New campaign aims to protect Macquarie Park Innovation District jobs

Published on 20 December 2023


City of Ryde is calling upon businesses and residents of Northern Sydney and City of Ryde to join its newly launched campaign to have a say on the future of the Macquarie Park Innovation District (MPID). This follows on from a number of controversial planning decisions by the NSW Government that will “rip” the heart out of employment in the Innovation District.

Large corporates, small-medium enterprises (SMEs), workers, residents and community members are being urged to back Council’s campaign to save Northern Sydney’s pre-eminent employment precinct that currently supports over 70,000 jobs. The NSW Government’s recent rezoning proposal for Macquarie Park, coupled with their drive to assist developers with Build-to-Rent (BtR) housing and their latest version of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) that is again centred on more housing for Macquarie Park will see well over 15,000 additional apartments built in the Innovation District, destroying vital employment lands. This housing is in addition to over 22,000 apartments already planned for in Macquarie Park and would likely mean that an additional school would be required above what is already planned.

This housing will not only replace at least 23,000 new jobs that have been promised to the community, but severely jeopardise those 70,000 jobs that already exist in the MPID.

But there is one last chance for our community to have their voices heard through Council’s submission on the Department of Planning’s “Macquarie Park Innovation District Rezoning Proposal – Stage 1” which is due by late February 2024.

“This is the last opportunity we will have to save the heart of Northern Sydney’s ‘Global Economic Corridor’. If we don’t stand up and be heard now, then this major employment precinct will be lost forever”, City of Ryde Mayor Clr Sarkis Yedelian OAM said. “We need to ensure our current and future communities have the job opportunities they deserve in this precinct, with a high-quality lifestyle and limitless opportunities at their doorstep.

“We can achieve this through striking the right balance in delivering housing and jobs in the Macquarie Park Innovation District, which already houses 10 of the world’s top 100 companies, by working with the NSW Government, local businesses, Macquarie University and landowners to deliver both lifestyle and opportunities for our community.

“We support the NSW Government in tackling the housing crisis, and we will continue to more than meet our targets, but we want them to work with us and our community.”

The rezoning proposal has been followed by a further NSW Government announcement of mid-rise housing close to transport hubs which will effectively see all of the MPID redeveloped into housing, stymieing not only new jobs, but resulting in the eventual loss of up to 70,000 existing jobs.

City of Ryde CEO Wayne Rylands said the State Government should prioritise the implementation of a State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) for the MPID to protect spaces for innovation and enterprise employment, similar to what they have done for the Aerotropolis. This could be coupled with incentives that will also allow for new housing that encourage mixed-use development to include spaces for innovation and enterprise and pause new development activity and urgently establish a new task force addressing the area’s future.

“We need the NSW Government to secure our nationally important Innovation District’s future through appropriate planning policy, a shared vision and shared plan rather than knee-jerk reactions to the housing crisis when City of Ryde is already doing more than its share in housing provision, and is prepared to do more!” Mr Rylands said.

“This ill-advised, additional housing provision replaces our innovation precinct and could result in a loss of at least $65m in rateable income for Council, which will further burden already strained local infrastructure and will see significant increases to already traffic congested and polluted roads. This is all occurring while successive state governments have failed to deliver on any promised infrastructure, such as open space, roads or a proposed bus interchange, for the substantial growth that Macquarie Park has already absorbed.

“I encourage the State Government to support this vital, nationally important employment precinct and consult closely with Council, key stakeholders and the community as we work together to solve the housing crisis.”

View Council’s draft submission(PDF, 3MB)

We asked the community to have their say to show their support and be part of the final submission which will be made to the State Government.

Submissions closed 11.59pm Thursday 8 February 2024.

Further updates will be provided on the Proposed rezoning of Macquarie Park Innovation District page.