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27 Apr 2022

Extraordinary Weather and Keeping Safe

Autumn brings the return of fallen leaves, cooler temperatures and usually a bit of rainfall. However, due to the La Niña weather pattern, most of Sydney along with Centennial Parklands has seen record-breaking rainfall in the first four months of 2022

The severe weather has impacted the Parklands, causing major disruption to our regular maintenance and upkeep schedules. Our teams on the ground are working around the clock to improve conditions and make the park safe for visitors.  

Flooding at Federation Valley


How much rain has there been in the Parklands? 

Over 1400mm of rainfall has been recorded this year which is 120% of the average annual rainfall in the first quarter alone. 

Are there areas of the Parklands that have been particularly impacted by the extreme wet weather?   

Our teams on the ground are focussed on high use and licensed areas of the Parklands particularly on improving safety and amenity for:

  • Sporting fields – Many remain closed due to saturation and are requiring extensive repair. We understand their importance for community sport and are working to get them back online as soon as possible. Visit our Sports Fields page for the latest closure updates.  

  • Tree failures – Numerous tree and multiple branch failures are being experienced across the Parklands. Smaller branches are being removed as soon as we can, but some of the larger trees will remain on-site for some time until the ground dries and they can be removed easily and safely. 

  • Grassed areas – Mowing heights have been raised to minimise clippings and some grassed areas may remain long until the site dries out. 

  • Garden areas – Significant flooding of formal garden areas such as Column Garden and Rose Garden, as well as the erosion of sandy areas worsened from previous droughts, now requires extensive repair.  

  • Project delays – Upgrade and restoration works have been delayed due to the weather and supply chain issues. Current projects and new timelines can be found at our Parklands Projects webpage.

Tree Failure at Sandstone Ridge


What are we doing to improve the situation? 

Our number one priority is ensuring the safety of visitors. The following strategies have been implemented to improve the safety and amenity and provide an enjoyable experience:  

  • Doubling of mowing frequencies to keep the Parklands presentable.  

  • Contacting external providers to help with service delivery and restoration works   

  • Staff have been working additional hours to catch up

  • Arborists and horticultural teams are inspecting damaged areas, installing temporary fencing to protect native plants and providing solutions to minimise environmental damage  

Are there any benefits from these weather events? 

Yes! The rain may have dampened the mood over the last four months, and caused damage but there has been significant environmental benefits at the Parklands too, including: 

  • The Parklands’ water supply is at 100% with a full soil capacity. 

  • Overall improvement of the health of our Parklands tree collection with the supplementary water.  

  • After a harsh two years of extremely dry conditions, the growth in the grass is providing some density in the outer areas of the Parklands that have no irrigation.

Flooding at Grand Drive

 

So is it safe to visit the Parklands?  

Now that we’re seeing patches of clear skies, we are also seeing lots of visitors return to the Parklands. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience we are asking visitors to be mindful of park conditions by doing the following:  

  • Exercise extra caution – as ground conditions are constantly changing with each weather event, what was experienced one day may not be the same the next. 

  • Avoid waterlogged areas and long grass areas – as there may be potential hazards that are not visible.  

  • Take extra care in areas with fallen trees and branches.

  • Recent heavy rain has triggered an increase in turtle movements across the Parklands. Please keep watch and slow down if you see turtles moving across roads.
     
  • Report hazards – this helps our staff to prioritise and target the issues with available resources.  

Enjoy the Parklands   

We appreciate your patience whilst every effort is being made to return the Parklands to full capacity and we look forward to sunnier weather and bright, blue skies. 

To see what’s happening at the Parklands this Autumn, check out our What’s On page and keep track of weather notices here.  

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