The following opinion piece first appeared in The Daily Telegraph on 19 May 2016.
By Cathryn Carver, Executive General Manager of Corporate & Specialised Banking at NAB
Western Sydney is the engine room of the New South Wales economy, and its performance is integral to the success of our country.
Western Sydney is the country’s third largest urban economy, stretching over nearly 9,000 square kilometres of residential, industrial and rural land.
Over two million people call the region home, with another million expected to move there over the next 15 years.
The local population has grown by over 25 per-cent since 1996 and by 2036 its population will exceed 3 million people, making it one of the fastest growing regions in Australia.
The economy has a gross regional product of over $97.1bn and is home to over 155,000 businesses.
The region is forecast to create 380,000 new jobs and enjoy an investment boom of up to $30 billion worth of new infrastructure projects.
Never has the economic prosperity of the region been so vital to the success of our nation.
This is a large and growing region that is very important not just for the people and businesses that are located here, but for the country more broadly.
With a Federal Election campaign and the Go West campaign there is a sustained focus on the local economy.
We need that focus to continue.
We need a sustained commitment from all levels of government, the business community and society – to help local businesses grow, create more jobs and in turn build stronger communities.
The local economy is performing strongly and with the continued investment in local infrastructure we are seeing from all levels of government the opportunities for growth are substantial.
We need to ensure that Western Sydney has the infrastructure it needs to continue to grow and prosper.
We are proud to have been at the forefront of financing some of the biggest and most important infrastructure projects in the region.
When the right infrastructure is provided to a particular region, its residents and its business benefit enormously from it and it is encouraging to see a long term commitment from the federal government to funding quality infrastructure projects, that will provide certainty, support our growing population and regional development.
It is critical that Western Sydney has the infrastructure it needs to continue to grow and prosper and NAB has been at the forefront of financing some of the biggest and most important infrastructure projects in the region.
This not only helps the residents and businesses within Western Sydney, but provides flow-on benefits to the rest of NSW as well.
NAB has helped finance dozens of infrastructure projects in Western Sydney and is committed to playing a major role helping meet the challenges of Western Sydney’s growing infrastructure need.
We are seeing the results of this sustained investment with the growth in many businesses throughout Western Sydney.
We need to continue to play their role in driving the local economy, and that means much more than just lending money.
Our role is more than just providing a basic transactional service. We need to partner with businesses so they can reach their full potential.
As the biggest business bank in the country, we are proud to work alongside businesses who are delivering the ideas and products that can become the next success stories of this region.
One recent example of this collaboration is the launch of the Western Sydney University’s ‘Launch Pad’ program – a major initiative developed with government and corporate partners.
Small businesses will benefit from new co working spaces and collaboration opportunities with world experts with Western Sydney University and NAB today announcing a new partnership to drive Western Sydney’s innovation eco-system.
We need to be there to support customers, when they have that initial idea, and as they grow.
There are growth opportunities for business across Financial and Professional Services, Education, Healthcare, IT and Advanced Manufacturing.
There is strong support across all levels of Government, Education and the Business sector to develop Western Sydney into an innovative business community.
As we have seen through the pages of the Daily Telegraph over recent weeks many businesses in Western Sydney are looking to grow their business.
Whether it was Cath’s Cakes looking to expand their store footprint, or Gulf Western Oil leveraging recent free trade agreements to expand their customer base – there are any number of success stories in the west.
As this campaign comes to an end, and as the Go West bus rolls on, let’s continue to work with the local community in helping them reach their full potential.
Building stronger communities is a key focus of the Federal election campaign, as it should be. When local businesses are supported and thriving so are the communities they are based in.