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CBD and South East Light Rail Project

Centennial Parklands and the Light Rail Project

The NSW Government has committed to tackling long-term traffic challenges and improving the public transport network in Sydney through the implementation of light rail.

The project, known as the CBD and South East Light Rail Project will see a light rail line built from Circular Quay to Kingsford and Randwick. As the route will pass through Centennial Parklands, there will be a number of important impacts on the Parklands (including some temporary works during construction phase).

Centennial Parklands position on the project is clear:

  • We believe that the CBD and Light Rail Project will provide long-term social, environmental and economic benefits for the wider community, and more specifically will benefit the Parklands directly. It will help address a number of long-standing transport issues relating to access in and around the Parklands.
  • As custodians of the Parklands, we have a duty to protect and enhance Centennial Parklands environment for the community - minimising any impacts of the project, and seeking appropriate offset measures where impact is unavoidable. This duty does include making hard decisions in the short-term for long-term benefits (including the impact on our trees - read more below).
  • We are obliged under the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust Act 1983 to support the NSW Government's policy on public transport initiatives along the designated transport corridor.

Following requests from the visitors and neighbours of Centennial Parklands, we have now established a project page to highlight specific information on the project that impacts upon Centennial Parklands.

This page will provide latest news, updates and frequently asked questions about the Light Rail Project and Centennial Parklands.

Latest project news

Transport for NSW are the lead government agency for the Light Rail project and media enquiries, while ALTRAC Light Rail is the consortium responsible for the design, build and operation of the CBD and South East Light Rail. ALTRAC Light Rail has a team of dedicated Community Engagement staff to respond to enquiries and ensure the community is informed of works, including potential impacts.

All of the latest project updates can be found on the Transport for NSW website or by contacting their Information Centre.

For improved access to information specific to Centennial Parklands, this webpage will include updates on the project that relate specifically to visitor impacts, project milestones and temporary changes during construction of the project.

March 2018

Update on Kensington Pond replacement project

Works to replace the new shared Kensington Pond Bridge are underway. As the new bridge will connect to the boardwalk and the Sydney Light Rail, we are working closely with Transport for NSW to create a new shared bridge to improve access to the Parklands and make Centennial Park more accessible.

Construction is expected to start mid-late 2018 and will be complete ahead of light rail operation.

Access to the parklands remains via the Darley Road entrance until the bridge is complete.

November 2017

New figs for ANZAC Parade

Six mature 200 litre Moreton Bay Fig trees will be planted along Anzac Parade this week (from 28 November) as part of the light rail revegetation program.

Revegetation for the light rail project is charging ahead with an active program to plant significantly more trees than those removed for track and utilities work.
Since just July, more than 330 trees have been planted in the Centennial Parklands, bringing the total number of trees planted in the park for the revegetation program to over 540.
Around 30 more trees are scheduled to be planted in the area during this optimal planting season.
The CBD and South East Light Rail is an environmentally focussed project and retaining as many trees as possible has and always will be a high priority.
Wherever practical, designs are changed and trees pruned rather than removed.
Significant trees have already been saved in High Cross Park with the change of the terminus location to High Street, and we will continue to look at ways to save as many trees as is practical.
The Light Rail revegetation program ensures that we will plant two new trees for every small tree removed; four for every medium tree; and eight for every large tree.
More than 1,800 new trees will be planted in City of Sydney and Randwick City Council areas, with at least 900 of these planted along the light rail route and the others planted in consultation with Randwick City Council, City of Sydney and Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust.

