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RDA Sydney Achievements

Programs & Initiatives

RDA Sydney Achievement highlights      Industry & Skills development      Social Inclusion & Capacity Building


RDA Sydney Achievement Highlights

Planning Infrastructure and Transport

  • “Whole of City” Economic Data and Regional Plan for Sydney
    • RDA Sydney has coordinated since 2010, the development of “whole of city” comparative economic baseline assessment data sets for Sydney by the AEC group, which have been updated annually. These unique data sets used by Australian and NSW Government agencies, provide an excellent overview of the Sydney economy outlining the comparative economic growth of population, employment, GRP, and number of businesses by industry type and LGA.
    • RDA Sydney has also developed a series of Regional Plans for Sydney (currently the 2013-2016 Regional Plan) which have been updated annually with extensive collaboration with industry, government, and community stakeholders.  Once again this “whole of Sydney” plan brings together a wealth of unique information on Sydney whilst identifying the key issues, opportunities and threats, and the key gaps and priorities for action.
    • RDA Sydney’s Regional Plans and Economic Baseline Assessment Whole of Sydney Reports are now widely sought and referenced by all levels of government and our key Stakeholders.
  • “Whole of City” Long Term Vision
    • RDA Sydney has advocated widely the benefits of collaboratively developing a 30-40 year vision for long term planning for Sydney. With other key stakeholders and a large and diverse group of over 85 experts, RDA Sydney has led a futuristworkshop, and helped develop a report titled Realising a Better Sydney 2051 which outlines the vision with respect to the type of city we want to see in 2051 with 10 key recommendations to government as to how we can achieve the vision.
  • Virtual Sydney 3D Proof of Concept Planning
    • RDA Sydney project managed the development of a 3D Virtual Sydney Proof of Concept Planning model for Sydney to advocate the benefits to government of utilizing 3D technology as a communications and complex planning tool for strategic and urban development. The concept Virtual Sydney video was launched at the 2012 CeBIT Australia exhibition and the ideas have been further promoted and utilized by progressive government planning agencies including the Major Cities Unit, NSW Planning and Infrastructure and NSW Lands and Property Information.
    • RDA Sydney has also helped kick start and progress the VANZI (Virtual Australia and New Zealand Initiative) and the digital spatial world by holding the inaugural national Virtual Australia workshop in 2012 for policy makers and experts who are aiming to develop new legislative rules for the Digital Built Environment, and processes for development and building information management sharing. See www.vanzi.com.au
  • Progressively this national initiative now has the involvement of the Australian & NZ governments, over 200 industry stakeholders, and state government planning departments. In 2014, the conference was re-named: Digital Built Environment (DBE) and held in conjunction with BuildingSMART Australasia and the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA). It included international keynote speakers from the UK and Singapore.

This year, RDA Sydney supported the SIBA organized international Pivotal 2015 conference, with Greg Clark, one of the keynote speakers from the UK credited with pulling together the Greater London Planning Authority and the future planning of London in 2005. (See www.pivotal2015.org).

