The regional city of Campbelltown is well placed to take advantage of the growth of greater Sydney, particularly South West Sydney. These new opportunities require strong focus and direction from Campbelltown City Council.
I recently spoke with Jeff Lawrence who is the Director of the recently formed division of City Growth and Economy. This newly formed division resulted from Council’s recent structural review. Jeff attained his Bachelor of Town Planning Degree from the University of NSW in 1982. He began his career with Fairfield City Council and joined Campbelltown City Council in 2005.
Division of City Growth and Economy
According to Jeff “This new division is to have a focus on strategic planning for growth, policy development, program delivery, job creation and economic development, as well as having a strong emphasis on cross collaboration within Council and with external stakeholders and representatives.” The division represents three sections.
City Growth and Strategy. This is responsible for setting the strategic direction for Campbelltown City and for the Council. According to Jeff “The team plays a lead role in major in-house strategic projects, is responsible for coordinating strategies to achieve the future vision for Campbelltown City. ”They work closely with the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, and coordinate high level advocacy work for major infrastructure.
City Marketing and Economy (CM&E). According to Jeff “CM&E will be responsible for the development and delivery of city branding and marketing strategies. “The section aims to set acceptance of Campbelltown as a contemporary regional city which offers a range of high level lifestyle, education, health, recreation, culture, development and investment opportunities.”
To sum up the section Jeff said “CM&E will play a lead role in building the capacity of the local community to improve its economic future and quality of life, through improved collaboration with local businesses and key stakeholders such as the local Chambers of Commerce to encourage new business growth and investment, as well as support of the existing business base.”
MACROC. The Macarthur Regional Organisation of Councils (MACROC) is the advocacy body for the councils of Camden, Campbelltown, and Wollondilly. Jeff explained “MACROC works collaboratively with other organisations, both within and beyond the region, to achieve beneficial outcomes for the Macarthur region through partnerships, networks and alliances. MACROC also aims to ensure that both state and federal governments have a strong focus on our region, provide strategies for expanding employment opportunities and help grow the local economy.”
Revitalising Queen Street
Currently the Council is working on a CBD Transformation. Plan which aims to change the way people see Campbelltown. According to Jeff “The CBD is the heart of a city, and to ensure its vitality and ability to attract people and employment, it is imperative to create a CBD which is attractive, an employment generator and places great importance on street activation and building architecture.”
Council has also undertaken a CBD Car Parking Study and is proposing a public domain improvement plan for the CBD.
Influx of new apartments
Everyone would notice the influx of apartment buildings in Campbelltown, and Council is focused on developing great places and a dynamic economy where businesses, families and neighbourhoods thrive.
Jeff proudly stated that “Campbelltown is a city on the move, contributing 2.06% – or more than $719 million – of the total value of building approvals in NSW, during the 2015/16 financial year. More than $316 million of the total value of building approvals was made up of nonresidential approvals alone.”
He went on to add “Since 2011/12, the combined value of residential and non-residential building approvals in Campbelltown amounted to more than $2.04 billion indicating that Campbelltown City is a hub of investment activity and new development.”
When I asked about jobs growth Jeff assured me “Council is committed to help deliver more jobs closer to home and create a greater diversity of employment opportunities for local residents.” Council is working to grow smart jobs and capitalise on our world class health and educational industries aiming to transform Campbelltown into a smart city.
Transport is still a vital issue for Campbelltown and Council and is strongly advocating the NSW Government for a bridge extension of Badgally Road over the railway line into the CBD. There is also a push for the Spring Farm Link Road, including the connection for the Menangle Park release area to the motorway.
Jeff also added “Council is seeking an upgrade of Appin Road to accommodate the proposed Greater Macarthur Urban Release Areas which have an estimated capacity of approximately 40,000 new homes.”
While there are significant opportunities coming to Campbelltown they come with many challenges. It is reassuring the Campbelltown Council is being very pro-active in attracting and making the most of those opportunities.