August 2017

Anzac parade and Lang Road Intersection Works (from 13 August)

Traffic changes will be in place in Moore Park on Lang Road, between Anzac Parade and Driver Avenue, from Sunday 13 August to Friday 2 September 2017 for Altrac Light Rail works. There will be no right turn from Lang Road westbound onto Anzac Parade northbound. During day time work, two lanes of traffic will be maintained.
Night time closures will be in place on Lang Road between 8.00 pm and 5.00 am. Detour signage will be in place. The recommended detour is via Moore Park Road. See map below.
The northern pedestrian crossing across the busway and adjacent footpath will be closed, with a sign posted detour via the Driver Avenue pedestrian crossing and the southern side of Lang Road.
Works will be suspended and all traffic movements re-opened during major events at Moore Park. For further information, please call the Project Infoline on 1800 684 490 or visit and

July 2017
Intersection works around Centennial Parklands

ALTRAC Light rail construction will take place at the intersection of Alison Road and Darley Road from 8.00 pm Friday 28 July to 5.00 am Monday 31 July 2017.

Road impacts

There will be no access for general traffic on Darley Road from the roundabout adjacent to Centennial Park’s Randwick Gates to Alison Road.
There will be no access for all traffic from Alison Road onto Darley Road with a signposted detour route in place via Cowper and Avoca Street.
  • General traffic will be permitted in both directions on Alison Road.
  • Variable speed limits will be in place in the precinct.

Bus impacts

  • Bus stops on Darley Road between Alison and Clovelly Road will be closed.
  • The closest alternative bus stop for Route 372, 373, 374, 376, 377 & M50 services is located on Alison Road near Cowper Street.
  • A temporary stop for Route 339 will also be located on King Street near John Street.
Where required, traffic management will be in place to assist motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to move safely around the work. Local access and emergency services access will be maintained.

There will be more bus and traffic changes in the south-east area as light rail construction continues. Visit and for more information.
November 2016
Kensington Pond replacement project

As part of the development of this project, access to the existing Kensington Pond Bridge will close on 21 November 2016.

We will take this opportunity to commence planning on the replacement Kensington Pond Bridge, which forms part of the pedestrian and cycle entranceway for Centennial Park.

This new entranceway, outlined in the Centennial Park Master Plan 2040, will accommodate the anticipated rise in visitor numbers arriving from the south, via Light Rail and from the increasingly dense residential areas surrounding the Park.

We anticipate the new bridge will be in place for following the completion of the Light Rail permanent works.
March 2016

Anzac Parade temporary diversion project

Work is underway on the implementation of a temporary Anzac Parade diversion road in Moore Park. From April 2016, a temporary six-lane road adjacent to Anzac Parade between Lang Road and the Albert Tibby Cotter Bridge, is being created to be used by vehicles while the light rail tunnel under Anzac Parade is being built.

Transport for NSW advises that temporarily diverting traffic we will reduce the planned construction time of the tunnel to less than a year. Previously, it was proposed to build the two sides of the tunnel in separate phases, which would have taken at least 16 months. The work required to implement this will not require any further loss of trees, and the Anzac Parade Busway will still be partially operational during construction. A temporary pedestrian/cyclist footpath will be created, with safety lighting and signage in place.

Further information and a map on this project can be found here.

February 2016

Graffiti and tree protection

In January 2016 we had the highly unfortunate incident of vandals painting graffiti on over 100 of the significant heritage trees down Anzac Parade. After a thorough investigation, we ascertained that the graffiti could be removed through soap and water applied by a low-pressure hose. We do not expect any long term damage to these trees.

To deter repeat graffiti attack, we have placed large hessian wraps around the trees for their protection. This hessian has been tied with a tie-wire under the guidance of our arborists so no damage would be caused to the trees. No nails were used to install this hessian.

We understand there is some concern in the community that these specific trees will be removed. We can confirm that they are not being removed.

January 2016

Tree removals along Alison Road

It was erroneously reported in late January in the media and on social media that around 60 fig trees along Alison Road were removed from Centennial Park. This was inaccurate. During this period only eight of the trees were on land managed by Centennial Parklands. The remaining trees removed in late January were on a strip of land adjacent Centennial Park that is owned by Randwick City Council.

