Why you need to know about Campbelltown
26 April 2019
By Julie McAlpin and Claudia Estrada
In addition to its location along Sydney’s major North South transport route and designation as a Growth Centre, Campbelltown’s strengths include being a source of jobs, a relatively young population, affordable housing and commitment to urban planning.
Along with the established centres of Liverpool and Penrith, Campbelltown forms part of the polycentric Western Parkland City. It is in South West Greater Sydney in what the Greater Sydney Commission has termed the “Western Economic Corridor” which will be home to the future Aerotropolis. This region will be home to over 1.5 million people by 2036, of which 275,778 will live in the Campbelltown Local Government Area (LGA).
Campbelltown has connections to Sydney CBD (45 minutes), Sydney International Airport (30 minutes), Western Sydney Airport (under construction), Wollongong/Illawarra (50 minutes) and Canberra (2 hours). It is expected that the region will become one of the most connected in Australia.
Source of Jobs
Ingleburn and Minto industrial parks contribute significantly to the region’s economy. According to RDA Sydney data; in 2015-2016 the industry value-add of Ingleburn was $1,377.7 billion dollars while the industry value-add of Minto was $852.3 million dollars. Together, these precincts provide a total of 15,319 jobs. The jobs at these industrial parks are in a variety of industries, including manufacturing (6,140), construction (2,354), transport (1,922) and wholesaling (1,262).
Additionally, Campbelltown has a dynamic Health and Education Precinct located in the CBD. According to the 2016 census, the precinct currently employs just under 5,000 workers in the health professions including doctors, nursing staff, pathologists, radiographers, dentists, physiotherapists and other allied professions; 80% of these workers live in the Campbelltown LGA.
Table 1. Employment (total) by industry 2017/18- NSW vs. Campbelltown City comparison
Campbelltown Hospital Redevelopment
Source: Campbelltown City Council
In 2017/18, according to table 1, the largest industries by employment in Campbelltown were retail trade, with just over 14% of the employment just as, manufacturing, followed with Health Care and Social Assistance with approximately 13% of the employed. Both industries are well above the NSW average percentage. Even though manufacturing has declined in Campbelltown, there has been a rise in high tech manufacturers. This is reinvigorating the city and facilitating the transition towards specialised and niche manufacturing.
Over 9,000 businesses contribute to job diversity in the area. Just between January and March 2019, 278 new businesses were launched. The top three industries for newly established businesses were
transport and warehousing (95), construction (56), and professional/scientific/technical services (25).
In the broader context, research undertaken by Western Sydney University, anticipates that that the Western Sydney region will see unprecedented growth, supporting local businesses and creating local knowledge jobs.
Affordable housing and land
Compared to the rest of Sydney, Campbelltown offers relatively affordable housing stock and rent. The median house value in Greater Sydney was $1,070,594 in 2017 and for Campbelltown was $625,923. Additionally, Campbelltown still has land available for development both for commercial and housing purposes.
Sustainable Urban Planning
Campbelltown is a key stakeholder in the Western Sydney City Deal and well positioned to manage population growth through its commitment to smart residential developments and investment in health and education infrastructure.
For example, Campbelltown hospital is currently undergoing a $632 million redevelopment which will include improvements in the emergency department, clinical services, nuclear medicine, dental services and a new maternity ward to serve its demographic needs.
The Sports and Health Centre of Excellence (CoE), expected to be finished in 2020, will be a signature facility for the region promoting an active lifestyle and wellbeing. This centre will provide local athletes and general community with a myriad of training, rehabilitation and health facilities. Additionally, the creation of public spaces such as the $18.75 million-dollar Billabong Parklands precinct will provide the community with a place of recreation as well as reduce the heat island effect.
Natural Resource Management
Preserving green and open spaces and balancing demand for higher housing densities has become a familiar “Sydney centric” narrative. To combat this challenge, Campbelltown City Council has embarked on a project, Re-imagining Campbelltown CBD, that includes establishing a strategic planning framework to transform the Campbelltown CBD into a connected, integrated and sustainable CBD - a liveable centre of opportunity with no grey to be seen, and a destination city where people will want to live, work, study and play. Alongside the CBD plans, Council is committed to enhancing the rich natural amenity of the entire LGA, including the vast open spaces, parks, gardens, natural bushland areas, as well as protecting the places of Indigenous and heritage value. These include Campbelltown’s Scenic Hills, the Georges River Regional Corridor, Dharawal National Park, and the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan which is home of the Australian Plant Bank and science and education facility.
Campbelltown aspires to be a 30-minute city. However, transport to and within Campbelltown could be a challenge. According to data from the 2016 Census, 51.5% of people working in Campbelltown are locals. 14.2% of the people working in Campbelltown travel from Camden, 8.0% from Liverpool, 3.3% from Fairfield and 2.9% from Canterbury-Bankstown.
Being a 30-minute city involves people accessing metropolitan and strategic centres within 30 minutes, seven days a week by public transport. However, according to ABS data, 59% of people get to work by driving a car, 18% use a train and 6% use a car as a passenger. However, only 2% worked from home and only 1% walked to work. These numbers indicate that the use of public transport to get to work is still far behind car use. While it is acknowledged that Campbelltown is well connected to Sydney and Canberra via the Hume Highway and well served by rail, getting around and within the LGA can still be a major challenge. The introduction of a rapid bus network is a high-priority and the proposed extension of the North South rail line is welcome news.
Resourcing and opportunities for education and training may become a challenge in the future as the demand for a highly skilled and agile workforce will put pressure on existing resources. According to 2016 Census data, 21% of the population (15 years or older) had achieved a certificate level, 11% had a Bachelor degree, 8% had an advanced diploma while 5% had postgraduate qualifications. However, there has been a strong increase in the skill profile of the city’s workers and jobs. Between 2011 and 2016, the proportion of resident workers with a bachelor or higher degree increased from 16.1% to 21.2% (on par with Greater Sydney). This growth in skills provides a solid foundation to build on.
The presence and planned expansion of technical and higher education providers in the LGA is good news. This commitment to collaboration ensures institutions in neighbouring LGAs are encouraged to deliver complementary offerings. This will result in a suite of offerings to meet the needs of industry, small businesses and the growing micro and home business sector. Current providers of education include Western Sydney University, TAFE, and the National Institute of Complementary Medicine.
As stated earlier, Campbelltown has considerable strengths and opportunities to build on including its location, being a source of jobs, affordable housing and commitment to sustainability.
RDA Sydney recommends:
Exploring opportunities to build on the Health and Education precinct including the possibility of realising a medical research facility.
Work with businesses to invest in advanced manufacturing technologies.
Build on the natural resource assets of the area and promote Campbelltown as a place to visit and unwind.
ABS Census 2016. 2016, n.d.
AEC Group. Gross Regional Product Model 2016-17. Brisbane, n.d.
Campbelltown City Council. Key Employment Sectors. n.d.
Campbelltown City. Prospectus Campbelltown City. Campbelltown, February 2018.
Domain. Domain House Price Report. n.d.
Domain House Price Report. December 2018.
Profile id. n.d.
Real Estate. n.d.
The Committee for Sydney. Manufacturing 4.0-Cracking the code for Western Sydney. November 2017.
Western Sydney Business Connection. Campbelltown Quarterly Business Growth Update. 20 March 2019.
Dharawal NP Minerva Pools
Source: Campbelltown City Council
Construction in Campbelltown
Source: Campbelltown City Council