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E.S. Marks Athletics Field Safety Upgrade

Sustainable Parklands Project

Project Name: E.S. Marks Athletics Field Safety Upgrade
Location: E.S. Marks Athletics Field, Moore Park
Project Timing: To be confirmed

Project in brief

As part of the Sustainable Parklands Program, Centennial Parklands is planning a new car park and public entry point to the E.S. Marks Athletics Field facility from Dacey Avenue in Moore Park.

This important safety upgrade will greatly improve vehicle and pedestrian safety, decrease on-street congestion, and increase accessibility.

Public consultation for this project was undertaken from 13 March to 3 April 2017 and included online and physical exhibitions, stakeholder interviews and community group briefings. We have addressed each of the safety points received in the submissions and the feedback has been critical in shaping and influencing the additional recommendations in the construction tender, which is now out to market.


As part of the Sustainable Parklands Program, a new car park and entry point is being created for the E.S. Marks Athletics Field. This important upgrade will improve vehicle and pedestrian safety, decrease on-street congestion, and increase accessibility.

Public consultation was undertaken from 13 March to 3 April 2017 and included online and physical exhibitions, stakeholder interviews and community briefings.

The feedback has been critical in determining additional recommendations for the project, which will be delivered as part of the progressive implementation of the Moore Park Masterplan 2040.

Project Description

In 2013, we delivered a series of planned facility enhancements and safety upgrades at E.S. Marks Athletics Field. This stage saw the replacement of the running track, and improvements to a number of the support services. As part of our Sustainable Parklands Program, we are now undertaking a new series of works on improved safety and accessibility.

This stage, as documented in the 2002 Moore Park South Master Plan and the Moore Park Master Plan 2040, will address a number of long-standing issues relating to car and bus parking and drop-off as well as access and general accessibility to the site.

The new car park and public entry point to the E.S. Marks Athletics Field from Boronia Avenue to Dacey Avenue will greatly improve vehicle and pedestrian safety, as well as increase public awareness and accessibility of the site. 


The NSW Government and Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust have been working together to raise funds for the E.S. Marks Athletics Field Safety Upgrade and NSW Treasury has contributed $2.8 million to the project.

Community input and consultation

The staged upgrade to the E.S. Marks Athletics Field facility was first addressed in the 2002 Moore Park South Master Plan. Following extensive community consultation, the plan flagged:

“Staged development of a multi-use sports facility which may include a variety of indoor and outdoor sports, health and fitness, aquatic, sports medicine and campus style sports and education related accommodation.”

The future of E.S. Marks Athletics Field was further addressed in the Centennial Parklands Plan of Management 2006-2016. Again, after extensive community and stakeholder consultation, the plan noted the future of the site was:

“To realise the potential of the E.S. Marks site, to provide a range of participatory sporting and associated facilities with a focus on athletics, sports training and development, health and wellbeing and to add significant value to Centennial Parklands.”

In 2015 we began the first stage of stakeholder and community consultation on the draft Moore Park Master Plan 2040. This plan, which received high levels of positive feedback, referenced:

“Upgrade ES Marks Athletics Field facilities and explore opportunities for high performance sports training and community sports facilities (including allied health facilities) could create a benchmark for ‘a place for all to play.’”

The consistent intention, identified need and community response of all of these plans is for increased investment in the site to develop greater opportunities for community participation through multi-use facilities. It is critical that a safe and accessible car and bus parking facility is introduced to cater for the future growth and investment in to the facility.

External needs identification

The needs highlighted in the design development of this project are driven by the above mentioned successive planning documents, and reinforced by regular feedback received by the community and regular users of the site (which includes local residents, sporting community groups and representative bodies, and surrounding local councils)

The majority of the needs identified by external bodies focus mainly around:

  • The need to create a safe and well planned parking facility for car and bus access.
  • The need to invest in facilities that will continue to service the growing population and the demand for outdoor recreation in the inner city.

Stakeholder consultation

Early consultation on the concept plans for the project was undertaken with various user groups (including, for example, Athletics NSW, City of Sydney, and the KU Centennial Parklands Childcare Centre). This consultation enabled us to understand their requirements, and incorporate their needs as far as practicable during the design process.

Expert consultation

In addition to stakeholder input, we sought independent reviews and recommendations from industry experts on:

  • parking and traffic
  • asset condition
  • structural audits
  • safety review and audit

Public consultation

Consultation with the key stakeholders, user groups, residents, and the broader community took place during a formalised public consultation period from 13 March to 3 April 2017. This has now closed.

Each of the submissions have been thoroughly reviewed. In summary:

  • Dust impact

A dust mitigation strategy will be implemented which includes a ‘scrim’ screen and regular watering to reduce dust.

  • The natural environment

Any trees identified for removal will be replaced on a one-for-one basis, on site and more broadly across the Parklands.

