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  David Borger. David Borger.
25 December 2021 Posted by 

We cannot delay - regional chamber's plan for GWS arts sector

BUSINESS Western Sydney has put forward a Five-Point Plan to energise the region’s performance and entertainment economy in response to the NSW Government’s WestInvest Fund.
Western Sydney has long been a crucible for the performing arts, producing many of Australia’s topline bands, musicians, and actors: a place where award winning actors such as Bryan Brown and hip-hop artists like L-FRESH The LION have grown up and started to developed their talent. 
Unfortunately for Western Sydney, the lack of cultural infrastructure and performance venues means that these great local artist have to leave the region to be able to perform and further develop their burgeoning talent.
“Twenty years ago, Western Sydney had one and a half million people and just six local live performance theatres, now we have close to three million people and yet we still haven’t increased the number of stages and venues. The Roxy in the heart of Parramatta has been boarded up and the only new theatre space we’ve had in decades is the Colosseum at West HQ,” said Business Western Sydney Executive Director, David Borger.
“Unless something is done, in another 20 years we’ll have nearly five million residents in the West but we’ll still only have six venues.”
“We cannot delay. We need to start planning and investing now if we are going to arrest this deficit.”
Business Western Sydney’s Five-Point Plan for the performance and entertainment economy includes:
1. Reopen the Roxy in Parramatta as a premier entertainment venue, as well as investing in the renewal of some of our older venues like the Joan at Penrith and the Riverside Theatres at Parramatta.
2. Expand the Campbelltown Arts Centre by building a theatre. Council have been calling for this for a decade.
3. Expand the planning and density bonus scheme to incentivise new developments to include places of live performance and venues in new developments, such as is being used in places like Oxford St Paddington and the CBD. Such a scheme should be expanded to include the main centres of Western Sydney like Parramatta, Liverpool Blacktown, Penrith and Campbelltown.
4. Expand the Heritage Floor Space Scheme in the CBD to include the main centres of Western Sydney. The scheme that saved Sydney’s State and Capitol theatres could also help fund the renewal of the Roxy and the Joan.
5. Turn the Crescent in Parramatta Park into the Hollywood Bowl of Sydney. Build proper seating and infrastructure to create world class outdoor events.
“Imagine Parramatta in a few years’ time. We could have the Roxy re-open, the new Theatrette at the Powerhouse Parramatta, and an expanded and reinvigorated Riverside Theatres. 
“Within a 500 metres radius we’d have nearly 4,500 seats hosting music and theatre seven nights a week in the heart of Sydney’s central city. Combine that with new outdoor festival space at The Crescent in Parramatta Park and major concerts and sporting events at CommBank Stadium and we’d finally have what NSW has needed for decades, a vibrant live performance district,” said Urban Planner, Sean Macken.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

Western Sydney Business Access (WSBA) covers the business and community issues of the Greater Western Sydney region of Australia. WSBA is the popular media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities and networks.