Business Sydney believes the NSW Budget recognises the need for ongoing stimulus funding in order to restore Sydney’s still-struggling CBD to its pre-Covid levels of economic activity and employment.
“Sydney’s CBD contributed over $130 billion to the state’s economy prior to Covid, but due to closed borders and working from home, the state’s economic powerhouse lags well behind in economic recovery and needs every dollar announced today and more to return to its former glory,” said Damian Kelly, Acting Executive Director, Business Sydney.
“Initiatives including the $50m for Friday lunch vouchers, $20m for CBD overnight stays, and the $20m in music and cultural activations helping CBD revitalization, are all vital in bringing workers and visitors back to still often empty city streets.
“The foundation for a reinvigorated city has been boosted by budget funding for Sydney’s arts and cultural institutions including the $500m revamp of the Ultimo Powerhouse, $119 to begin turning historic Macquarie Street East into a cultural hub and public plaza, plus $40m to attract major cultural exhibitions.
“The city’s growing population demands the ongoing delivery of the $108.5 billion pipeline of infrastructure including in transport and health projects, along with the announced $2.7b for the M6 extension and $1.3b for Bankstown – Lidcombe Hospital redevelopment.
“Incentives for electric vehicle purchases and the introduction of electric buses will help make Sydney streets quieter and more pleasant places to be, along with funding for public parks and places to improve the city’s liveability,” Mr Kelly said.