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RDA Sydney

Our Vision    The Sydney Region    Strengths & Opportunities   Why Invest in Sydney?    Major Project Commitments    Key Industries


The Sydney Region

RDA Sydney Vision for the Sydney Region

An innovative, accessible, liveable, productive and globally sustainable metropolitan region, with vibrant interconnected regional centres, governed by an integrated, collaborative urban development planning model which seeks to create more jobs closer to home.


What is the Sydney Region?

Sydney is the most populous city in Australia, with over 4.3 million people. At current growth rates, the population is expected to reach seven million by 2051. Gifted with stunning natural environments, Sydney is characterized by beautiful waterways, national parks and pristine native habitats. It has a well educated multilingual workforce and one of the highest standards of living in the Asia Pacific region.

A dynamic cultural centre, the Sydney Region with 7.5 million tourists in 2012 has many fine international museums and galleries.

As the financial and economic hub of Australia, Sydney has become a prosperous city, contributing more than 20 per cent of Australia’s GDP. It boasts a strong and diverse economy, with an agglomeration of key growth sectors: financial, media, professional and ICT services.

Sydney is home to 43 per cent of Australia’s financial and insurance companies (including 90 banking groups), more than half of the country’s top companies and the regional headquarters of around 500 multinational corporations.

Sydney faces challenges related to its growth including a backlog of investment in key transport infrastructure, the disparity in the location of a diverse range of jobs and a rapidly growing population. These challenges are not insurmountable and with a long term vision and planning framework Sydney can build on its strengths and address its weaknesses.

RDA Sydney covers a geographic area that is termed the ‘Sydney Metropolitan Region’ in this plan. The Sydney Region is comprised of 41 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and is bounded by Hawkesbury and Hornsby in the north, Blue Mountains to the west, Wollondilly to the south, and the Sydney coastline LGA’s to the east - and is bounded by Pittwater, Hawkesbury, Blue Mountains, Wollondilly and Sutherland. Sydney offers the most exciting opportunities for sustainable economic development in the Asia Pacific.

Sydney is characterised by stunning natural environments, beautiful waterways, national parks and pristine native habitats. 

Overview of Strengths, Challenges, Needs and Opportunities

Our latest Regional Plan 2013-2016 report includes an overview of; strengths, challenges, needs and opportunities for the Sydney Metropolitan Region.

  • Human capital, particularly education and skills
  • Economically, environmentally and socially sustainable communities and population change
  • Access to international, national and regional markets
  • Comparative advantage and business competitiveness.



Why Invest in Sydney:

  • Projected population growth:
    • The estimated resident population of the Sydney Metropolitan Region in 2014 was 4,509,586.This is projected to grow to 5,815,000 by 2031, an average annual growth rate of 1.5%.
    • The Greater Western Sydney's population is projected to grow to 2,889,400 by 2031, an average annual growth rate of 1.8%.
    • The Central Region's population is projected to grow to 1,004,200 by 2031, an average annual growth rate of 1.5%.
    • The South Region's population is projected to grow to 852,100 by 2031, at an annual growth rate of 1.0%.
    • The North Region's population is projected to grow to 1,069,500 by 2031, at an annual growth rate of 1.1%.
  • Sydney has a world class transport infrastructure network. This includes an extensive rail network and international airport, which are both the largest facilities of their type in Australia. Port Botany is the second busiest port facility in Australia.
  • In 2013-2014, the Sydney Metropolitan Region recorded an estimated Gross Regional Product (GRP) of $334 billion (nearly 70% of NSW Gross State Product).
  • All regions within the Sydney Metropolitan Region recorded economic growth, averaging between 1.8% and 2.7% per annum over the last five years.
  • An estimated 2 million people were employed in the Sydney Metropolitan Region in 2014, representing an average annual increase of 1.3% from 2009.
  • Sydney has a diverse and dynamic ethnic mix with more than a third of the population of Sydney born overseas, compared with less than a quarter of the overall Australian population.
  • Sydney is the leading tourism destination for international travel to and from Australia.


Sydney major project commitments:

Major infrastructure investment (ongoing and planned):

  • North West Rail
  • WestConnex
  • NorthConnex
  • Badgerys Creek Airport
  • Sydney Light Rail
  • Second Harbour Rail Crossing
  • Parramatta Light Rail
  • Moorebank Intermodal Terminal 


In addition, there are key strategies and plans to direct the growth of Sydney: 

  • Major planning and development governance changes
  • NSW Goverment's 'A Plan for Growing Sydney'
  • NSW Government's 'Fit for the Future' 


Key industry sectors for Sydney include:  

  • finance & insurance services (18.9% of GRP)
  • professional scientific & technical services (10.5% of GRP)
  • manufacturing (7.8% of GRP)
  • transport, postal and warehousing (6.2% of GRP)
  • information media and telecommunications (6.0% of GRP)
  • wholesale trade (6.0% of GRP)
  • construction trade (5.5% of GRP)
  • education and training (5.4% of GRP)
  • retail trade (4.8% of GRP)  


Click here for more on the Strength of Sydney's Regions.


Supporting Information:


Economic Profile

Information on Sydney's Economy, included the latest economic data.

Key Innovative and Research Capabilities

Sydney Key Innovative and Research Capabilities information.

Doing Business

RDA Sydney encourages investment, sustainable growth and economic development within Sydney.

Social and Demographic

Sydney has a diverse and dynamic ethnic mix with 31.7 per cent of the population of Sydney born overseas.

Sydney Education Sector

Metropolitan Sydney acts as one of Australia's major education hubs.

Investment Opportunities

Some opportunities to invest in Sydney.

Key Industries

Some of Sydney's major industries.


Last Updated: 21 May 2018