The Consul-General of Japan in Sydney's Newsletter - Past Issues
No. 6 Western Sydney Development –
High Expectations for Japanese Private Sector - January 10, 2020
あけましておめでとうございます。I wish friends of the Australia-Japan relationship all the best for 2020.
As I sit down to write this newsletter, the bushfire emergency in NSW continues in many locations, and I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the families and communities affected by the fires. I sincerely hope for the earliest possible end to the fire emergency and the earliest possible start on the road to recovery.
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Since I assumed the post of Consul-General of Japan in Sydney, the business topic attracting the most attention has been “Western Sydney Development”. There are extremely high expectations for the participation of Japanese companies, and I have been working with a wide range of stakeholders to realise the greatest possible use of Japanese technology and know-how. The first passenger flights from the new Western Sydney International Airport are planned for 2026, but if you consider the time required for all the necessary preparations, the year 2020 will be the key year. As I introduce recent developments, let us reflect upon the significance of Western Sydney Development and the possibilities it has for Japan.
The Hon. Stuart Ayres MP, NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney,
speaking at the Western Sydney International Airport Experience Centre
On 18 October, the week after my arrival, I took part in a site visit program for the Western Sydney Development area arranged for members of the Sydney consular corps. Travelling about 1 hour by bus, we arrived at the site of the Western Sydney International Airport, and we received a briefing by the NSW Minister for Western Sydney Development, the Hon. Stuart Ayres MP, at the Western Sydney International Airport Experience Centre, which had just opened the month before. At the airport site, construction has begun and it is clear that the project is moving from the planning stage to the implementation stage.
Vision of A Metropolis of Three Cities
© State of New South Wales through the Greater Sydney Commission
Today, 4.7 million people live in Greater Sydney. This is projected to reach 8 million in 40 years. In order to meet this growth in population and subsequent economic and structural changes, the ‘Vision of a Metropolis of Three Cities’ was created. Greater Sydney will be divided into three – ‘Western Parkland City’, ‘Central River City’ and ‘Eastern Harbour City’, and industry, employment and housing will be distributed accordingly. Aiming to achieve a ‘30-minute city’, investment in and innovation for the necessary economic and social infrastructure will be actively promoted.
The development of the Western Parkland City, which has the Western Sydney Airport and Aerotropolis as its core, will be the driving force to enable this vision to be realised. In March 2018, the Federal and NSW State Governments and the eight local governments in the area signed the Western Sydney City Deal.
Western Sydney Development Symposium inviting MoU partners, held 16 December 2019
Following on from NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s visit to Japan in August 2017, which introduced Western Sydney Development to Japanese businesses and organisations, in October and November 2018 the NSW Government signed four MoUs regarding Western Sydney Aerotropolis with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Hitachi Ltd, and Urban Renaissance Agency. This can be seen as evidence of the trust in Japanese technology and know-how to deliver quality infrastructure, including transport and smart-city infrastructure. In conjunction with these developments, the NSW Government has established the Western City and Aerotropolis Authority (WCAA). It has also increased the number of MoU partners from 10 to 18 and is proceeding to take steps to realise plans.
Towards the end of 2019, a new stage was reached. On 6 December, the Western Sydney Aerotropolis Planning Package was announced and comments are being sought through to late February. On 16 December, the WCAA invited all 18 MoU partners to a symposium which had high-level Federal, State and Local Government representation. The WCAA’s strategy ‘Delivering the Western Parkland City’ and the latest project schedule were released at the symposium, and it was revealed that there would be public consultation on the major Western City Aerotropolis policy papers in late 2020.
WCAA Strategy paper: precincts and key industries
The Aerotropolis planning package and WCAA strategy paper both discuss the 10 precincts that comprise the Aerotropolis; the planning of 6 initial precincts is being prioritised, and among them, greater priority is being given to (1) advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defence in the Aerotropolis Core and (2) advanced agriculture, food production and manufacture, and logistics in the Agribusiness precinct.
WCAA Strategy paper: transportation and infrastructure
Furthermore, planning is underway for transportation systems and smart-city utilities – water, energy and waste management – that will support the 24-hour operation of the airport.
Having attended the WCAA Symposium on 16 December, I was able to gain an understanding of why expectations of Japan are so high in regards to the Western Sydney Development project. During Japan’s industrialization, Japan gradually developed urban centres while connecting the metropolitan areas and ‘bedtowns’ (outlying areas where commuters live) with public transport networks. For example, Minato Mirai in Yokohama City and Tsukuba Science City are successful models of urban planning that effectively connect the city centres with the purpose-designed industry hubs and their related employment. The efficiency of the public transport system and the thoroughness of waste management in Japan are unique. Energy and the adoption of ICT are world-class. In addition, in Japan, large companies, SMEs and start-ups all have their own strengths.
NSW 2040 Economic Blueprint: overview (pp.6-7)
© State of New South Wales (NSW Treasury), (2019)
The NSW Government, which leads Western Sydney Development, released its mid- to long-term economic strategy for NSW on 20 November (“NSW 2040 Economic Blueprint”) and its global strategy followed on 4 December (“Global NSW Strategy”). Building on the state’s current prosperity, the economic strategy aims for continuous economic growth, fostering a competitive workforce, liveable cities, highly productive regions, leading and world-class businesses, environment and resource management, and efficient government. The global strategy is designed to support NSW’s economic strategy and develop Sydney and NSW as Australia’s global hub. To this end, the NSW Government announced it will assign top-level representatives to hub cities around the world – an Agent General in London, and Senior Commissioners in New York, Mumbai, Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo.
Source: Cabinet Office, Government of Japan
Today, as Japan faces the future, the Cabinet Office and Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) among others are using public-private partnerships to advance ‘Society 5.0 for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’. Through the tight integration of cyberspace and physical space, Society 5.0 will create a human-centred society while achieving economic growth and solving key social problems. This is being fostered in wide-ranging areas – mobility, healthcare and caregiving, manufacturing, agriculture, food, disaster prevention and energy.
In Australia, the Federal, State and Local Governments are working together, committing significant resources to the Western Sydney Development, and they are after quality infrastructure. I believe that now is the time for Japan to contribute - actively from the planning stages onwards - in order that this concept of ‘Society 5.0’may be realised as part of Western Sydney Development.
Important economic events are already planned for early this year: in February 2020, the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Economic Mission will visit Sydney, and in March, the Australia-Japan Infrastructure Networking Conference will be held here. Making the most of these opportunities, I would like to do all I can to encourage the participation of Japanese companies in Western Sydney Development and see Japanese technology and know-how utilised in Western Sydney Development. This could serve as a basis for expanding such development throughout the world.
Greater Sydney Regional Plan: A Metropolis of Three Cities (updated March 2018)
Western Sydney City Deal (March 2018)
Western Sydney Aerotropolis Planning Package (6 December 2019)
Western City & Aerotropolis Authority (WCAA) Strategy (December 2019)
NSW 2040 Economic Blueprint (20 November 2019)
Global NSW (4 December 2019)
Society 5.0 (Cabinet Office, Government of Japan)