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“Shooting the lights out”. I heard this rallying cry the other day, as I sat amongst academics, business leaders and politicians as the Centre for Western Sydney unveiled a bold economic plan, aptly named Unlimited Potential, that could see Western Sydney add $100 billion to the state’s economy in just over a decade.

I loved the ambition and energy in that phrase; the can-do attitude and the sense of a pretty important and audacious goal behind it.

Western Sydney is the nation’s third-largest economy, and according to Professor Jennifer Westacott AO, Chancellor of Western Sydney University, it sits on the doorstep of what will be the world’s biggest middle class, with 3.5 billion people in the Indo-Pacific by the end of the decade.

It’s a region full of so much potential and from Team HC’s perspective, it’s pretty exciting to be doing business right here in the heart of it. Here’s just a few things we’re excited about, that will help shoot the lights out.

  • Shifting the narrative. From disadvantaged Western Sydney to its massive advantage. Western Sydney exceeds the national average in professional qualifications. Born in more than 170 countries, half its residents are proficient in a second language. Ties to the rest of the world are familial and direct and so much more can be done to leverage this diversity.
  • Ready to take off. Western Sydney Airport, built to service 10 million passengers a year when it opens less than two years from now, truly 24/7 without curfews. This gives us the chance to re-spark the imagination of global investors, and foster industry expansion, including agribusiness, advanced manufacturing, and tourism.
  • Respect for those who came first. Western Sydney has the highest number of Indigenous residents of any region in Australia, and there is a commitment to be an exemplar for economic participation for Indigenous people.  
  • It’s a Powerhouse. Powerhouse Parramatta, which we are watching come to life outside our office window, is set to open in 2025 and is one of the world’s most significant new museum projects. It’s impressive on many fronts – the architecture; the space; the scope – but imagine a museum that includes a 60-bed accommodation for remote students to immerse in STEM education or for industry engagement. Truly a night at the museum.
  • Industries of tomorrow. There is a massive focus on creating a more dynamic industrial base. Defence, advanced manufacturing and agtech are the industries of tomorrow.
  • Women a priority. Recognition of the economic contribution of women and removing the barriers standing in the way. On IWD Western Sydney University launched the Unlocking Women’s Potential report, highlighting a significant gap in the income levels between women in Western Sydney and the rest of Sydney and what we can do about this. It’s a region that puts robust research behind problems and problem solving.
  • Universities working together. Collaboration among the universities in Western Sydney is high and essential for fostering innovation, driving economic growth, and addressing the diverse needs of the region. These universities see themselves as a catalytic force for change in a new economy – one where shelf life of skills will be five years at best, and micro credentialing will be key.

Western Sydney stands strongly alongside our other passions at HC, including regional Australia, agriculture, infrastructure and manufacturing. The potential we’re aiming for won’t be easy to unlock, but if ever a region could do it, Western Sydney can. 

Want to come and see for yourself? Jump on a train, bus or (soon to be commissioned) light rail and grab a coffee with us. We’d love to have the conversation.

Sue Hardman