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E.S. Marks Athletics Field upgrades

An exciting new era for E.S. Marks Athletics Field

The 115-year-old venue is being upgraded, to the tune of $4.8 million, to ensure it can continue to be an important community sporting precinct for the hundreds of thousands of athletes who use it every year. This is a heavily used venue with regular school carnivals, public open nights and large group attendance. These upgrades are a key deliverable of the Moore Park Masterplan 2040 (Moore Park 2040) and ensure the safety and longevity of this well-loved facility.

The upgrade of the Athletics Field facilities is a key deliverable of the Moore Park Masterplan 2040 (Moore Park 2040), which was consulted on extensively between 2015 and 2016. Moore Park 2040 is a blueprint for Greater Sydney Parklands' direction and management of the Park over the next 25 years.

Project: E.S. Marks Athletics Field upgrade

Location: Boronia Street and Anzac Parade Kensington

Project delivery: 10 January 2022 to early July 2022* (weather permitting)
*project has been delayed due to the significant wet weather. 

Project owner: Greater Sydney Parklands

Project description

The upgrade will give E.S. Marks a new lease of life and improve amenity and safety for patrons and spectactors. The upgrade will deliver: 

  • A World Athletics certifed 400 metre synthetic track
  • Revamped high jump and long jump areas
  • Improved vista to the track with the partial demolition of the southern grandstand 
  • New ticket booth and storage sheds
  • Better amenity with 15 new trees and extensive landscaping
  • Reduced congestion on Boronia Street with a new driveway, dedicated bus pick up and drop off zone and 14 new parking spaces 

Artists impressions of the E.S. Marks upgrade when complete


Design of the new ticket booth for the E.S. Marks site

Detail and timing of works

  • 14-16 December 2021 – tree removal on the Boronia Street side of the facility.
  • 10 January 2022 – construction site will be established, including the erection of fencing.
  • 25 January to 14 February 2022 - demolition of grandstand (require use of jackhammer so residents may experience noise during this time, see amended construction hours below)
  • 15 February 2022 onward - excavation for a new driveway on Boronia Street and tree planting and landscaping and athletics track construction 
  • 10 - 17 May 2022 - removal of four trees, of poor quality, to make way for new driveway and car turning circle. 

Hours of works
Permitted construction hours for the works are:

  • 7am to 5pm Monday to Friday
  • 8am to 1pm on Saturdays (although contractor will not be working every Saturday)
  • No works will be undertaken on Sundays and Public Holidays. 
  • From 25 January to 14 February hours of construction, for demolition, were changed to minimise impacts on surrounding residents:  
    • 8am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday 
    • No demolition works between 12 and 1pm Monday to Friday (other works will continue on site but no demolition works during this time.

Tree removal and new plantings

Greater Sydney Parklands is committed to enhancing the natural environment of the E.S. Marks Athletics Field. All large, significant trees on the site will be retained and are incorporated in the new design. Additional trees and vegetation will be planted as part of a larger landscaping plan. All plantings will be on the perimeter of the track, to improve amenity and shading. The image below details the plantings near the main entrance on Boronia Street.

An independent arborist has assessed all the current trees and has recommended around 15 be removed due to their poor condition and low retention value. Those 15 trees were removed between 14 and 16 December 2021. Their removal has allowed for the whole site to be landscaped effectively with a combination of larger, mature trees, grasses and flowering plants. Below is a selection that will be planted with the new carpark on Boronia Street.

Tree removal - May 2022
Four trees will be removed on the Boronia Street side of the facility to accommodate the new driveway and turning circle. The trees are in poor condition and extra trees will be planted on side to offset their removal. 

Traffic and Parking impacts

Parking on Boronia Street should be unaffected by the upgrade with all construction vehicles parking on site. Any illegal parking outside of the E.S. Marks site boundary will continue to be a matter for enforcement by Randwick City Council.  
The upgrade will include new car parking provisions, as well as car and bus pick-up and drop-off zones at the facility. These improvements aim to ease congestion and improve parking at the site.

