Mayor praises plan to build more Macarthur train stations by 2040

Appin is set to be one of the region's major growth areas. Picture: Robert Peet
Appin is set to be one of the region's major growth areas. Picture: Robert Peet

Macarthur certainly looks a lot different to how it did 20 years ago and plans are now under way to cater for how the region will look 20 years from now.

The NSW Government has declared the greater Macarthur region as an official growth area.

The government's vision for Macarthur will deliver up to 40,000 jobs and 58,000 new homes over the next 20 years.

Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the declaration meant greater Macarthur was one step closer to realising its vision of becoming a new and vibrant metropolitan region in the south west.

"This is the next stage of a plan to transform south west Sydney from a series of commuter suburbs to a coherent centre full of jobs, culture, public spaces, green and open areas," Mr Stokes said.

"This formally recognises the guiding principles for how we develop the area in the future and ensures we deliver infrastructure like transport, utilities and parks alongside new jobs and homes."

The growth area includes 12 precincts stretching from Macarthur to Appin, with different types of housing to be built around seven train stations.

Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth said the plan for seven new train stations from Macarthur to Appin and beyond was "very promising".

"Infrastructure must be planned, funded and under way before there is any consideration to pushing ahead with the greater Macarthur growth area. Wollondilly's mantra is infrastructure before development," he said.

"The creation of jobs, jobs, jobs is also a critical priority.

"Our focus now is enhancing the character of our beautiful villages, rural land and environment, whilst ensuring that Wilton is a great new town with quality infrastructure and jobs in place.

"This is the priority before any other major development occurs in the Wollondilly Shire."

Cr Deeth also welcomed the government's plan to give councils more of a say on the new growth area.

"Council welcomes the government putting the community at the centre of planning with the panel of councils and state agencies making decisions on when land will be rezoned in greater Macarthur," he said.

"The Wollondilly community is telling us that we don't have the infrastructure we need in place yet, including public transport, adequate roads, hospitals, schools, water supply, koala protection and biodiversity.

"We look forward to working with the government to make this a reality."

Wilton New Town developer Walker Corporation also has its eyes set on Appin.

The company's development manager Oliver Roborgh said the new planning panels would enhance communication between developers, the government and the community.

"We think these panels sound like a great idea," he said.

"Macarthur is a unique area and we understand the need for infrastructure to be in place, not just roads and public transport, but schools, health and shopping amenity as well.

"This plan does not mean that houses are going to spring up over night - it's called Macarthur 2040, so it's a 20-year vision.

"The first thing we are looking at is preserving those green, wildlife corridors and protecting our disease-free colony of koalas."

The Department of Planning will work with state agencies and local councils to refine an infrastructure funding plan which will be publicly exhibited for further consultation.

Mr Stokes said the region's environment and biodiversity would be protected through a range of measures, including the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan.

"Importantly, koala preservation has been addressed with land east of the Appin Road being reserved to protect our regionally significant koala corridor along the Georges River," Mr Stokes said.

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