FIVE western Sydney mayors discussed future regional growth and planning reforms at a major development industry forum on Thursday.
Mayors from Blacktown, Penrith, Parramatta and Liverpool were panelists at the Urban Development Institute of Australia's (UDIA) Gearing Up for Western Sydney Growth forum at Sydney Olympic Park's Waterview convention centre.
The audience of 400 included representatives from more than 100 development industry players, including AECOM, Mirvac, Lend Lease and Stockland.
During the panel discussion, mayor Len Robinson said the city of Blacktown would see another 94,000 homes built over the next 15 years but infrastructure was needed to support growth.
"We've been creating a suburb basically every year," Cr Robinson said.
Cr Robinson said extending the North West Rail Link through Marsden Park to connect to the Western Line would help both residents who commute to other parts of Sydney for work as well the unemployed to reach more job centres.
"About 45 per cent of the population has to get out of town every day to get to their job," Cr Robinson said. "Youth unemployment is about 25 per cent at Mt Druitt."
Hills mayor Michelle Byrne said there would be an extra 100,000 Hills residents over the next 20 years, with the majority of development to be around transport hubs and town centres.
UDIA NSW president Simon Basheer, of Lend Lease, said further development was needed to support Australia's "fastest growing population" of western Sydney.
"Western Sydney is already a heartland and will be an economic powerhouse going forward," he said. "The new state cabinet is strong and we hope they have what it takes to deliver desperately needed measures including planning reforms, metropolitan and regional plans and pending strata reform."