Alternate facilities while E.S. Marks is closed

Alternate training facilities are being provided at McKay Oval while E.S. Marks is closed including marked running lanes. With the winter season underway, facilities have been reduced to accommodate winter sports. The facilities are for running only, with no throwing event training available. Please ensure you are aware of the gate closure times with Paddington, Woollahra, Randwick and Robertson Road entry gates now closing at 6pm with the end of daylight saving.

Lighting of E.S. Marks Field  

New lighting has already been installed to improve safe access and usage throughout the year. Athletic areas and sports fields are now covered, providing the opportunity for night time competition.

The new sports lighting has a LUX* and timer control system to save energy and reduce overall lighting levels, to minimise impacts on nearby residents. 100LUX will be switched on in the evenings for training purposes (this LUX is used for most recreational sports fields) and 200LUX will be used for competition matches. The latest training evenings and competitions go for is 9pm.

A lighting design and impact assessment has been conducted by a reputable, market-leading, Australian lighting company. The new venue lighting complies with all current Australian Standards.

* Lumens is a measure of light leaving a light source. The higher the lumen rating the “brighter” the lamp will appear. Lux refers to light that hits a surface. 1 lux is equal to 1 lumen per square metre.

Works completed so far

  • Demolition of part of the existing grandstand – 1,766 tonnes of concrete and bricks recycled
  • Removal of 542 tonnes of excavated material
  • New storage facility for sporting groups
  • Preparing surface for new athletics track
  • Tree pruning and protection and retention of significant fig trees
Frequently asked questions
April to August is the busiest period for the E.S. Marks Athletics Field. We have scheduled the works to take place during the quieter summer months, and have ensured the entire school athletics season can be completed prior to closure of the venue. NSW Government funding which has been provided for these works has also limited timescales which these upgrades must be completed in.
Greater Sydney Parklands is working hard to minimise construction impacts on nearby residents as much as possible. Noise monitors have been established on site and readings are regularly reviewed to ensure the least noisy option is being pursued.
Works from 25 January to 14 February will involve part demolition of the grandstand. These works involve the use of a pulveriser and a jackhammer which may result in noise impacts. To help minimise the impact on resident, these works will now only start after 8am, finish by 4.30pm and not occur at all between 12 and 1pm. No jackhammering will occur on Saturday mornings.
Noise from the site will not exceed the limits set out in the Noise Control Act 1975 and demolition works will comply with Australian Standard 2436-1981 “Guide to Noise Control on Construction, Maintenance and Demolition Sites”.
General construction works will take place within standard construction hours (7am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Saturday), and a Traffic Management Plan will be put in place for the safety and convenience of neighbours and workers. Construction workers will also be provided with on-site parking to ensure parking will not be affected on nearby streets.

Residents with any questions or concerns can contact the project team on (02) 9339 6699 or email us at 
The upgrade will include new car parking provisions, as well as car and bus pick-up and drop-off zones at the facility. These improvements aim to ease congestion and improve parking at the site.

Any illegal car parking outside of the E.S. Marks site boundary will continue to be a matter for Randwick City Council enforcement.
Training facilities will be provided at McKay Oval while E.S. Marks is closed including:
  • 400 metre lanes (1 metre wide)
  • 100 metre straights – 16 lanes in total
The facilities at McKay Oval will be available Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 3:30pm – sunset. The facilities will be for running only, with no throwing event training available. Please ensure you are aware of the gate closure times in the Parklands with Paddington, Woollahra, Randwick and Robertson Road entry gates closing at 8pm.
All passes that are active when the site closes for works will be extended for 12 months.
All fees and charges to use E.S. Marks Athletics Field will be frozen throughout Financial Year 2022.
No. All athletics facilities will be retained and enhanced.
Both pedestrians and cyclists have been considered and accommodated in the project design. Pedestrians will be separated from vehicular traffic and will be directed to use the main entry footpath connecting them safely to the new site office for the venue.

In the interest of pedestrian safety, and to ensure a slow speed environment, signage recommending cyclists dismount upon entry to the site will also be implemented at the Boronia Street entry point. Dedicated cycle racks will also be installed adjacent to the track.
A heritage impact statement has been undertaken, and measures will be put in place to preserve heritage structures at the site. Approval of the main works has also been received from the Heritage Council of NSW.