Hillman reckons that convicts in chain gangs and army officers against the setting of sandstone buildings would be a perfect way to boost the profile of Parramatta.
He said giving NSW its own equivalent of 1850s-style outdoor museum Sovereign Hill in Victoria was a “no brainer” as it contributes $228.5 million and 1,422 jobs to the economy on an annual basis.
Mr Hillman called on Parramatta council to think about the idea for an old Parramatta town among plans for the area’s urban renewal with 4000 residential apartments.
While Hillman granted that a similar old Sydney town on the central coast failed, he said that it was due to its poor location.
In comparison, Parramatta has good transport links in the heart of Sydney, he said.
“I’m calling on councillors to show the imagination and courage needed to implement what could be the biggest business bonanza for Parramatta with the creation of Old Parramatta Town right in the heart of the Cumberland Hospital heritage precinct,” he said.
“It ticks the economic boxes, heritage boxes and education boxes.”
Hillman said old Parramatta town could become a key tourist attraction in Sydney and entice tourists from the city out to the western suburbs.