  • Major Submissions& Reports to Government
    • RDA Sydney has worked closely with key Australian and NSW government planning, infrastructure and transport agencies, as well as with ROCs, councils, industry and community groups with respect to the major planning, infrastructure and transport issues affecting the future of Sydney.  Appropriately RDA Sydney has established a good reputation to provide commentary on “whole of Sydney” issues:
      • Submissions to the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure & Transport (DIT) and Major Cities Unit (MCU) with respect to  Infrastructure 2013 State of Play, State of the Cities Reports 2010-2013,and Sustainable Population Strategy for Australia (2011);
      • Submissions toNSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure (DPI)with respect to Metro Strategy Review: Sydney Towards 2036 (2010), Sydney over the next 20 years Discussion Paper (2012), the Draft Metro Strategy (2013), Feedback on Draft Parramatta Road Urban Renewal (2015);
      • Submissions to(DIT)and to Transport for NSW (TfNSW) with respectto National Freight and Ports Strategy (2012), Draft Metro Transport Plan (2010), NSW Long Term Transport Master Plan (2010), the NSW Draft Freight & Ports Strategy (2013); and the South West Rail Link Extension- Public Transport Corridor (2014)
      • Submission to the NSW Government with respect to Infrastructure in response to the ReBuilding NSW Discussion Paper(2014)
      • Submissions to DPI with respect to Employment Land Taskforce and policy-RDA Sydney  Submission (2011), RDA Sydney Employment Lands Position Paper (2012), the Draft Broader Western Sydney Employment Area Structure Plan (2013); and Proposed Amendment of State Environment Planning Policy (WSEA) (2014)
      • Submissions to (DIT) on Regional Airports and Regional Aviation with respect to the Bankstown Airport Masterplan (2014), and to the NSW Standing Committee on State Development NSW  Inquiry  into Regional Aviation Service (2014)
      • Submissions to the NSW Department of Trade & Investment (DTI) with respect to the NSW Economic Development Framework and Industry Action Plans and the NSW government Response in - Digital Economy (2012), Manufacturing (2012), Professional Services (2012), International Education & Research (2012) and Agriculture(2013)
      • Submissions to the Commonwealth Department of Employment and the Depart of Industry on Employment and Skills with respect to Response to Employment Services- Building on Success Issues Paper (2013), Response to Manufacturing Issues Paper (2013), Establishment of Industry Skills Fund (2014)
      • Submissions to the NSW government on Affordable and Social Housing with respect to NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Social , Public and Affordable Housing (2014) , and Social Housing in NSW (2015)
      • Submission to the Department of Defence on behalf of our Sydney Aerospace & Defence Interest Group (SADIG) on Inquiries into Facilities for Defence Landing Dock Ships (LHD’s) and Air Warfare Destroyers (AWD’s) in Sydney NSW (2012)
      • Various submissions on local government economic development and planning issues including NSW Independent Local Government Review Panel (2012) and City of Sydney Draft Economic Strategy (2013);
      • Submissions to other Australian government agencieson Vocation, Education, Apprenticeship, Caring for Older Australians, Job Services and Disability Services, Housing Policy, Homelessness, and Social Procurement.
  • Freight & Ports Strategies for Sydney
    • In 2009, RDA Sydney assisted the previous FALCON NSW Freight Council and NSW government in running a series of (3) Freight workshops within Sydney and coordinating (4) others with RDAs in Regional NSW, resulting in the Freight Council ‘s Actions not Words policy report
    • In 2013, RDA Sydney partnered with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) to bring together over 100 key industry and community stakeholders in the freight and associated sectors to a major forum, to providing valuable feedback in a submission in a report towards the final NSW Government’s NSW Freight and Ports Strategy.
    • RDA Sydney is currently planning a second NSW Container Freight Movement workshop with other key regional RDA’s and supported by TfNSW, NSW Ports, NICTA and the ALC.
  • Urban Agriculture and Food Security
    • RDA Sydney, as part of its interest in food security, has participated and run forums and facilitated a pilot project to investigate the development of a potential Sydney Harvest brand for local agricultural food products sourced in the Sydney Basin. 
    • Since 2009, RDA Sydney has actively participated in the Sydney Agricultural Reference Group (SARG), an agriculture industry, local government and local food interest group formed to assist the NSW Department of Primary Industry and NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) in advice on urban agriculture and future land-use issues as part the development of the various metropolitan strategies for Sydney.
    • More recently RDA Sydney has helped facilitate with DPI a new multi-government working group the Sydney Agriculture Strategic Approaches Working Group. This group is currently working with DPI and DPE on a new pilot towards the development of a Strategic Framework for the Metropolitan Rural Areaas part of the implementation of the new MetroStrategy for Sydney.
  • Smart Work Centres
    • RDA Sydney played key support partner and advocate role for the RDA Central Coast Telework project as part of the national Telework initiative.
    • RDA Sydney project managed with WSROC and Penrith Council, a pilot “Smart Work Centre: an analysis of demand in Western Sydney” report assessing the potential usage demand for smart work centres in Blacktown, Liverpool and Penrith. Since the report we have continued to engage with organisations, businesses and councils who are interested in exploring smart work centre concepts.
  • New Western Sydney Airport
    • In 2013 RDA Sydney initiated with the NSW Business Chamber – Western Sydney (NSWBCWS) and Western Sydney Community Forum (WSCF), the formation of the Western Sydney Airport Alliance, bringing together a growing list of industry, business chambers, union, local government and community leaders.

See www.westernsydneyairportalliance.com.au.

  • Since 2013, this alliance has progressively played a major part in bringing about the decision for a second airport in Western Sydney in 2014 - lobbying to government, politicians and the community at large, and convening a series of important information forum sessions with reports, with respect to the potential economic and community benefits, and pushing a bipartisan approach to the issue.