No one likes the thought of trees being removed from the urban environment, especially in Centennial Parklands. We do, however, accept that to implement such a large-scale sustainable public transport system into a highly-built urban environment will mean the loss of some trees. However, Centennial Parklands' staff have worked hard with the project planning team to consider design and construction plans to minimise impact upon the Parklands and its trees, and through this work there are fewer trees being removed than was originally envisioned.

In addition, as part of the agreement with Transport for NSW, we will receive up to eight new trees for every tree lost as part of the project. This means over the next four years we will be planting approximately 560 new semi-mature trees in the Parklands - substantially increasing our tree population and allowing us to improve our tree diversity.

Specifically relating to Centennial Parklands, approximately 70 trees have been removed to date, with an estimated 50 more to be removed over the coming months. These are predominantly the semi-mature trees on the Parklands-side of the Anzac Parade busway, not the mature figs on the road-side of the busway.

Centennial Parklands' position on the project

The Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust is dedicated to protecting the green space, heritage assets, and built and natural environment, as well as ensuring public accessibility across Centennial Parklands.

We believe that the CBD and South East Light Rail project has long-term benefits for the Parklands and the wider community, and we are working with Transport for NSW - alongside the City of Sydney, Randwick City Council, University of NSW and the Australian Turf Club - on ensuring a successful outcome.

There are numerous challenges and issues faced by the Parklands in relation to accessibility, public transport options, traffic and pedestrian movement, and managing the precinct on peak visitation days. These are long-standing issues and well-acknowledged by the community. Many are outlined in the Centennial Park Master Plan 2040, and have been substantially communicated during the current development of a draft master plan for Moore Park.

Under the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust Act 1983, we are obliged to support the NSW Government in developing public transport projects such as the Light Rail project along a defined corridor of land, however regardless of this we view the light rail project as of direct benefit to the Parklands and its visitors as follows:

  • the project will improve public transport and access options for visitors to the Parklands - providing more access and opportunity to visit these green spaces;
  • the project will decrease some visitors’ reliance on bringing private vehicles into the precinct - helping to reduce traffic congestion both within the Parklands and in streets and arterial roads adjacent the Parklands;
  • the project will help to reduce peak congestion on major event days; and
  • the project will help to achieve our ongoing commitment to reducing the on-grass parking on event days in Moore Park.

The vexed issue of trees

No one likes the thoughts of established trees being removed from our urban environment, much less the Parklands' Trustees and staff. We manage over 15,000 trees across Centennial Parklands and have an industry-leading Tree Master Planthat guides our management and maintenance regime to ensure we have a healthy and abundant tree population.

However, while not ideal, we accept that there is a level of unavoidable tree loss that will occur as part of the project in order to gain the greater good of a large-scale sustainable public transport system. We have worked hard with Transport for NSW to minimise any tree loss, and these decisions have not been easy, but have been made in the long-term interests of the Parklands, and for the wider long-term benefit of the community.

The good news is that through negotiation with Transport for NSW, we have ensured that all trees are being assessed on a case-by-case basis. In cases where removal of a tree is unavoidable, we have negotiated a tree compensation package to ensure more trees are put back into the Parklands than the number removed. This means that we anticipate around 560 new trees will be planted across the Parklands over the next four years. The long-term outcome will be a vast increase in the number of trees across the Parklands than currently exists. Transport for NSW, the project delivery agency for Light Rail, has a comprehensive report online about the tree impacts along the entire route from Circular Quay to Randwick here.

Frequently asked questions

Centennial Parklands, as a NSW State Government agency, has been nominated as a project partner by the NSW Government. Along with the City of Sydney, Randwick City Council, Australian Turf Club and University of NSW, we have been working with, and influencing the design and planning for the project since its announcement in 2014.

Our role is primarily support in the development of this new sustainable public transport system, while minimising its impact upon the built and natural environment of the Parklands.

