February 14, 2011
The qualities that make Sydney one of the world’s most liveable cities also make it a great place for visitors and investors: a safe and active city heart; inner city villages that offer diverse cultural and retail experiences; housing choice, good services and community involvement.
Central Sydney is Australia’s leading business and finance centre, driving our State’s economy. The 26 square kilometres of the Sydney local government area generates one third of metropolitan Sydney’s gross domestic product and one twelfth of Australia’s. Each day, around one million people live, work, shop, study or socialise in central Sydney.
Protecting and strengthening this vibrant economy demands diverse strategies that enhance our position globally; directly support business locally; and enhance the liveability and safety of our area for all.
Key initiatives I have promoted and established include:
Advocacy for world-class public transport that gets workers and visitors quickly into the city, and enables them to get around easily while they are here.
Transformation of George Street as a light rail, bike riding and pedestrian boulevard, providing new opportunities for retail and cafes that spill over and benefit the whole of our city.
A revitalised Pitt Street Mall, building on private sector investment in new retail and shopping experiences.
The new Retail Advisory Panel with business, industry and government to position central Sydney as Australia’s best retail destination.
An economic development unit in Council to implement Sustainable Sydney 2030’s vision for a globally competitive and innovative city, with vibrant local communities and economies.
Council’s new business precincts team to liaise with local business groups and implement our business precinct study recommendations to strengthen our village economies.
The City’s business support program overhauled to provide business groups with grants up to $80,000 (increased from $50,000).
Public domain improvements, including footpath widening, tree and garden plantings, smart poles to reduce clutter and provide lively banners, and stylish new street furniture.
A “finegrain” business program to encourage unique businesses, including small bars, into lanes and underused areas of the city centre.
Small business promotion and education, such as the City of Sydney Business Awards, Let’s Talk Business seminars, and participation in Small Business Month.
Cultural and tourism sponsorship to establish world-class events for Sydney, building up our tourism, hospitality and cultural industries.
Green economy expansion, particularly via innovative strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate local energy (trigeneration) to implement Sustainable Sydney 2030.
Planning for housing diversity, including affordable “key worker” housing to enable people such as nurses, police and teachers on low incomes to live near their inner city jobs.
Well planned and well governed cities can provide a vibrant economy and high living standards, without unsustainable levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable Sydney 2030 presents the case that the action to make Sydney environmentally sustainable directly correlates with the work needed for Sydney to be liveable and prosperous.