COVID recovery needed in all Sydney suburbs, not just the CBD

Friday 4 February 2022

In response to the Committee for Sydney report released this week proposing ideas for the future of the CBD, Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne has called for the NSW Government to apply the same thinking to all of Sydney’s suburbs, not just the big end of town.

Byrne said it is time for the NSW Government to invest in activating and revitalising the Inner West and suburban Sydney

“There are many good ideas in the Committee for Sydney report but the fixation of policy makers and the NSW Government on throwing money at activating the CDB while failing to invest in main street activation, the arts and culture across the rest of Sydney must end,” Byrne said.

“The NSW Government has already spent millions on activations, live performance and outdoor dining in the CBD and the City of Sydney is the richest Council in Australia.

“They need to realise that support for COVID recovery and public space activation is needed in local suburbs across Sydney not just in the central city.

“Inner West has a hugely vibrant arts and cultural community – in fact we are home to the largest number of artists and musicians in Sydney.

“Like many Councils we have developed detailed plans for COVID recovery through outdoor dining and live performance, but we are yet to receive a single dollar from the Government to assist with these efforts.

“The problem with this report is that it is seems to be only recommending funding these activations in Sydney’s CBD, when Sydney’s recovery will actually be generated in the suburbs not from the city centre.

Byrne said the CBD had been declining for the past decade and the Government should support the preference Sydney residents to go out in their own neighbourhoods.

“The CBD has been pretty dead after dark for years now and it’s starting to seem like the Government is flogging a dead horse,” said Byrne.

“The lock-out-laws and the George Street light rail debacle changed visitation patterns well before COVID arrived. By only investing in reactivation of the CBD the Government is throwing good money after bad.

“All the current evidence shows that people aren’t travelling to the city because of COVID-19 fears. They are more likely to attend local events in their own suburbs and Councils across Sydney should be supported to help make this happen.

“We’re urging the NSW Government to level the playing field, get a bit creative with their thinking and share the love around with their efforts to revitalise the Sydney.”

The Committee for Sydney Report calls for:

· Cultural institutions to be funded to stay ‘open late’ all week
· Funding of infrastructure and incentivising developers and landowners to install digital technology into their buildings for cultural activation and digital artworks
· Grant funding for cultural and community celebrations all year round
· Discounted fares on trains and other public transport into the CBD at night

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Page last updated: 04 Feb 2022