NSW is set to open up a number of improved public spaces for local communities thanks to a $250 million program as part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet says local councils that focus on fast-tracking development assessments for projects that deliver much-needed jobs and housing will be eligible for up to $5.5 million each in funding for parklands, town squares and main streets.

“As part of the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program, councils that push forward with assessments of job-creating projects will be incentivised with funding for more, and better, public spaces,” says Perrottet.

“This program will unlock construction jobs across the State helping combat the economic shocks of COVID-19 while making communities a better place to live."

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes says the program would create a lasting community benefit across the state.

“In NSW, we’ve already fast-tracked the determination of 67 projects since the pandemic began - creating opportunities for 40,000 jobs, 18,000 homes, 400 hectares of open space and $17.7 billion in economic benefit through our Planning System Acceleration Program,” says Stokes.

“Now we’re helping councils to prioritise local planning projects that will boost jobs and investment in their communities with a $250 million incentive to create new and improved public spaces.”

“We want councils to think big and bold and deliver legacy projects – new parks, new walking trails, more walkable and inviting streets and open spaces for their communities,” he says.

This new program is only available to the 68 councils currently participating in the e-planning system.

Image: NSW government