Item 8.1 - Attachment 1

2007/2008 Parramatta Economic Development Partnerships Plan – Project Summary




2007/2008 Parramatta Economic Development Partnerships Plan - Project Summary



Sixteen projects were identified in the Parramatta Economic Development Partnerships Plan 2007/08. All but one of these were delivered, this resulted from the State Governments’ decision to not roll out free internet access meaning Council couldn’t go ahead and investigate electronic kiosks across the city.


The Economic Development Team continued to respond to opportunities and demand during the year and has, in fact, delivered almost 30 projects in addition to day-to-day workload.


A constant focus on responsible expenditure meant that the budget was underspent inaugurally (3% variance).. These monies were returned back to reserve to be spent on future economic development activities. Added to this, the Economic Development Team has leveraged or supported projects which have had an overall total value of approximately $2 Million, giving a healthy return on investment.


The Economic Development Team assisted in the relocation of approximately 2,500 new employees to Parramatta during the year, 10 additional new businesses were started through a Federal Government New Enterprise Incentive Scheme for the long-term unemployed, and a survey of Western Sydney Business Connection businesses has indicated that over 47% of businesses intend to increase employment over the next year. Council heavily sponsors this organisation and it indicates that our support is going to areas of the local economy which are growing.


Individual Projects

·    Marketing The City DVD

A DVD about Parramatta City was produced. The aim was to provide visual and audio impact to Council presentations and those of its stakeholders.

To enhance Parramatta’s profile to potential businesses, investors and employees, this DVD will supplement and be a natural extension of a multi-faceted marketing campaign that also includes print collateral, press advertising, events and channel marketing.  It will be distributed by local business and others that have a vested interest in promoting Parramatta.


·    Marketing Professional Services

A three part marketing program was designed to raise awareness of Parramatta’s Professional Services Sector. An 8-page feature on Parramatta ran in the Sydney Morning Herald in May.

The top 500 employers in Western Sydney and the top 500 employers nationally were targeted through a direct mail campaign inviting them to a tour of the city which was run in June, concluding with a Western Sydney Business Connection luncheon featuring Coca Cola Chairman David Gonski. All 40 places were booked within 2 weeks.

Quotes from the business tour included:

“The blend of historical, heritage and modern buildings. Had never noticed how beautiful Parramatta is and was really amazed with the complete facilities that this city can offer”

“How much Parramatta has grown in the last five years”


·    Tourism Promotion

A Tourism Work Group was set up and chaired by the Economic Development team. It included Arts and Culture, City Centre Management, Events, Marketing and Communications, Heritage Management, the Visitor Information Centre, Open Space and Recreation and the Riverside Theatres. Information sharing, joint promotion and cross-selling opportunities, brand consistency and better programming across Council have been the early outcomes.


Economic Development also provided $70,000 for the active promotion of Parramatta as a tourist destination through the Visitor Information Centre.


·    State of The City

A presentation on the state of Parramatta’s economic, environment and social challenges for 2007-2008, delivered by the Lord Mayor of Parramatta in February 2008. This event was run in conjunction with the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce.

The audience, comprising local business representatives was briefed on recent and upcoming developments in the city as well as major challenges and achievements. Over 300 business people packed the Sebel Parramatta to hear the Lord Mayor’s presentation.


·    Marketing The City Brochure

A 32 page brochure highlighting the economic, environmental and social aspects of Parramatta was produced. Whilst primarily targeting businesses and investors who are considering Parramatta as an investment opportunity, the brochure was also applicable to employees, students and residents with a vested interest in the city.

Distributed through major events such as the State of the City Address, Investment tour and Western Sydney Business Connection events as well as part of a Marketing the City Pack sent to interested investors, property professionals and others.


·    BizFacts

Increased from 8 pages to 12, and included some qualitative reports on the local economy, as well as including traditional sections; the property market, tourism and transport, labour supply and summarised economic indicators.


Recent editions included articles on the employment profile based on the Parramatta City Council’s Resident Panel survey from May 2007, gross regional product for 2006/07, population forecasts by suburbs, the number of businesses in Parramatta based on the 2007 ABS statistics and key businesses and organisations.


·    Community Business Newsletter

In June 2007, a 4 page supplement was added to the existing resident’s publication which features business and economic development news and information.

The name of the section was ‘Community Business’. It was written and developed by the Economic Development Unit and featured partner profiles, new arrivals, property, environmental news as well as local business achievements.


·    Dining Guide 2008

A pocket-sized colour guide book was produced featuring Parramatta restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels from around the city and surrounding suburbs.

120,000 copies were distributed across the LGA to residents, local businesses and visitors to Parramatta.

The Daily Telegraph identified Parramatta as ‘Sydney’s new fine dining capital’.


