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artist impression of a transformed Westmead. artist impression of a transformed Westmead. Featured


Innovation critical to transformation

By Red Dwyer

THE Westmead Health Precinct is the largest concentration of health services in Australia and recognised around the world for its education and medical research – but its economic performance is little known.

This performance as a substantial economic powerhouse in Western Sydney – one with a seemingly unlimited future – is yet to be widely acknowledged.

“The opportunity for Westmead to play a larger role in transforming Australia’s economy over the future is unsurpassed,” according to David Borger, director, of the Sydney Business Chamber, Western Sydney.

“This report breaks new ground to help realise the economic potential of health, education, research and business all operating within the Westmead Innovation District.

“The results are remarkable,” he said in the foreword to the Westmead Innovation District: Building Western Sydney’s Jobs Engine, Strategic Vision 2016-2036, a report undertaken by Deloitte Access Economics for the Westmead Alliance, comprising 11 institutions in the precinct.

Westmead Hospital, three minutes train travel west of the Parramatta CBD, was established in November 1978 following the state government’s “beds for the west” push (over objections from with medical profession).

The precinct, today, comprising four hospitals, two universities, two significant research institutions and numerous allied health organisations, provides over 18,000 jobs and with additional investment it is expected\ that number would rise to 50,000 jobs by 2036.

(1100 researchers and 2600 students and post-graduate students are working and studying in the Westmead precinct, a number which is expected to rise to 2500 researchers and 9000 students and post-graduates by 2036.)

Deloitte estimates the total economic output of Westmead equalled approximately $1979 million in 2016, which included $1135 million, or 58 per cent, from the ten key health, education and research institutions and an estimated $844 million from other businesses located at Westmead.

Of total economic output produced at Westmead, over $1212 million, or 61 per cent, of this was new economic value added to the Australian economy as a result of goods and services produced at Westmead, the report said

Westmead also has strong economic linkages to other sectors of the economy through its demand for intermediate inputs::in 2016 Westmead indirectly contributed an additional $525 million in value added to the Australian economy, and supported an additional 3934 full-time equivalent jobs outside of Westmead

Spin off jobs created by Westmead are likely to be concentrated in the industries of professional, scientific and technical services, wholesale trade and administrative services

Projects shaping Westmead public and private investment pipeline include a total of $5.8 billion of investment is under various stages of delivery, planning, or with potential to be delivered as part of plans for Westmead over the next decade.

This includes $3.4 billion, currently being delivered or under planning and $2.4 billion, potential development, as identified by Deloitte. Westmead would play an increasingly important role in shaping Sydney’s future economic geography.

“The basis for thinking about the future of Westmead lies not in policy makers and business thinking of Westmead as a hospital or research precinct, but as an “innovation district” critical to the economic and social prosperity of Australia,” the report commented.

Government leadership and innovation was “critical” for the transformation of Westmead into a globally competitive innovation district by 2036, Deloitte said.



Michael Walls
0407 783 413

Access News is a print and digital media publisher established over 15 years and based in Western Sydney, Australia. Our newspaper titles include the flagship publication, Western Sydney Express, which is a trusted source of information and for hundreds of thousands of decision makers, businesspeople and residents looking for insights into the people, projects, opportunities and networks that shape Australia's fastest growing region - Greater Western Sydney.