I have been in Australian since 1994 as I live and work in New South Wales. In my professional life, I have been able to visit several cities in New South Wales – Sydney, Wollongong, New Castle and Parramatta being some of them. And to me Parramatta stands out to as one of fastest growing cities of Greater Sydney. Today with nearly 180, 000 residents and 16,000 businesses producing a revenue of more than $14billion, it can definitely be called the ‘most happening city’ – the city to look for in the future.
AS I sit down opposite the Town Hall for my lunch, I look at it like never before. The city of Parramatta was founded 1788 and is the oldest inland European settlement. It is also the third largest heritage precinct in Australia. Parramatta Park is a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site. The city that is known to have 20,000 years of Aboriginal population, today has people who come from different parts of the globe like India, China, Lebanon, South Korea, United Kingdom and Philippines. This multilingual, multicultural population is young, educated and affluent. The overseas Indians make up 8.1% of the total population of Parramatta. The presence of good educational institutions is a prime prerequisite for the Indian population when they decide to buy homes and Parramatta city has its fair share of private schools such as Kings school and Tara Anglican School for Girls and James Ruse Agricultural High School which is a selective school. The comprehensive public schools in the area include Parramatta Public School, Macarthur Girls School and Arthur Phillip High School. The University of Western Sydney, University of England and Charles Sturt University offer aspiring students excellent tertiary educational options, to both local and international students.
Parramatta is a city with a strong historic heritage, a diverse educated population well supported by thriving financial and business firms. It is also the second largest employment destination in Sydney with major financial and business service firms such as Deloitte, GE Money, SunCorp, QBE and News Limited having their offices here. And so it is not surprising that every day nearly 120,000 people travel to Parramatta CBD, making it the sixth largest business district in Australia. The city is well connected by the bus, train and ferry networks. Parramatta train station is the fourth largest in Australia with over 50,000 commuters every day. It is only a 27-minute train ride from Parramatta to Sydney CBD.
Parramatta offers its residents excellent quality of life too with top notch cafes, restaurants and shopping centres. It has everything to fulfil its dream to become the ‘future city’. Through well-structured planning and development adequate infrastructure is also being put in place. The city has already started the process by becoming Australia’s first 5G wireless network city. Some of the other reasons why Parramatta looks to become the future city of Australia are, it having a town square face lift worth $2billion dollars, a 900-million-dollar investment in Westmead for Biomedical precinct which is expected to generate 7,000 new jobs and employ 21,000 people by 2036. Additionally, there is going to be an 8-billion-dollar investment in building and construction in Parramatta by several prominent construction companies. There is also expansion of the proposed 20 storeys 35,000 sq. metre commercial tower designed to sit on top of the present Westfield shopping centre. 19.730 sq. metre of A-grade office with central courtyard and cafe will also be a great addition to the city of Parramatta. And a billion dollars are to be invested in the Western Sydney light rail network which will connect Parramatta to Castle Hill and Epping.
As I finish my lunch, I am left with no doubts in my mind that with its history, diversity of people and heavy investments, Parramatta undoubtedly will be crowned as one of the best future cities in Australia. This is a city that is growing at a rapid phase to accommodate the 25% of Australia’s population growth in the next 25 years. I am proud to say that I am witnessing and am a part of the incredible and noticeable change the city is going through to become and remain as one of the most sought after cities not just in Western Sydney but in New South Wales and Australia.
The author of this article is a Property Industry Executive based in Sydney.