SYDNEY, AAP – Work has begun on a $750 million revamp of the “sad” Sydney Fish Market that the NSW government hopes will cement its status as a tourist attraction on par with the Opera House.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet says the overhaul of the markets will make it “the most iconic fish market anywhere in the world”.

The market was already a “wonderful tourist attraction” for people around the country as well as a popular venue for Sydneysiders.

“But it needs a facelift and we’ve been saying this for a long time. It’s sad here,” Mr Perrottet said on Tuesday.

The overhaul will transform the area and create 700 jobs during construction as well as another 700 on completion and provide hundreds of millions of dollars of work to local suppliers.

The project will deliver 6000 square metres of public space and improve pedestrian and cycling links to the precinct.

The premier says projects like the fish market overhaul are what’s driving the NSW economy.

“We continue to build every single day to ensure that we keep people in work, drive economic growth and ultimately we have the best city in the world,” he said.

Multiplex is in charge of the four-storey building being constructed over Blackwattle Bay at Pyrmont.

Construction has begun with the piling of foundations to support the building, which will sit over the bay, with a basement underneath the water.

Infrastructure Minister Stuart Ayres says the “iconic building” will draw people from all around the world.

“Make no mistake: the Sydney Fish Market rivals the Sydney Opera House when it comes to driving visitations into this city. We want the best infrastructure for our citizens,” Mr Ayres said.

Independent Sydney MP Alex Greenwich says he won’t be sampling the produce at his electorate’s new precinct as he’s “extremely allergic to fish and seafood”.

While the site had been subject to some contentious development proposals over the years, he says “this is not one of them”.

More contentious was the proposed construction of three high rise apartment towers near the precinct that was revealed in July.

Mr Perrottet says “no decisions have been made in relation to that” and the government “will work through that” and “make decisions in due course”.

Any development would have to fit the character of the area but there was also a need to provide more housing stock to help first home buyers break into the market, he said.

The number of new dwellings to be classed as “affordable housing” had not been decided on yet either “but we will make sure that we get the balance right as we move forward”.