The financial legacy of Sydney’s Olympics continues to be taking form


The taxpayer-funded development of venues and infrastructure did gas a development spurt in Sydney. Estimates by economist Terry Rawnsley present town’s financial system grew at a super-strong fee shut to five per cent within the two years earlier than the video games. But a nasty hangover adopted. Sydney’s annual development fee fell sharply after 2000 and remained subdued for some years, though many issue contributed to the slowdown.

But investments on the dimensions of these made to host the Olympics have results that play out over many a long time. With 20 years of hindsight it is obvious internet hosting the video games has delivered some necessary long-term financial advantages.

The Sydney Olympics had been staged in the midst of a historic section of globalisation which took off round 1990 and lasted till the worldwide monetary disaster in 2009. A putting function of that interval was the emergence of extremely related, internationally-oriented cities which thrived amid the speedy development in commerce. Those “global cities” have turn out to be the command posts of the worldwide financial system.

For a center energy metropolis like Sydney, internet hosting the video games in 2000 was supreme. It helped body Sydney as a big-league metropolis at a second of speedy world integration.

The video games had been a well-timed world commercial for Sydney’s capabilities. The method the occasion was staged – with effectivity, security and gusto – was optimistic for investor confidence in Sydney (and Australia) and useful to our export industries.


The video games occurred simply as profitable new tourism markets had been opening up in rising Asian economies, particularly China. The occasion was additionally staged on the cusp of a growth in worldwide schooling, a sector which has grown quickly in Sydney throughout the previous 20 years.

“Having all those images shown on TV globally of such a successful event, in a city that’s nice to be in, served us well and certainly helped our exporters,” says AMP’s chief economist, Shane Oliver. “It showcased Australia’s talent.”

Perhaps much more precious is the way in which the Olympics reworked the geographical coronary heart of Greater Sydney.

It’s straightforward to overlook a lot of what we now name Sydney Olympic Park was a poisonous waste dump previous to the video games. Contaminants at Homebush Bay, because it was recognized, included petroleum waste, unexploded ordnance, chemical waste, energy station ash, gasworks waste, asbestos, industrial hydrocarbons demolition rubble and home rubbish.


The Olympics offered the justification of a much-needed clean-up. Between 1992 and 2000 the NSW authorities spent greater than $130 million to remediate air pollution unfold throughout 400 hectares.

Without the video games, it is tough to think about a authorities committing the sources for such a complete renewal.

“If the Olympics hadn’t come along Sydney might still have a giant waste dump taking up hundreds of hectares of prime land in the heart of the city,” says Terry Rawnsley who’s an knowledgeable in regional economics.

“That’s the counterfactual universe in which Beijing got the nod for the 2000 Olympics and Sydney never hosted the games.”

The Homebush Bay clean-up vastly improved the amenity of western Sydney and the financial dividends flowing from that makeover are substantial.

Olympics-related remediation work paved the way in which for the transformation of adjoining suburbs, particularly Rhodes, and the creation of the brand new ones at Wentworth Point and Newington. The in depth inexperienced areas established at Sydney Olympic Park additionally facilitated high-density residential improvement within the neighborhood, including to Sydney’s provide of well-located housing.

The post-games planning of the Olympic precinct has are available in for some justifiable criticism, particularly its empty really feel and lack of vibrant city areas.

Even so, Sydney Olympic Park has emerged as an necessary industrial hub.


The output of the Homebush Bay-Silverwater statistical space (which is made up largely of Sydney Olympic Park) reached $5.54 billion in 2018-19, in keeping with Geospatial Economic Modelling by the consultancy PWC. That makes it the eighth largest native financial system in NSW and larger than some long-established industrial hubs together with Chatswood-Artarmon and Mascot.

Last 12 months, Sydney Olympic Park Authority had greater than 4000 residents and its venues, companies and establishments hosted virtually 20,000 staff and 2000 college students. Around 10 million individuals now go to the world for enterprise or leisure annually, greater than double the quantity that attended the 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The financial output of the suburb will develop significantly as soon as it’s related to each the CBD and Parramatta by the West Metro rail mission due for completion round 2030.

The financial legacy of Sydney’s Olympics continues to be taking form.

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