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Aerotropolis, Bradfield, Western Parkland City: confusion reigns supreme

There is a lot of planning going on, by a lot of people, on developing the land around the Western Sydney International airport at Badgerys Creek.

You’ve got the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, around 11,000 hectares that will be home to industry and innovation.

Then there’s the Bradfield City Centre, which will be the heart of the Western Parkland City. Pictured is a computer generated image of what it may look like on completion. Sometimes, Bradfield is officially referred to as a new city.

Although the actual heart of the whole lot, which I think is called the Western Parkland City, will be the airport itself, due to open in late 2026.

Confused? Join the club.

I am not sure if it’s just me being a cynical journalist, but it all looks suspiciously like a few new layers of bureaucracy have been created over the past six years.

However, looking at this analytically, it makes sense to rezone land around the airport in anticipation of the industries and services that will want to operate in and around it.

It also makes sense to establish one government authority or instrumentality to oversee the provision of all the necessary infrastructure for all of the land around the airport that will in time be home to industries large and small.

But why this Western Parkland City? Well, thanks to the Greater Sydney Commission, another layer of bureaucracy, Sydney has been divided into three “cities’’: Eastern, Central and Western.

The latter is where the Parkland City comes in.

Of course right here, right now, all that land around the new airport belongs to existing local councils.

So someone, no doubt a bureaucrat straight from the Yes, Minister mould, suggested forming an alliance of all eight councils that would work with the Western Parkland City Authority.

But guess where this Authority’s head office is? Parramatta, which is the heart of another city, the Central one.

How’s that cloud of confusion going, clearing at all? No, not for me either.

And don’t get me started on Bradfield, the proposed city centre, I think, of Western Parkland City.

I am not saying all this was intentional, but with an election looming, both for Canberra and Macquarie Street, something needs to be done to bust the confusion about what’s going to happen around the new airport.

I am not even sure we need a new name for anything, and certainly I am cynical about the three separate cities inside Sydney, especially if the headquarters of one is located in one of the others.

The “Bradfield’’ name is really annoying and out of place in 2022 in Australia. An indigenous name such as Burragorang should have been used if one was needed at all.

This is supposed to be a computer generated image of the aerotropolis, but it does look very similar to official images of the Bradfield city centre.

But even Blind Freddie would guess that this entire caper is costing we the taxpayers a hell of a lot of money, because there’s numerous executive positions within all these bureaucratic layers, each commanding hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Just on that basis alone there should be an inquiry into this bureaucratic explosion.

It’s also interesting that none of these “authorities’’ planning a new city have yet talked about the real things that make a city, schools, universities, hospitals and community playing fields to mention just a few.

We’ve gone from having hardly any planning in Sydney, especially for out this way, to drowning in over planning.

It really is scary to think how much all this is costing the country and taxpayers.

It is also scary to think how little say ordinary people have these days in how their own future is being shaped by anonymous time servers.

But let them be on notice that the worm can turn and it’s probably just a matter of time.

2 Responses to Aerotropolis, Bradfield, Western Parkland City: confusion reigns supreme

  1. Anne Blackwood April 25, 2022 at 11:34 am #

    Hi Eric
    On a similar matter. Remember that $29 million set aside in the budget a few years ago to investigate the Maldon-Dombarton Railway? What’s happening there?

    • Eric Kontos April 26, 2022 at 9:34 am #

      That’s a very good question, thanks Anne.

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