Market Sounding Announcement - FAQs

What land was considered during the market sounding?

The market sounding looked at future opportunities for government-owned land within the Westmead Health, Education and Innovation Precinct. Specifically:

  • Part of the Parramatta North Growth Centre being the Cumberland Hospital (East) Campus owned by UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation.
  • The Cumberland Hospital (West) Campus and other identified land owned by Health Administration Corporation.

What is the NSW Government's vision for this area?

The NSW Government vision for Westmead is to create a Western Sydney precinct that supports cutting edge research and innovation, provides public open spaces for sport and recreational activities and brings the nationally listed heritage core at Parramatta North to life with creative industries, cultural heritage and arts activities.

Did the market sounding support this vision?

The market sounding process confirmed market confidence in this vision. What we found was that the market supports the creation of a vibrant 24/7 destination that is fully integrated with the Parramatta Light Rail and delivers medical, sports, creative industries, arts and cultural uses along with housing options for students, staff and the wider Parramatta community.

The NSW Government has now announced plans for a world class, international Westmead Precinct that will lead the world in health, education and innovation.

How many participants were able to meet the Government's requirements?

The University of Sydney was identified as the only anchor that has the scale and commitment to provide a world class, multidisciplinary campus and become a catalyst for the development of the Westmead Health, Education and Innovation Precinct.

Why has the University of Sydney been chosen to participate in ongoing negotiations?

The University of Sydney has the academic breadth, depth and reputational excellence required to help the Westmead Health, Education and Innovation District reach its full potential.

Will land on the two campuses be sold?

Government-owned land on the Cumberland East and West campuses could be assigned to new enterprises under lease or freehold arrangements.

The University of Sydney proposes to acquire all of Cumberland Hospital West Campus and part of Cumberland Hospital East, zoned to reflect the University’s proposed use, to build a multidisciplinary campus. 

Parramatta North Growth Centre areas outside the heritage core have already been through a rezoning process. Flexible outcomes complementary to the Innovation Precinct including mixed-uses such as residential, educational, medical and recreational are allowed.  This would allow for new homes for those wanting to live near the proposed Innovation precinct, including future generations working in disciplines like science, technology, engineering and research.

What will happen to the heritage core?

The nationally-listed heritage core will remain in public ownership for current and future generations. Its rich cultural and social significance will be continued to be respected and a conservation program is currently underway. Over time these buildings may be available for a range of adaptive re-uses.

The NSW Government may explore any responses obtained during the market sounding that articulated possible uses that are aligned to the broader Precinct’s strategic vision and respect of cultural and historical values.

UrbanGrowth NSW is working closely with our partners across government, community and industry to realise a shared vision that respects its indigenous, colonial and institutional past and shapes an exciting future for the people of Parramatta and NSW.

What other investments is the NSW Government making in this area?

The NSW Government investment within this area includes Parramatta Light Rail, an underground Sydney Metro West station at Westmead; the National Heritage Listing of the heritage core in the Parramatta North Growth Centre, the heritage repair works within the Growth Centre and the significant investment in the redevelopment at Westmead.

Future planning will build on the increased accessibility offered by the Parramatta Light Rail and the extension of the Sydney Metro West line to Westmead.

What is the University of Sydney proposing?

The University of Sydney aims to build on its already strong foundation of multidisciplinary research and education, next to its existing academic footprint at Westmead Hospital, to invest beyond health and medicine to include engineering, advanced manufacturing, information technologies, science and the humanities.

The University of Sydney wants their teaching, research and engagement activities at Parramatta/Westmead to focus on solving societal challenges that have impact on both a local and global level.  The University advises they are conducting a rigorous process to define the academic themes that will underpin academic activity on the new campus.

What benefits does the University of Sydney's proposal promise to deliver?

The University of Sydney would provide local access to world class innovative educational opportunities not only to students living in Western Sydney but the wider community and internationally.

In the next ten years, this first phase of investment promises to create an additional 450 science and research jobs in the University; 3,500 jobs in healthcare, education, biotechnology, manufacturing and other high value industries; and enable hundreds of millions of dollars in third-party investment in local research and development.

