The frustrated boss of one of western Sydney’s most ambitious projects has criticized government planning delays as she unveiled her vision for the 2,000-acre site, which is now unlikely to open next to the new airport.
If realized, Western Sydney Lakes would be home to a business park, film studios, golf course, waterways, big name hospitality offerings modeled on the Coogee Pavilion or Bondi Icebergs, a lake run to rival the bay of the inner west, and lakeside beaches.
Formerly known as Penrith Lakes, the massive site is owned by Boral, Hanson Australia and Holcim Australia and was previously touted as Western Sydney’s answer to Barangaroo.
Chief executive Jacqueline Vozzo unveiled the plans to Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet on Thursday at the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue Boomtown Summit, but later criticized the government for taking too long to make decisions on planning approval.
“Even a quick ‘no’ is much better than a long, drawn out ‘yes’…we have to keep going,” she said.
“In western Sydney… we have five ministers, we have 13 agencies, and you have to go through that whole funding process before you can get a result in western Sydney.
“We’re not getting any capital investment and we’re not going to get there unless we streamline that process and we actually have an integrated planning and transportation system that will make a decision quickly.”
A series of proposed changes to state land use planning policies for the site, to accommodate the golf course, a film production area and a heliport, were put on public display in August 2021, but no decision has yet been made.