Speech to the Project Sydney Dinner, NSW

Transcript
30 Jun 2017
Prime Minister
E&OE
Infrastructure and Industry, Business and Employment

PRIME MINISTER:

Good evening,

Lucy and I are thrilled to be here with you all and I want to begin by acknowledging the Darug people upon whose land we meet. We honor their elders past and present.

Gladys it’s always great to be here with you. The 5:57pm from Wynyard arrived at Bankstown at precisely 6:40pm so, very, very good services. We met lots of fellow Sydneysiders on the train.

It’s wonderful to be here with so many of our political colleagues from both sides of politics. I think everyone has a passion for this city, even Bill. It’s growing on him I think, from Melbourne.

We have a passion for this city. It is an extraordinary city and the Daily Telegraph has been writing every day, a love letter to Sydney. That’s what this is all about. Chris you’re entranced by this city. Your paper is and you are showing the great passion of your newspaper which you share with your readers, promoting this city.

I want to congratulate you and everyone involved in Project Sydney.

Give them a round of applause.

[Applause]

I’m here actually in my capacity as the husband of the Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission. But I can tell you Lucy is in love with this city. She wrote the biggest, best biography of Sydney many years ago and that led her to get on the City Council and become the Lord Mayor. Now she is passionately working with the State Government here, under Gladys’ leadership, to make this city even better. It’s wonderful to have the promotion and commitment of the Telegraph.

You know, the great modern cities of the world – and Sydney is one of the greatest – have no just appeared in an accidental way, or an unplanned way. They are the result of coordination, of foresight and collaboration.

They’re created by harnessing the technology of our times to maximize the advantages of modern life, while minimizing the challenges and threats. They come from campaigns like Project Sydney, where people inspire each other to think more boldly, to be less constrained by the way things were always done and consider instead, how they might be done anew.

Project Sydney quite rightly focusses our attention on Western Sydney, its needs, its importance to Greater Sydney and the nation. Above all, its enormous potential. My Government is committed to this, one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia, with the greatest potential for more growth Western Sydney is our third largest economy. It produces 31 per cent of Sydney’s GDP and eight per cent of Australia’s.

It is young and culturally diverse. More than one in ten children in Australia are growing up in Western Sydney. This figure more than any other demonstrates how important this region is to the future of our nation. But employment rates for young people in Western Sydney are lower, significantly lower than the national average. I know we are all determined to change those statistics and ensure that Western Sydney’s generation of promise and opportunity realise their dreams.

That is why my Government’s education reforms, school education reforms just passed through the Parliament are so critical. Every student in every school in Western Sydney will benefit from an extra 3.4 billion in needs based funding over the next decade. This record investment will be used to drive better outcomes. After years of declining results, we’ll work with our state colleagues to return our students to the top of the class.

Because we know as you do, that a great education is the first step to a lifetime of success.

Project Sydney’s mentoring program is also a great initiative – and later tonight we are going to meet with some of the great young people who have been chosen to take part.

Mentoring is a very practical and personal way to enable those who are starting out in their careers to tap into the expertise of those who are well established in theirs.

We all know that one of the biggest hurdles to getting a job, can be the fact that you haven’t had a job. Getting that first step is absolutely critical.

Our $840 million PaTH Program - Prepare, Trial, Hire - will help young people overcome this hurdle.

The PaTH program provides practical assistance, with training, to prepare young Australians for the workplace; voluntary internships that allow businesses to trial young job- seekers and a new youth bonus wage subsidy that will encourage businesses to hire young workers.

The program is already proving very popular. Next week we will have more to say about a major industry sector that is about to sign up, giving thousands of young people the chance to get their first job.

This is a life changing initiative. If you take a young person who is unemployed, facing those kinds of barriers to entering the workforce, and give them the experience of work, you really can change their life, and the lives of their families.

Now as we improve their ability to work, we must also make sure they have great, high-paying jobs, right here in Western Sydney.

There is a gap between the region’s population and jobs. About 28 per cent of the resident workforce, or 226,000 people, commute out of the western suburbs for work. By some forecasters, this figure will grow to 340,000 by 2041. That’s way too many.

Generating local jobs requires investment and the best way to increase investment is through lower business taxes.

Our business tax cuts will enable more than 136,000 small and medium businesses right here in Western Sydney to hire more people. We have extended the instant asset write off measure, so that more than 125,000 local small businesses can benefit.

