Australia's 3rd Largest Economy

Future directions. A research study of the likely socio-economic landscape for the next decade.

11-Nov-2020 17:16 | Tracy Dawson (Administrator)

By Blacktown City Council

There is sufficient evidence from government agencies and research bodies, indicating that the future socio-economic environment across Australia will change as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The damage caused by the pandemic will ripple down through the national and state economies and have the greatest impact at the local level.

Central City district

As a result, Blacktown City, Cumberland City, Parramatta City, and The Hills Councils are looking to plan for the post-pandemic environment in their sub-region of western Sydney. These councils constitute the area designated as the Central City district by the Greater Sydney Commission.

The councils believe this initiative adds value to and informs the current and future work of the Commission.


Extract from the Greater Sydney Commission’s Structure plan for the Central City district May 2018

Research objectives

The 4 councils are managing a research study which will identify the likely effects of the pandemic on our sub-regional economy over the next decade. Such a study will be published and communicated to their local business communities. The results of the study will:

  • help the business community plan for the post pandemic environment and make whatever changes they need to their business activities and direction, for their future prosperity.
  • assist the councils in the future planning and delivery of services to their communities.

Our team

The councils very much welcome Westpac Banking Corporation as part of their team. Westpac is the financial sponsor to this research, and providing important contributions to the direction and scope of this project.

The councils also welcome the Australian Catholic University, which will provide oversight and peer review of the research being undertaken.

The study

Western Sydney University have been engaged to carry out this project. Their research team, headed by Dr Kathy Tannous, will undertake a literature search review and interview representatives from a range of organisations across the district. From this evidence, they will create scenario-planning modelling which will identify plausible developments over the next decade across the following areas:

  • future levels of immigration
  • household and business debt levels
  • unemployment impacts
  • housing affordability
  • people movement
  • international travel and transport
  • population mobility, and
  • shifts in scope, timescale and intensity of the overall development in the sub-region.

Outputs and outcomes

The project is intended to deliver the following results:

  • a peer-reviewed study, in report format, identifying a socio-economic road map ahead for the sub-regional western Sydney economy.
  • inform the Central City district business communities of the likely economic options emerging in the period ahead.
  • provide local businesses with the insights to review their business models and plan the future direction for their operations.
  • guide the councils in the strategic and community planning of the future delivery of services to their communities in the period ahead.
  • promote the sense that the councils and corporate sponsor are providing key leadership and direction for our local economies.
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