An additional station will be required as part of Sydney’s $10 billion Metro West rail project connecting Parramatta and the CBD, according to the UDIA.
The NSW arm of the Urban Development Institute of Australia said that the creation of a new station at Camellia could help alleviate growing pains in the western Sydney as well as contribute upwards of $1.1 billion to the state’s economy.
A report from the peak body found that the inclusion of the station, in Sydney’s old industrial heartland on the Camellia Peninsula, to the Metro West rail line, could eventually support 23,000 dwellings, 15,300 jobs and 11,000 construction jobs out to 2050.
“The West Metro is an important city-shaping opportunity, and the West deserves more long-term thinking about its future growth,” UDIA chief executive Steve Mann told The Urban Developer.
“This suburb sits on the fringe of the burgeoning Parramatta CBD, will have low impact on the neighbouring suburban environment, and open up this industrial island to future community uses.
“It is hard to see why this opportunity has not been seized by NSW government, but there is still time to get it right.”
The 350-hectare Camellia peninsula, which remains as one of the few brownfield site of its size and scale in central Sydney, employed more than 26,000 people in the 1970s when used as an industrial precinct.
Currently the area employs fewer than 1,500 people, with the majority located at the Australian Turf Club at Rosehill.
Hopes for development and new infrastructure projects in the area were halted by a Greater Sydney Commission’s (GSC) recommendation against rezoning the suburb for housing, offices and retail.
Parramatta lord mayor Bob Dwyer said he strongly opposed the recommendation to retain underused Camellia’s current zoning rather than redeveloping it, calling instead for an acceleration in the timeframe for Camellia’s transformation.
“Camellia is a key part of the City’s story [and] its location on the Parramatta River and near the Parramatta CBD makes it an obvious precinct for jobs, housing and transport—including a new Metro West station.
“The NSW government shouldn’t be abandoning plans for Camellia’s revitalisation when Sydney’s economy is recovering from the Covid-19 crisis.
“It would be a missed opportunity if Camellia was left off the critical Metro West network,” Dwyer said.
Construction is currently under way on stage one of the Parramatta Light Rail, with a stop planned for Camellia-Rosehill.
Another estimate by Value Advisory Partners indicated that mass public transport and road bridge connections in Camellia could eventually deliver 38,000 new jobs in the region by 2050.
Alternative research by VAP, identified Rosehill and Camellia as the worst performing region in Sydney for jobs growth with negative 4.3 per cent per annum over the last 25 years.
Planning minister Rob Stokes said The future of the Camellia-Rosehill area remained a decision for government with the independent advice of the GSC seen as a consideration.
“Planning strategically for this area will be a boon for Western Sydney and will take advantage of the government’s investment in the Parramatta Light Rail to support jobs and housing.”
The western Sydney hub, singled out as a key part of the future development of Sydney under plans unveiled in 2016 by the Greater Sydney Commission, has been awash with urban renewal and construction in recent years.
Major property players including GPT, Charter Hall, Dexus and Lang Walker have been making inroads into the municipality.
Last year, Lang Walker's Walker Corporation was granted development approval for the final two commercial towers in the $3.2 billion Parramatta Square project.