Healthy future predicted

PENRITH’S health precinct is crucial to its future job prospects, University of Western Sydney academic Peter Phibbs says.
Nanjing Night Net

Professor Phibbs co-ordinates the university’s urban management and planning program.

The Penrith Business Alliance has also pushed the idea of a ‘‘health precinct’’ for the region, taking in Nepean Hospital and UWS, with links to local businesses specialising in health and beauty products.

‘‘When you look at world trends, the growth in services is on,’’ Professor Phibbs said. ‘‘The health precinct will become more important, and I can see some entrepreneurs, supported by UWS, giving people some employment opportunities.

‘‘Penrith has a large older population, so aged care will have an impact.’’

But he said local economic opportunities had to be supported by improved

infrastructure.

‘‘Penrith needs better roads and more frequent trains to connect it with others parts of the greater Sydney area,’’ Professor Phibbs said.

He said this needed long-term planning which could survive any changes in government.

‘‘It’s difficult to future-proof things, given that the future is unknown,’’ he said.

‘‘Bipartisanship on some things would certainly be useful, so everyone has an idea of what will happen.

‘‘Fortunately, I don’t think there’s a vast difference in the parties’ policies about views on Penrith.’’

‘‘I think property values will increase, but I don’t think there will be sharp rises in land prices,’’ he said.

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