Smart work centres the solution for commuters, says Blacktown councillor

A Blacktown councillor has called for the establishment of  ‘‘smart work centres’’ in western Sydney to enable thousands of workers to save commuting time.

Councillor Alan Pendleton, the chairman of Regional Development Australia (RDA) Sydney, said new technology, including the national broadband network, had created the potential to establish Smart Work Centres located strategically around the region.

He said these centres would allow employees to work one or two days a week from centres near transport hubs, much closer to their homes.

Cr Pendleton launched the “Smart Work Centres: An Analysis of Demand in Western Sydney” report last week, prepared by the Institute For Sustainable Futures at UTS.

The report found that more than 2000 residents in Blacktown, 1400 in Liverpool and more than 1000 in Penrith who now travel to the city or elsewhere to carry out technology-enabled jobs would be candidates to work from locations much closer to home.

The study was jointly commissioned by RDA Sydney, the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils and Penrith Business Alliance.

It also revealed significant public and private savings.

“Many people do not want to, or cannot, work from home and Smart Work Centres can provide a connected environment so they can carry out their usual work without the extended travel time,” Cr Pendleton said.

He is supported by WSROC president, Councillor Tony Hadchiti, who estimated 200,000 western Sydney residents commute long distances to work in other parts of Sydney.

“This is a win-win situation,’’ he said.

‘‘People can work closer to home and families, and the community can benefit through reduced congestion and environmental costs.’’

Bijai Kumar, chief executive officer of Penrith Business Alliance, said localised smart work centres could also help revitalise our own town centres which suffer from the mass exodus of workers to the CBD every day.

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