Business Chamber.
“Sydney’s future is in Western Sydney and it makes sense that our oldest university follows that well-worn trail now to the heart of Western Sydney with a new campus located around the growing central city of Parramatta.
“Negotiations between the NSW Government and the University of Sydney for the future of the old Cumberland Hospital site in North Parramatta have been going on for over 12 months now. It’s time to bring those negotiations to a conclusion and reach an agreement that allows for a new university campus supporting 25,000 students and generating 20,000 jobs to get underway,” Mr Borger said.
Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Chairman Christopher Brown said that Michael Spence has been an unlikely hero of the west, with his passion for a major Sydney University campus at Westmead, adding lustre and depth to the region’s intellectual offering and complementing the record investments by the Western and other universities.
“The departure of the Vice Chancellor also presents an immediate concern to our organisations, as negotiations with the NSW Government to secure a University of Sydney campus at Westmead are still to be finalised,” Mr Brown said.
“With growing cost pressures on the University as result of Corona Virus travels bans on Chinese students and the looming spectre of parkland designation for the university’s investment land holdings near Western Sydney International Airport, we are worried that further delays in securing the Parramatta campus could jeopardise this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“While we are obviously not privy to the intricate details of the commercial negotiations between State agencies and the University, we urge the Premier to intervene to bring this deal home now, to give greater educational certainty to families across the region and to help deliver the knowledge jobs future that Greater Western Sydney deserves,” Mr Brown said.