City council has narrow approach to job generation

17 December 2012

The City of Sydney’s recently released study of Employment Lands in South Sydney will reduce employment and stifle urban renewal, says the Urban Taskforce.

“The City of Sydney seems to be trying to protect outmoded manufacturing industries rather than encourage new diverse types of jobs that come with the new economies,” says Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson. “The report focuses on traditional industrial zoning in the mistaken belief that this means jobs.”


“The age of the internet and the move in Australia away from manufacturing opens a great opportunity to rebrand the area between the city and the airport as an area of creative and innovative jobs.


“The recent book on this topic by Enrico Moretti- ˜The New Geography of Jobs has opened up the debate about which cities in the US are moving forward on the jobs front and which are moving backwards. Moretti encourages a move to new types and greater variety in jobs.


As the city of Sydney LEP has now been gazette we assume the new study is the beginning of a process to renew the zoning of the Employment Lands in South Sydney.


With 19% of the study area vacant it would seem that a new approach is needed rather than a continuation of the existing zoning.


“The South Sydney land is the ideal location for more flexible approaches to mixed use jobs rather than a traditional industrial mono use.


“The proposed ‘Enterprise Zone’ in the planning Green Paper is ideal for the South Sydney area. This zone is to ˜proactively provide for innovative investment and to boost employment generation.


“The Sydney corporate Park operated by David Hannon is an excellent example of the mixed use approach that generates a large number of jobs. Included are office space, warehousing, theatre workshops, gymnasium, swimming pool, banks, post office, retail, conference facilities, car show rooms and service centres along with cafes and outdoor spaces.


“While the Urban Taskforce understands that the South Sydney Employment Lands study is an input into the decision making process we are concerned that the tone seems to be about preserving traditional jobs in an IN1 zoning.


“The restrictive IN1 zoning could lead to as few as 20 jobs per hectare in large industrial warehouses whereas vastly more jobs can be generated with a mixed use new technology approach.


“The Urban Taskforce calls on the City of Sydney to take a leadership role in rezoning the South Sydney Employment Lands as mixed use that generates jobs and allows other uses including residential in the spirit of the proposed ‘Enterprise Zone’.


“Further studies need to be done on the new geography of jobs across Sydney. While some areas are needed for industrial and manufacturing activities but we do need to grasp the new jobs coming with new technologies and have appropriate zonings for this.


“In Sydney, Macquarie Park and Norwest are examples of employment hubs that generate a great variety of jobs. Sydney needs more of these new job locations.


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