Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Taking pressure off Sydney's congested city by re-focusing efforts on Parramatta might not be smooth sailing, with many commuters not wanting to work outside of the CBD, a planning firm claims despite Parramatta Labour keen for the additional Jobs on the horizon.
Parramatta has been heralded as Sydney's second CBD with everything from the Powerhouse Museum to government jobs moving to this western Sydney hub, but people aren't necessarily eager to work there, a survey of 500 people shows.
Asking commuters in Parramatta and Sydney's CBD whether they'd work closer to home if the opportunity was available, the most common response was "probably not", research from planning experts MacroPlan Dimasi that was presented at the Urban Development Institute NSW Industry Briefing on Tuesday found.
There was a split of yes and no responses, at 40.9 per cent and 41.5 per cent respectively, which had ramifications for future plans of a polycentric city with less reliance on the Sydney CBD, MacroPlan executive chairman Brian Haratsis said.
"People have worked out that higher level accounting and IT jobs [the types of jobs that tend to pay more], are in the CBD.
"They'd rather commute than have a job closer with no career advancement and no professional network."
This may be because commuting to the CBD offers access to many financial services, IT and media jobs that the outer suburbs currently lack, he said. And with plans to make Parramatta a second CBD, this could be a sobering result.
More than 40 per cent of respondents spent more than 45 minutes commuting each way to work – or 14 days a year – with about two thirds using public transport.
And when choosing where to live, being close to public transport topped the list – with 55.4 per cent claiming this was a factor. About 50 per cent also claimed the most likeable thing about their work's location was its proximity to public transport.
"We'd need to double the size of Parramatta to make it large enough to accommodate the [finance and technology sector] jobs we need, " Mr Haratsis said. Placing RECRUITMENT and LABOUR HIRE AGENCIES on Alert.
"We have to build up and out to get the attributes of a CBD."
This increase in Parramatta's size would need to occur by 2035 and it would need to revitalise the surrounding areas as well, he said.
"In the past small businesses would start in Surry Hills and move into the city when they grew. In Parramatta, where is the equivalent?
"Go a kilometre [further out from Parramatta] and you're back in suburbia."