·    Business Pages - Parramatta City Council’s website

The ‘Business’ section of Council’s website was built. It included information on Parramatta’s economic profile, business services, Council’s Partnerships Plan and partners, business sustainability, publications and contact points for Strategy, Investment and Marketing within the Economic Development Team. 


·    Corporate Relocations

The Economic Development Team actively supported the relocation of RTA, Commonwealth Bank, Attorney Generals Department and Sydney Water.

Providing assistance to large organisations who are relocating to Parramatta through:

1.   helping their staff familiarise themselves with the city

2.   providing literature on Parramatta

3. assisting with miscellaneous requests


·    Stimulating Business Start-ups

Council undertook a study of recent start-up patterns in Parramatta looking at industry sectors, support required, support available, take up rates of support and financial products. The recommendations generated by this report will be used as the basis for a partnership between the NSW government, UWS and Council.


·    Census Profiles and Atlas

These interactive tools provided information and statistics based on the 2006 Population Census via the Council’s website. It was, and still is, accessible to a variety of people both internal and external to the Council.

Community Profile provides social and employment characteristics of the residents by suburb, residential development, migration, index of disadvantage and working population.


Community Atlas provides socio-demographic characteristics as interactive maps.


·    Ferry Research

Council undertook research on the current and future use of the Rivercat service running between Circular Quay and Parramatta. This was a response to the NSW Government’s announcement that services may be cut.


·    Parramatta City Centre Business Census 2008

A complete physical census of all businesses in the Parramatta City Centre was conducted. Results and data were collated and an electronic database was established, making e-communication with business possible. It also allows analysis of industry sectors by location, and surveying of business needs.


·    Community Hubs

Supporting the Council’s Community Capacity Building Team in the development of Social Enterprise in Parramatta.


·    New Enterprise Incentive Scheme

Council provided support to Sydney Business Enterprise Centre in running a program in Parramatta for the long term unemployed.


·    Employment Expo – My New Work City

A dedicated website was created to promote Parramatta as an attractive destination in which to build a career in the professional services sector. The main emphasis of the site included:

1.   Addressing the difficulties faced by firms in attracting quality applicants to skilled positions;

2.   Encouraging people living in western Sydney to consider working in Parramatta;

3.   Targeting professionals and skilled workers;

4.   Highlighting the diversity of industry sectors available;


 5.  Promoting the ‘city attractors’ promoting local employment through the advertising of local job vacancies through a unique agreement with SEEK.

·    Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2007

Provided funding for the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards 2007.


·    Western Sydney Industry Awards

Council rovided funding assistance to the Office of the Minister for Western Sydney in support of their prestigious awards program. This represented the ninth year of sponsoring the awards for Council; a gold sponsor of the Innovation category.


·    Parramatta Business Showcase

Council provided funding assistance to the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce to hold a business-to-business expo in Parramatta.


·    Young Achievement Australia

Provided funding for the Young Achiever’s program whereby 20 local students are mentored through the fundamentals of running a business. The steps, executed by students over a 6 month period include: product development, marketing, selling of shares in the company, financing and liquidation.


·    Triple Bottom Line Camellia

A preliminary stage was completed on a 3 year project aiming to integrate the social, environmental and economic elements of Camellia through the implementation of a best practice sustainability model. This is a partnership with Auburn Council and is funded through the NSW Environment Trust.


·    Sustainable Business Management Program

A mentoring program was implemented, aimed at teaching small business how to minimise environmental impacts while maximising profit.


The program encouraged behavioural change at the local level and comprises a series of workshops, 2 facility audits, retrofitting and reporting. It was delivered by Village Green Environmental Solutions and sponsored by the Department of State and Regional Development and the Greater Western Sydney Economic Development Board.


·    Smart Rinse

Council supported Sydney Water in the release of their new Smart Rinse Spray Valve; a device for commercial kitchens that saves water and energy. Free product and installation was offered to all Parramatta food servicing businesses. Over 1,000 local businesses took up the offer.

The sustainable business program in the Mall and our partnership with Sydney Water to retrofit ‘smart rinsers’ in kitchens for the food industry has resulted in a savings of over 51,000 tonnes of Greenhouse Gases and 362 kilolitres of water.


·    Sustainability Advantage Program

An initiative of NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change aimed at making small-medium businesses more sustainable. Businesses are addressed and monitored in ‘clusters’.  Delivery mechanisms included diagnostic analysis of business needs, expert technical advice, workshopping and tailored planning.


·    Sustainablexpo

Conducted as part of the Small Business September Program by NSW Department of State & Regional Development (DSRD) – a 2 day business to business event aimed at increasing awareness around climate change and environmental sustainability. This project met several objectives: opportunity to partner with DSRD for Small Business September, increase awareness of environmental issues in the business community, foster partnerships with leading sustainability organisations and networks.