What are the long term economic benefits projected to be?

The University aims to build an innovative, vibrant and comprehensive campus at Westmead that will have more than 25,000 students and 2,500 staff by 2050

Over the next 30 years, the University of Sydney’s proposal will create more than 20,000 new jobs and add more than $13 billion to the NSW economy, $3 billion in exports and contribute an additional $5.7 billion in federal and state taxes.

Will this mean jobs growth in Western Sydney

By 2050, 20,000 new jobs including a range of new high-value knowledge intensive jobs both within the University campus and more broadly across the Innovation District are expected to have been created.

When are the first students likely to be on campus?

The proposed first phase of the University of Sydney’s Parramatta/ Westmead campus would see 5000 students being educated by 2027.  By 2050 the University’s Parramatta/ Westmead campus will have more than 25,000 students and 2,500 staff.

Did Western Sydney University take part in the process?

The University of Sydney advises that they have commenced formal discussions with Western Sydney University to establish joint research and education initiatives at Westmead.

What other facilities are likely to be built?

It will be a vibrant 24/7 destination that is fully integrated with the Parramatta Light Rail and delivers medical, sports, creative industries, arts and cultural uses along with housing options for students and staff and the wider community.

Will open space be preserved?

The area will provide improved access to significant open space, including the river foreshore.

What are the next steps?

Health Infrastructure NSW and UrbanGrowth NSW will now jointly lead a 24-month exclusive negotiation period with the University of Sydney as the anchor tenant for a Westmead Health, Education and Innovation Precinct in Western Sydney.

Necessary studies, reports and analysis to progress a master plan are being undertaken by Government.  A revised business case will be prepared to support the vision, master plan and objectives of locating a University in the Westmead Precinct.

When will there be opportunities for other sectors of the market to become involved?

The NSW Government may seek greater market involvement and commitment during 2019.

When will there be an opportunity for the community to submit feedback?

UrbanGrowth NSW and Health Infrastructure are working together to develop a master plan for the Westmead Precinct with the University of Sydney as the anchor tenant.  Community feedback will be sought during the master planning process.

What has happened to to the DA lodged previously with Council?

Urban Growth NSW will review the current DA in light of the market sounding findings and look at options for market accommodation in the area.

What was the purpose of the market sounding?

The purpose of the market sounding was to test the market’s appetite in delivering the NSW Government’s strategic vision for a world-leading health, education, and innovation precinct. UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation and Health Infrastructure NSW engaged with industry and other stakeholders to explore the best outcome for this area.

When “testing the market” government investigated the interest and enthusiasm for others to be involved. The market sounding:

  • Gathered insights from industry sectors, academia and the broader community on how to create a world-leading Health, Education and Innovation Precinct.
  • Tested market appetite on how potential participants and partners may be involved and the constraints and opportunities seen in delivering this Health Education and Innovation Precinct.
  • Identified critical drivers including economic influences, processes, timing, funding requirements and key relationships that support an innovation ecosystem
  • Sought guidance on how the NSW Government can attract diversified participants and partners including attracting local and international investment and interest

When did the market sounding take place?

UrbanGrowth NSW Development Corporation and Health Infrastructure NSW jointly undertook market sounding during June and August 2018.

Was the market sounding limited to industry?

No, groups across academia and the broader community were also invited to participate. Any potential partner or participant ranging from start-ups, scale-ups, delivery partners, anchor tenants or landlords, educational and research bodies or institutes, government agencies, not-for-profit and private sector accommodation providers and builders were able to participate in an online questionnaire to help determine what they might bring to the process.

Was the community asked to contribute?

While it was not community consultation, people or businesses within the broader community were welcome to respond to the NSW Government’s strategic vision.

What was the process?

Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire targeted to help with analysis and collating information. The process was run by independent advisors Ernst & Young and overseen by an independent Probity Officer. Interested parties were able to lodge their submissions via a secure NSW Government website portal. A report was prepared following the market sounding to inform future government decisions on the Precinct.