Industry and Skills development

  • Health & Community Services
    • In 2011, RDA Sydney partnered with key health and community stakeholders to facilitate the ‘Intergenerational Health’ forum at Westmead Hospital, brainstorming potential future community health issues and solutions
    • In 2012, RDA Sydney, in partnership with CSIRO and the Department of Trade and Investment, hosted a futurist led Community Care e-Technologies workshop with a resultant report, identifying future community care issues and possible high speed broadband technology solutions for Australia.
    • In 2013-2014, RDA Sydney initiated and helped facilitate the Liverpool Health and Education Precinct project in partnership with Liverpool City Council. This stakeholder group now led by Liverpool council is now committed to rapidly grow this precinct in one of the fastest growing population centres of South West Sydney.
    • RDA Sydney is currently assisting the formation of a Western Sydney Health, Medtech and Biotechnical hub with the leading hospital medical precinct stakeholders.
  • Manufacturing & Engineering
    • From 2009-2012, RDA Sydney played a major role in partnership with NSW Government, in organizing three well attended lead event Manufacturing Leaders Forums and two Innovation Technology Showcases as part of successive NSW Manufacturing Weeks. These events successfully showcased innovation best practice with respect to Sydney’s research and  education centres,  and highlighted many of Sydney’s and NSW’s advanced manufacturing capabilities.
    • RDA Sydney has facilitated and encouraged industry, government and research and education collaboration through its own events and helping others with their workshop participation.
    • From 2009-2015, RDA Sydney has supported existing industry group skill councils and taskforces, and facilitated the formation of a new South West Sydney Manufacturing Skills Development Taskforce. This taskforce representing over 17 key industry, education and business association groups has worked with UNSW in the development and implementation of a new industry research report titled:  Research on Skills Needs in Manufacturing.
    • The research identified issues companies face and sought their views on obstacles and enablers to industry development. The main recommendation of the report refers to “the creation of a lighthouse manufacturing innovation and workforce development partnership for Sydney”. The lighthouse would pioneer a regional program of information exchange and shared workforce development that would be available to SMEs. Stakeholders consulted are currently participating in a design thinking process supported by Deloitte in modelling  as to how it would work. The key outcomes from this project could be used to help other RDA’s in other areas of Australia.
    • From 2009-2015, RDA Sydney has encouraged the development of future STEM skills in students by supporting the local NSW and national Re-Engineering Foundation Australia F1-in-Schools Technology Challenge judging and events and promoting its use to other RDA’s Australia wide. See http://rea.org.au/f1-in-schools/
  • Aerospace & Defence
    • From 2011-2015, RDA Sydney has played a key role in facilitating the formation and development of the Sydney Aerospace Defence Interest Group (SADIG). This interest group brings together the key defence industry groups, governments, education and training groups and innovation research groups in Sydney to work more collaboratively so as to win more business and jobs for Sydney and NSW. Defence is one of the manufacturing sectors now supported by the NSW government within the Industry Action Plans.
    • SADIG is now recognised as one of the key defence network groups in NSW playing a significant role in supporting both Australian and NSW government policy initiatives. RDA Sydney has provided the leadership support and secretariat to the industry led executive team, supported supply chain, innovation and skills development sub committees, organised business matching workshops for members, promoted events and maintained a website www.sadig.org.au.
    • A summary of key recent achievements include:
      • NSW Defence White Paper (DWP) 2015 Industry workshop report prepared and formally lodged with DWP15 Expert Panel from Canberra, now well accepted by government.  
      • Representations to Senator Faucett in Canberra re future manufacturing and defence sustainment policy in Australia.  
      • Support to Austrade with NSW industry supply chain promotion to Indian, Polish Aviation, German, British and Turkish Austrade inward trade missions.
      • Facilitation of Advanced Composites and Exotic Materials (AC & EM) cluster group with Composites Australia and key university research & industry stakeholders
      • Facilitation of a new collaborative Autonomous Systems focus group to re-establish a NSW based capability directory and to develop industry opportunities in line with NSW capabilities and specializations.
      • Ran a series of innovation roundtable and skills industry workshops
      • Facilitated an inaugural Astronautics and Space forum for key industry and university researchers.
      • Initiated a meeting in Sydney with the Rapid Prototype Development group (RPDE) within the Department of Defence, with respect to the proposed  establishment of a rapid prototyping development hub in Sydney.
  • Transport & Logistics
    • RDA Sydney has participated with Transport for NSW (TfNSW) as a member of the NSW T&L Workplace Advisory Group on various T&L careers and skills projects.
    • RDA Sydney has assisted NICTA in the development of the Future Transport Logistics Living Laboratory in gaining broad industry support for business model simulation to improve freight industry supply chain efficiencies.
    • RDA Sydney has also helped NICTA and the industry in the formation of the NSW Government supported Transport & Logistics & Rail Knowledge Hub
  • Business Services
    • In 2011- 2012, RDA Sydney facilitated with key industry and local government support, eight Finance, Property & Business Services workshops in outer Sydney to develop a better understanding as to why there are currently significantly less businesses and job opportunities in these industry sectors. Reports from these workshops now provide a stimulus for local industry networks and councils, identifying the critical issues and future opportunities for industry and additional employment growth in these outer areas.
  • OECD LEEDS Climate Change, Employment and Local Development Project
    • In 2011, RDA Sydney participated with the City of Sydney and the four TAFE NSW Sydney institutes on an international sustainability project with the OECD LEED group. As part of this international study, the OECD LEED Climate Change, Employment and Local Development in Sydney project examined the potential impacts (direct and indirect) of climate change on local labour markets, with a focus on the creation of green jobs and the development of a skilled workforce to meet the needs of the greener economy. The final international and Sydney reports were launched by the OECD in Sydney in December 2011 providing policy input to both the NSW and Australian governments.


