A new 50-Year Vision for Greater Sydney’s network of parklands and green open spaces has been launched today by the NSW Government, heralded by an initial $10 million investment to revitalise one of the city’s forgotten harbour-side parks.
Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said the draft Vision – which is now open for public comment – puts NSW on a path to the first-ever metropolitan-wide plan for the city’s open spaces and parklands.
“Our city’s parks are one of our greatest assets and belong to all of us; it’s time for a clear, single vision to protect, manage, enhance and expand them for generations to come,” Mr Stokes said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how we need to change the way we look at our public spaces – not as parks in a city but rather as Sydney as a city within a park.”
The Vision will be championed by a new Greater Sydney Parklands (GSP) government agency that brings together the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust, Parramatta Park Trust, and Western Sydney Parklands Trusts, as well as the parklands of Callan Park and Fernhill Estate. Michael Rose, Chairman of the Committee for Sydney, has been appointed the Chair of GSP board.
“In the past, the individual parkland trusts have had a sole focus on the land within their boundaries. Now we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to look beyond those boundaries to plan for our parklands and open spaces over the next 50 years as a connected and vital network that forms the backbone of our city,” Mr Stokes said.
“This new city-wide agency will work in partnership with communities and local councils across Greater Sydney to champion the new Vision and ensure we’re working holistically to expand and improve our open spaces and parklands.”
Combined, the agency will oversee more than 6,000 hectares of parklands across Sydney, which host more than 40 million visits each year.
Callan Park in Sydney’s inner west is the first park to be identified through the GSP for urgent restorative work, with $10 million in funding allocated to enhance the connection with the waterfront and Bay Run. A new Landscape Structure Plan has been released for public comment, which will inform how the funding is spent.
“This investment in Callan Park is just the start and demonstrates our committment to revitalising and growing our city’s great public open spaces, starting with one of its great forgotten jewels,” Mr Stokes said.
The draft 50-Year Vision for Greater Sydney’s Open Space and Parklands will be open for consultation until 11 September 2020.