The enormous challenges and scale of implementing a light rail project in a built urban environment has produced a large number of challenges, particularly in terms of route and environmental impact, and we have been working to ensure the interests of the Parklands and its visitors are maintained as far as practicable, through improved design and better understanding of the Parklands environment. Many decisions made have not been straightforward, and have involved a great deal of negotiation. Where compromises have had to be made, adequate compensation has been negotiated to ensure the net impact of the project in the long-term would be positive for the Parklands and the community.

As a responsible member of the wider community, we accept the need to improve and upgrade our city's public transport system, which includes looking at sustainable transport projects like Light Rail. We believe that the project will provide social, environmental and econonic benefits to our city, and also directly to the Parklands as well.

Our role in the project has also been defined under Section 20B of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust Act 1983. This clause requires the Parklands to work with the Minister for Transport to grant a permanent licence for an easement to permit a public transport corridor (which covers, in effect, the route of the Light Rail).

This role, however, does not remove us from our obligations to work to protect the lands and to ensure public access is maintained. We have ensured, through working with Transport for NSW, that the impact upon the Parklands is minimised, design changes are made as far as practicable to return the land to proper usage after construction or otherwise provide acceptable compensatory measures to recognise the impact on the Parklands.

Such compensatory measures have to date included:

  • the tree replacement package
  • the construction of new amenities and facilities at Robertson Road Fields
  • improved pathways and lighting in Moore Park
  • an expansion of Tramway Oval
  • the reconstruction of sporting fields in Moore Park West once work is complete, and
  • adaptation of plans to move some associated infrastructure out of the Parklands or more sympathetically blend them into the existing environment.

Trees in an urban environment provide a crucial role in our daily lives (read more here) and no one likes the thought of mature trees being removed from our city streets or parks. This has been the principle behind Centennial Parklands negotiations with the Light Rail planning team - to minimise any tree loss and to look for alternatives to removal as a first option. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

While we do accept that as part of any large-scale sustainable transport project there will be unavoidable tree loss, however we have negotiated with Transport for NSW that where trees can simply be trimmed back or can be safely relocated, then that option is to be prioritised.

Through this work we have managed to reduce expected tree loss to around 120 trees in total in Centennial Parklands (which represents 0.8% of our total tree stock), however as part of these negotiations we have agreed a tree compensation package that will result in substantially more trees being planted across the Parklands, than those lost (it is estimated we have have almost 4% more trees than currently exists at the end of the project). While the numbers sound positive, we do accept that in this is a long-term benefit that will only be fully realised once the trees mature over time.

It should be noted that recent media reporting and community speculation has wrongly identified a large number of trees removed along Alison Road as being in Centennial Parklands. Only eight of the more than 60 trees removed were in the Parklands, with the remainder on adjacent land owned by Randwick City Council.

Transport for NSW has agreed to fund up to eight trees for every tree unavoidably lost due to the Light Rail project. On behalf of Transport for NSW, Centennial Parklands will be able to plant an estimated 560 new semi-mature trees across its lands over the next four years. This will help us to improve our tree canopy, create a more diverse tree population to improve opportunity for native birds and animals, and implement a number of other key initiatives outlined in our industry-leading Tree Master Plan that currently guide the management of our 15,000 trees.
The fig trees along this stretch of road are some of the most significant trees in the Parklands. Only three of these trees have been removed, as part of the tunnelling work that will bring the Light Rail route underneath Anzac Parade. The remaining trees will not be impacted.

In January 2016 there was an unfortunate graffiti attack on these trees, which many in the community interpreted as a means of indicating these trees were being removed. Again, they are not. While we have cleaned the graffiti off the trees, we have additionally wrapped hessian around the trunks of most of these trees to deter copycat or repeat graffiti attacks in the short term.
By visiting the Transport for NSW project website, contacting their Information Centre (details here), or contacting the Project Infoline: 1800 684 490. We will provide updates for the community on project elements that impact directly upon the Parklands on this page, however all questions about the project should be directed to Transport for NSW as above.