Billions of dollars are flowing into Western Sydney, which ranks among the largest and fastest growing areas in Australia, as the population is expected to increase to 3 million by 2036.
From the renovation of its town centres, to the construction of a second airport at Badgerys Creek and a multitude of motorway and rail projects, Western Sydney is a growing metropolis.
Another needed addition could come in the form of liveable cities, says Billie Sankovic, chief executive of the Western Sydney Community Forum, which collaborates with community groups to influence social policy and service delivery in the region.
Sankovic, who has worked in Greater Western Sydney in the community, tertiary and government sectors, says that gaps exist between Sydney’s east and west regions in terms of services and infrastructure, and that levels of inequity exist in Western Sydney.
She identifies public transport and housing as the area’s most prevalent concerns, along with social infrastructure, schools and hospitals, elderly care, mental health care, etc.
Sankovic acknowledges Western Sydney as a land of opportunity, but says that op must be harnessed in just the right way. And that people throughout the region must all have access to buses and train stations, presently a challenge to those residing in the South-Western corridor of Western Sydney.
She also presses for more investment into the community at large, and for more cohesiveness in governmental decision- and policy-making. Overall, she says, the needs of the community should become the top priority of their government.