District commissioner visits Westmead

Posted 04 Oct 2016
Westmead Redevelopment's Nicky Seaby (right), Ed Blakely (3rd from right) and University of Sydney students

Everything from traffic to good coffee shops was discussed when District Commissioner Ed Blakely visited Westmead last week.

Ed is part of the agency Greater Sydney Commission formed last year and headed by Chief Commissioner Lucy Turnbull.

Ed is one of six District Commissioners leading a different approach to planning in the greater Sydney area. Ed’s area covers Parramatta and surrounds and he sees Westmead as a critical part of the district.

Ed’s goal, and the goal of the Greater Sydney Commission, is to connect local planning with longer-term regional planning and ensure that there is better coordination with State and local government planning.

Ed has been hands on in his role and spent the day meeting with a wide range of staff, students, researchers and clinicians at all levels in a number of organisations across the district.

Some of the common themes that staff and students raised with Ed were:

  • Making Westmead a great place to be that staff and students will want to live close by (such as activity and coffee shops open on weekends)
  • The need for more quick and healthy food options for those staff and students working long hours
  • Making Westmead a healthy community with a campus gym that is open long hours, communal bikes like in most European cities, access to a swimming pool and other organised physical activity that could be in Parramatta Parklands
  • Trains from Epping, a stop at Westmead for the trains from the Blue Mountains, reviewing the T-Way and putting in better bike paths
  • Safe places to leave your push bike at train stations
  • Importance of safety in Parramatta Parklands and around Parramatta CBD

Of course the topic on everyone’s mind was raised – car parking.

“I will do anything I can to help support more people into shared transport – whether that is car-pooling, buses or trains” Ed said.

Ed was very impressed with the engagement of everyone who participated and provided their ideas. Ed also took away a number of actions and ideas and looks forward to more trips to Westmead in the future.

“If we don’t succeed at Westmead we can’t succeed at all,” he said.

Related information

Greater Sydney Commission website

Transport project page on Westmead Redevelopment website

Car parking project page

University of Sydney partnership announcement - September 2016

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