Social Inclusion and Capacity Building

  • Homelessness
    • In 2012-2014 RDA Sydney developed and trialled an Employment Integration Model Work Fast pilot project in conjunction with key stakeholders, and with $100,000 assistance from the Department of Social Services. The project seeks to integrate employment with housing and psychosocial services to better assist homeless jobseekers into employment.
      • A report on the project has been sent to the funding body, the Department of Social Services. This RDA Sydney inspired model has attracted government interest and we now hope that through the project outcomes it will influence government policy in the future.
  • Housing Affordability
    • In 2013, RDA Sydney with its Social Housing partners, NCOSS and Shelter NSW (all financial contributors) helped facilitate some preliminary Shared Equity Scheme modelling work and developed a business case towards new business models to combat housing affordability issues for low and middle income earners in Sydney. In Phase II in the implementation of the Doors to ownership: a business case and guidelines for a shared homeownership scheme with NSW community housing associations were developed.
      • The Working Group is now working with the Federation of Housing Associations, and has met with Urban Growth with respect to redevelopment of several sites in Sydney including Parramatta Road, and Eveleigh. Urban Growth has recently consulted with the Group on a number of issues in relation to building Shared Homeownership units, the long term social and economic benefits and ways this should be quantified and sold to government, given the housing crisis in Sydney.
      • Urban Growth sees a role for government to assist Community Housing Providers (CHPs) to finance them. An MOU has been signed by NCOSS, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and the Premier. It says the three parties will discuss (subject to the electricity transaction proceeding) arrangements for a $1 billion fund for building social and affordable housing. According to Urban Growth this fund could help finance shared homeownership schemes.
  • Social Procurement
    • From 2012, RDA Sydney has helped facilitate the inter-RDA cross regional Social Procurement Advisory Group, a social enterprise group with local and state governments, in developing a new set of Social Procurement Guidelines for NSW for local government. 
    • Following submission, the NSW Premier & Cabinet’s GWS Regional Leadership Network established a Task Group to develop a delivery strategy for the GWS Social Procurement Action Plan which includes NSW Premier & Cabinet, NSW Transport, WSROC, NSW Department of Finance, Local Government Procurement, Social Traders, Social Procurement Australasia and RDA Sydney (providing secretariat support). 
    • GWS Social Procurement Work Group has developed a GWS Social Procurement Action Plan including Stage 1 costings and immediate first steps this has been submitted to NSW Premier & Cabinet and the group awaits a decision.


Current RDA Sydney projects are available below. In addition the Grant Funding Directory for a searchable database of current grants and programs relevant to the priorities of RDA Sydney.


RDA Sydney Projects

A variety of current 'key' partners.


A portal of information on our key partners.

Publications, Submissions, Reports

A selection of papers from committees and stakeholders dating back to 2009.


Last Updated: 21 May 2018