Sydney’s future economic development has received a helping hand with the City of Sydney Council unveiling a new Draft Economic Development Strategy.
Detailed plans for the retail and tourism sectors have been released, while specific plans for the creative and digital sector, finance and business services, and the green economy will follow in the coming months.
With the City’s economy valued at $100 billion per annum – constituting seven per cent of Australian GDP – the plan will provide a confidence boost for business amidst gloomy federal economic forecasts.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the strategy would cement Sydney’s position as Australia’s premier business, retail and tourism destination.
“The Economic Development Strategy provides a blueprint for how we can bring our vision for Sydney to life, by drawing on our strengths as well as creating exciting new opportunities to help attract, nurture and retain global talent,” she said.
The City aims to improve economic growth by 2.8 per cent by 2030, adding 97,000 jobs and boosting tourism numbers beyond the current two million visitors per year, with a forecast benefit of $66 billion per annum.
“While our economic output is forecast to grow significantly between now and 2030, it is essential that we take every opportunity to ensure our city is competitive and support innovation,” said Ms Moore.
The strategy features detailed plans on enhancing Sydney’s competitiveness, improving productivity and capacity, and promoting business opportunities for both traditional and green sectors of the economy.
Priority projects in the plan include changes to planning controls to facilitate tourism and cultural infrastructure, an increased number of major festivals to bolster the City’s annual program of events, and continued investment in the renewal of the George St, Green Square and Chinatown precincts.
But the Council is not unanimous in supporting the draft strategy.
“It doesn’t go far enough,” said Councillor Angela Vithoulkas.
“The draft plans are just statements of actions currently being undertaken, and what might take place.
“They would be strengthened by being more relevant, forward thinking and fluid.”
The Draft Economic Development Strategy is available for public comment until September 30.