WestInvest to transform local communities
Local councils across West and South-West Sydney will be eligible for up to $400 million in funding as part of the first wave of the $5 billion WestInvest program.
Residents will also be invited to put forward ideas for community enhancing projects ahead of the WestInvest program launch at the end of March, as part of a “Have Your Say” campaign.
The new $5 billion WestInvest program is made possible by the Government’s successful WestConnex asset recycling strategy, which will help fund and deliver transformational projects that will enhance communities and help create jobs throughout West and South-West Sydney.
A total of $2 billion will be reserved for high-priority community projects with an initial $400 million directly allocated to 15 Western Sydney Local Government Areas to advance shovel-ready local projects.
The initial Local Government tranche will deliver immediate community benefit, with each local council eligible for between $20 million and $35 million, depending on population size.
The remaining $1.6 billion of the $2 billion community project fund will be allocated through a competitive round of grants open to non-government organisations, including community groups, not for profits, Local Aboriginal Land Councils, and local councils.
The $2 billion community project fund, including the Local Government tranche, is set to launch before the end of March for eight weeks, with successful projects expected to be determined by September.
The NSW Government will be consulting with local councils and other key stakeholders on the draft guidelines over the coming weeks to ensure WestInvest delivers the greatest community benefit.
A further $3 billion will be made available to NSW Government agencies to deliver transformational projects that are ready to go and will benefit local communities. The community is being invited to put forward ideas to help ensure the best projects are funded through the “Have Your Say” campaign.
WestInvest funding will be provided to build new and improved facilities that will deliver community benefit and help turbocharge economic recovery across six areas:
- Parks, urban spaces, and green space;
- Enhancing community infrastructure such as local sporting grounds;
- Modernising local schools;
- Creating and enhancing arts and cultural facilities;
- Revitalising high-streets;
- Clearing local traffic.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the landmark program would have the twin benefits of delivering new infrastructure and supporting jobs in one of the youngest, fastest-growing, and most diverse regions in the nation.
“West and South-West Sydney are already incredible places to live, and this program will secure a brighter future for families and residents by helping build new and improved facilities,” Mr Perrottet said.
“We want people to love living locally, and this investment will deliver improved facilities, more open spaces, convenient services, and stimulate the economy.
“This unprecedented boost will capitalise on the major investments we have made in critical projects, such as Metro West and Western Sydney Aerotropolis, to transform Western Sydney.”
Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said the area was emerging strongly from the pandemic and WestInvest would help take the pivotal region to a new level.
“Western Sydney is one of the most diverse and dynamic economic centres in the world and WestInvest will support the region’s growth to make residents’ lives here truly exceptional,” Mr Ayres said.
“Our communities here are a rich mix, with a huge cross-section of cultures and people from all walks of life, and the programs funded through WestInvest will reflect and enhance that diversity.
“The pandemic made it clear where we need to do more to improve liveability in our communities and deliver better local facilities and I am excited to see work already underway to turn WestInvest ideas into reality.”
Treasurer Matt Kean said the WestInvest program would be rolled out as rapidly as possible to ensure West and South-West Sydney communities could see benefits quickly.
“This is a well thought out, planned, and transparent investment program that will move quickly to ensure the people of West and South-West Sydney see real change, really soon,” Mr Kean said.
“This is about funding transformational projects that everyone will benefit from every day – it’s about revitalised high streets, improved parks, new sporting fields, more pools, better local traffic flow, and active transport links, and much more.”
Minister for Local Government Wendy Tuckerman said the Government is strongly supporting locally-led solutions to improve LGAs and communities.
“This major investment by the NSW Government will bring together our local councils and their communities to develop and improve targeted and significant local infrastructure projects,” Mrs Tuckerman said.
“I encourage everyone in the LGAs to submit suggestions. We want to support our rich and diverse communities in West and South-West Sydney in ways they want and need.”
The 15 Local Government Areas eligible for support through WestInvest are:
|1. Blacktown||6. Canterbury-Bankstown||11. Liverpool|
|2. Blue Mountains||7. Cumberland||12. Parramatta|
|3. Burwood||8. Fairfield||13. Penrith|
|4. Camden||9. Hawkesbury||14. Strathfield|
|5. Campbelltown||10. The Hills||15. Wollondilly|
The $5 billion Westinvest Fund is broken down as follows:
- $3 billion for NSW Government agencies to deliver transformational projects;
- $2 billion for high priority community projects;
- $1.6 billion allocated to community groups, non-government organisations, and local councils;
- $400m allocated directly to the 15 local councils.
The allocation of all $5 billion will be informed by the community “Have Your Say” process.