  • Paid parking

Parking operations will be determined consistently with all metred parking across Moore Park. Signage will be in place to support parents dropping off and collecting children from the Childcare Centre. It is anticipated that these spaces will be 15 minute parking only during peak periods.

  • Cycling paths / end of trip facilities

A safer, wider shared pedestrian path is being constructed on Dacey Avenue with new bike racks being installed in the new car park area.

  • Athletic facilities

There will be no net loss of athletics facilities, track or field, during the construction works. The discus circles will be temporarily relocated to the main field, however general disruption is expected to be minimal.

Communication will continue throughout the project to ensure that our visitors remain aware of all scheduled work and potential impacts.

While there may be some temporary inconvenience, it is an exciting progression of the facility and will certainly provide a better and safer outcome for all visitation to the Precinct.

Concept Design

The current design for the project includes the relocation of the formal entry and new car park at the northern end of the E.S. Marks Athletics Field facility to Dacey Avenue. The project will take cars and buses off local streets and reduce local congestion on Boronia Avenue.

Car parking already on site adjacent to the KU Childcare Centre will be integrated into this project. Access and safety will be maintained for childcare workers and parent dropoff and pickup.

Maintaining proximity access to parking for precinct users will remain our priority. The new carpark will include metered parking in order to maintain access for regular users of the precinct, and mitigate potential use from commuters who would utilise the facility as a free park-and-ride location once the nearby City and South East Light Rail is operational.

The car park design has undergone an independent safety review to ensure compliance with all safety requirements, and the design’s focus has been on providing a safe and accessible facility for vehicles and pedestrians.

Proposed design

Frequently Asked Questions
This project will address a key component critical for E.S. Marks Athletics Field as an ongoing community recreation facility. The project will improve pedestrian, bus and car movements around the precinct. This will ensure a safer environment for residents, E.S. Marks Athletics Field users and the community. Taking vehicle congestion off local residential streets and focusing activity on major arterial roads provides an improved site for all stakeholders.
The facility will remain open, with appropriate signage and safety practices throughout the works. Users will continue to have access to the site for their chosen activities (whether it be soccer, athletics or other fitness and recreation opportunities, as well as KU Childcare patrons) while the project is under construction. It is foreseeable that there may be minor inconveniences throughout the project. However, we will ensure any inconvenience is minimised throughout the works.
Yes. Safety is our number one priority - the car park has been designed with the safety of vehicles and pedestrians in mind. Drop off zones for buses and cars, along with speed restrictions, will be introduced and additional fencing, lighting, pedestrian/accessible crossings and pathways have also been incorporated in to the design. It is important to note that the design team have followed Australian Standards, an independent safety review of the design has been carried out, and safety in design meetings were held throughout the design process.
Yes. Accessible parking and access have been included in the design.
Yes, soccer will continue to be booked and played on the field inside the athletics track.
Yes, the existing practice of purchasing visit passes will continue.
Paid parking meters will be installed as part of this project to ensure we maintain access and parking for regular users of the precinct. The use of meters will mitigate potential use from commuters who would utilise the facility as a free park-and-ride location especially with the nearby City and South East Light Rail coming into operation within the next year or so. Maintaining proximity access to parking for precinct users will remain our priority.
The facility will continue to be open to the public as is. Opening hours are expected to be from 3.30 pm to 8.30 pm, 7 nights per week. The E.S. Marks Athletics Field will continue to be available for bookings including school carnivals.
As part of the proposed works – in consultation with the Parklands Aboriculture Team – a number of smaller trees are required to be removed. However the mature figs located on site have been incorporated into the design and will not be removed. The smaller trees identified for removal have been assessed as generally in poor condition and do not complement the existing environment or design. Once the works are complete the area will be replanted with native Australian shrubs and grasses to landscape and enhance the existing area. Any trees that are removed will be replaced at least on a one for one basis, on site and across the Parklands. The Arboriculture Staff will continue to have input in to the process to ensure significant trees are retained, and they will continue to act as advisors throughout the project lifecycle.
Yes, a temporary site compound will be established during the construction period. We do not anticipate that the construction compound will inhibit users from continuing to use the site during this period. Safety signage and notices will be in place to direct pedestrians and vehicles as needed.
All Centennial Parklands’ Environmental and Conservation Management Plans will be adhered to, and all legislative requirements including Heritage and Planning obligations will be complied with.
The project will be tendered as part of a NSW Procurement tender process in line with the appropriate procurement guidelines as set out by the NSW Government.

Further information

If you would like more information or would like to be kept informed about important updates relating to this project, please subscribe to our Park Notices eNewsletter. This is a dedicated newsletter, which provides key updates and information about each of our Sustainable Parklands Projects Program and events happening across the Parklands. Subscribe here now.