Have your say: Sydney’s long-term prosperity

| September 26, 2022

The City of Sydney is asking for input on a new economic strategy to help guide post-pandemic recovery and cement Sydney’s place as a revitalised, premier destination for business, retail, tourism and employment.

The City has released a new Economic Strategy Discussion Paper for community input, to help shape the City’s next economic strategy.

The Discussion Paper includes research and analysis of emerging global and local trends and will be used to garner feedback from the NSW Government, industry, precinct partners, local businesses, workers and wider community, as well as the City’s Business, Economic Development and Covid Recovery Advisory Panel. 

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the new strategy would help ensure the City continues to support a more prosperous, innovative and inclusive economy.

“In December 2013 we published a ten-year plan to strengthen our economy and support business. Since then, the climate crises and pandemic have had a devastating impact on our economy and our community,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We need to examine the new challenges and consider how to create a sustainable and resilient economic future. The new strategy will set out a short to medium term framework, with high-level actions for the city’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity.

“Sydney is home to Australia’s largest local economy, generating more than $138 billion per annum prior to the pandemic. As Australia’s global gateway our economy plays a significant role in supporting and influencing economies far beyond our geographic boundary, so it is important our economy is thriving and ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of the future.

“It is time to prepare a new economic strategy, particularly given the changes and uncertainty facing our city and economy. The vision identified in the draft discussion paper will help increase our economic resilience and ensure our long-term prosperity.

“We look forward to hearing from businesses big and small, employers, workers and our wider community as we create a plan for a resilient, sustainable and fair economy.”

Business Sydney Executive Director Paul Nicolaou encouraged all with a stake in Sydney’s economy to participate in the consultation process.

“Building Sydney back better than ever and reclaiming its rightful place as first choice for regional, interstate and international visitors, will require a team effort between both tiers of government and the business community,” Mr Nicolaou said.

“This initiative by the City of Sydney is a great example of the increasing co-operation and collaboration necessary between council and business to produce long-term recovery strategies that will make Sydney’s CBD a vibrant and attractive place for workers and visitors.”

The discussion paper outlines four major directions that will transition Sydney to a strong and resilient economy.

Transition to a green and circular economy

To become a strong green and circular economy the City will focus on leadership and commitment, education and knowledge sharing and support for key sectors.

It will continue to show leadership in its own practices, including its goal to reach a target of net zero emissions by 2035.

As the economic efficiency of Sydney improves, it will help create new business opportunities, more jobs and attract sustainable investment.

Education and knowledge sharing among communities about green and circular options will be encouraged.

The City will also support the development of key green sectors such as the environment advisory, sustainable finance, green utilities, green buildings, the sharing economy, green transport, waste management, cleantech innovation and green research.

Build an innovation economy

By promoting and supporting innovation, the City will boost Sydney’s innovation economy to ensure economic competitiveness in the long-term.

Innovation will enable the economy to recover, become more productive and take advantage of new opportunities through emerging sectors and new technology developments.

The City will continue to work with the NSW Government and other key stakeholders on developing and promoting the Tech Central innovation precinct.

Local startups and Sydney’s innovation ecosystem will be supported through the provision of affordable space, grants, capacity-building programs and knowledge sharing.

Sydney will be positioned as a globally innovative city that is safe, desirable, and attractive for international students, talent, entrepreneurs, business and investment.

Strengthen the inclusive economy

The City will focus on creating a more equitable and inclusive economy, ensuring economic prosperity is shared by all.

The City will invest in initiatives that remove potential barriers for community members to work to ensure fair employment and opportunities for all.

The City will prioritise community wealth building principles – a people-centred approach that redirects wealth back into the local economy. It will also work closely with partner organisations to create economic, environmental and social benefits for local communities, and increase access to affordable spaces for working, living and learning.

Revitalise the city centre

Emerging from the pandemic, Sydney aims to be a city rich in diverse experiences – a world leader in design and sustainability; a place to shop, be entertained and have fun with great events and festivals; a place to be creative and share the importance of Sydney’s unique character and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island stories; a place where people can innovate and collaborate; and a place to connect global audiences to the rest of Australia.

The City will continue to support local businesses to recover, innovate, upskill and prosper, while rules and regulations will be streamlined to make it easier to activate spaces in the city and boost the 24-hour economy.

The economic strategy discussion paper will be open for public comment for around six weeks while key business and industry stakeholders are briefed and advisory panel members are consulted.

Community members can provide feedback on Sydney Your Say.

The City will review feedback and work with the advisory panel and other stakeholders on the City’s next economic strategy. It is anticipated this will be presented to Council in 2023/24.

The economic strategy paper’s vision to build a strong and resilient economy aligns with the City’s recently adopted strategic plan, Sustainable Sydney 2030–2050 Continuing the Vision. This sets out detailed strategies and actions plans including the Central Sydney Planning Strategy as the planning framework that supports future growth.

Photo credit – Abril Felmanto