Speaking at the Sydney event, Innovation that fuels job growth, Mr Laundy spoke on the Turnbull Government’s plan for Western Sydney.
Mr Laundy said that while Western Sydney is third largest economy in Australia, it has reached this position in an “ad hoc” way.
“We’ve relied on individual endeavour and a degree of luck rather than careful planning,” he said.
“Services and infrastructure have often been afterthoughts, lagging behind population growth.
“Western Sydney’s population is set to grow by one million people over the next 20 years.
“So imagine what could be achieved with a cohesive, long-term plan for growth.”
He said Western Sydney is forecast to increase to 340,000 by 2041 as the West absorbs much of the expected increase in Sydney’s population.
“This will put a massive strain on infrastructure, lead to longer commutes, and make it harder for people who need to work locally to find jobs,” he said
To keep pace with the increasing population, and the jobs and infrastructure it will need, Mr Laundy said “We’ve put in place whole-of-government initiatives like the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the National Business Simplification Initiative and our Free Trade Agreements.
“We’ve complemented these with regional programs like the Western Sydney City Deal, Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan, and Western Sydney Airport.
“And we’re working closely with the State Government and local councils so that what we’re doing fits together, and contributes to this region’s growth.”
He cited a recent Deloitte report into Western Sydney that said, “the solution is to address the fundamental imbalance in Sydney’s jobs market by creating more great jobs at sufficient density in Western Sydney.”
He believes that innovation will drive jobs growth and said it was his desire to see Western Sydney Australia’s innovation capital.
“Building off that, I’m pleased that the Prime Minister has put me in charge of the National Business Simplification Initiative, with the support of Angus Taylor, the Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, and Kelly O’Dwyer, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services,” he said
“Part of this initiative is an agreement we’ve struck with state and territory governments.
“The National Business Simplification Initiative is set to include an agreement with state and territory governments to reduce the complexity of regulation for businesses and make it easier for them to deal with government.
“We’re already working with the New South Wales government on a project to reduce how much time it takes to set up a café, restaurant, or small bar in the Parramatta area.
“Most people would be astounded that, in New South Wales, it takes up to 18 months to open a café and involves completing up to 48 forms and complying with up to 75 regulations.
“The state government has implemented a range of measures to reduce the set-up time for businesses from 18 months to three months,” Mr Laundy said.
He said if the Parramatta project proves to be a success, his department will look to roll it out in other regions and sectors.
“Why am I so bullish on where Western Sydney is headed?” Mr Laundy asked.
“Because we will achieve so much more with a sound plan. It’s why we’re making it easier for our businesses to grow and succeed.”