Our record investments in infrastructure are also driving jobs and growth.

Not just a slogan; as you saw in the latest jobs figures, an outcome.

The Western Sydney Airport is a great example. Again, congratulations Chris and of course your distinguished predecessor Boris for the advocacy of the Telegraph for Western Sydney Airport. Plenty of governments have talked about it. My Government is delivering it.  My Government is building the airport.

Many governments talked about it but didn’t understand that an international airport does a lot more than bring in more tourists to the city.  We’re delivering it, we’re building it, because we know the airport will be a new hub of economic activity. It will generate 20,000 new local jobs by the early 2030s. Many for young job-seekers in Western Sydney and 60,000 jobs in the long term. 

We’ve committed up to $5.3 billion to build the first stage and our investment, our commitment of that investment is already giving businesses the confidence to invest, expand and create new jobs. 

We already have the first tenant of the high-tech defence and aerospace hub at the airport. The global defence giant Northrop Grumman will build a $50 million centre of excellent there, a key part of its commitment to double its workforce in Australia to 1,000 people. 

This is part of the vision for Western Sydney. 

Barney Glover Vice Chancellor of the university understands this very well. We’ve been together Barney, at the high-tech centre you’ve got at Werrington. You have committed to building more jobs, more high-tech jobs, in every level right across Western Sydney. 

That’s what you need, a fully diverse economy. 

In neighbouring Luddenham near the airport one of the first STEM schools in Australia will open in 2021 as part of Celestino’s $5 billion Sydney Science park development. It will give students the best preparation for the jobs of the future. 

Of the $11.5 billion investment in transport in Western Sydney since 2013 the Commonwealth has provided about 80 per cent, over $9 billion.  That is in addition to a $1.5 billion grant plus a $2 billion loan for WestConnex, a project expected to create 10,000 construction jobs and deliver more than $20 billion in economic benefits to the state. The Moorebank Logistics Park is expected to deliver a $120 million a year to the economy in south-western Sydney. 

These are job-creating investments generating more than 70,000 jobs.

That’s all possible because we’ve changed the way we invest in infrastructure.

My colleagues Paul Fletcher and Angus Taylor are on the case to ensure that the Commonwealth Government is no longer a passive ATM. We’re behaving like a wise investor should, considering innovative financing options and prepared to be an investment partner in projects that generate a return. 

Infrastructure, both social and economic, is the lifeblood of cities and regions; transport, schools, universities, the roads, the hospitals, the parks and the open spaces. It can be the deal maker or breaker when people are choosing a home or a place to start their business. 

Now we all want liveable cities and let’s be very clear about this. Liveable cities are not just something that’s nice to have. Liveable cities - and we have liveable cities in Australia and we must work to maintain them as liveable cities and make them more so - they are a great economic asset.  They are a drawcard. They encourage investment. They encourage business development. They are an absolutely vital economic asset and so that is why we need to work together.

The opportunity of having a 30-minute city is real. It is achievable. It means designing cities that enable people to get to work, study or play, within a reasonable time.

It is doable. We can do it in Sydney and we will. 

We’re doing it through better collaboration through our City Deals, again a real first for a federal government. 

Instead of just being the dumb ATM that doles out the grants here and there in a passive way - I mean of course, everyone likes to get some free money from Canberra when they can - what we want to be and we are being now, is an active, intelligent, collaborative partner working with state governments and local governments. We’re doing that now as we develop and finalise our city deal for Western Sydney by the end of this year. 

It will enable all levels of government to work together on a long-term vision making sure land use, housing and infrastructure decisions are well integrated. 

Now tonight and throughout the Project Sydney campaign, we’ve heard many inspiring stories about this city and Western Sydney. 

It’s always good to reflect on what works as we consider how to address the challenges. But we must always remember that it is the people of Western Sydney that are its greatest asset. 

Everything we do - creating jobs, building infrastructure, ensuring amenity, liveability, access to great education and recreation - everything should enable the people of Western Sydney, the people of greater Sydney to strive, to thrive, to realise their dreams. 

A stronger Western Sydney ensures both a stronger and more successful greater Sydney and a stronger and more successful Australia. 

So congratulations to the Daily Telegraph and to everyone involved in Project Sydney. This is a city we love, we’re committed to and we are going to make it greater still in the years ahead with all of the passion of all of the advocates in this room.

Thank you very much.

[ENDS]