A strong state Budget and record investment in critical infrastructure will see growth in new hospitality businesses in Greater Western Sydney surpass the Sydney CBD, according to industry association Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA).

R&CA CEO John Hart said key infrastructure projects in Greater Western Sydney including WestConnex, Northern Road upgrades, Parramatta Light Rail and the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum will transform the region and encourage small businesses to open or reinvest in their operation.

“Today’s Budget is a confidence booster. When the budget is in the black small businesses have the confidence to invest. This in turn creates jobs, drives expenditure and stimulates the local economy. 

“Greater Western Sydney has approximately half the number of cafes and restaurants as the Sydney CBD, yet the rate of growth in new cafe and restaurant openings is almost double” Hart said.

 “There has been a 37.2 percent increase in the number of cafes and restaurants opening in Parramatta alone since 2009, injecting $560 million into the night-time economy. By comparison, the Sydney LGA saw business growth of only 22.9 percent.”

 “I’m pleased to see the Budget also includes $100 million for the Smart, Skilled and Hired initiative aimed at improving employment prospects of unemployed youth.

“The NOMA Vocational Education Program was a highly successful initiative developed in partnership with the private sector and funded under the government’s Smart and Skilled program. Further investment in our greatest asset, our staff, is necessary for our sector to grow,” Hart said. 

 “Infrastructure investment and funding for tourism and major events must go hand-in-hand. Funding for tourism and major events will drive visitation and economic activity, boosting employment and improving the growth prospects of small tourism and hospitality businesses in the region.”

Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) also welcomed the NSW government’s Budget boost to the state’s labour and training resources.

TAA CEO, Carol Giuseppi said “The funding increases for TAFE, the $12 million for subsidised vocational educational and training fee-free scholarships, along with $100 million for Smart, Skilled & Hired, a targeted youth unemployment program, and the $190 million for Jobs for NSW, will all help develop a workforce to meet the future requirements of the industry.

“Tourism and hospitality offer NSW the greatest opportunity to transition from a previously mining and manufacturing dominated economy to an increasingly services-based economy.”

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