Sydney’s iconic theme park Luna Park is fighting for the right to introduce new rides for the Christmas holidays, battling against strict regulations around safety, noise, lighting and heritage.  

Due to a recent decision by the Land and Environment Court, Luna Park is required to seek a development application every time a ride needs to be moved or replaced.

“Over the last 12 years, Sydney’s iconic Luna Park has introduced more than 200 new and temporary rides and amusements to keep families and visitors entertained, particularly during the holidays,” says Alison Frame, deputy secretary, policy and strategy at the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

“The Court ruling provided procedural clarity about how the Park should operate in the future, but it may have come too late to allow for any new rides to be in place by Christmas. We’ve listened to community concerns and to the practical considerations raised by Luna Park and we’ve developed a workable approach with strict caveats.”

According to Frame, the Department has opened its consultation on a proposed simpler pathway for approving low-impact rides and amusements as exempt and complying developments under the State Environmental Planning Policy (State Significant Precincts).

“The proposed policy update would ensure families and visitors can have a great time at Luna Park this Christmas while not changing existing considerations regarding safety, noise, lighting and heritage protections,” says Frame.

“Exempt and complying development will need to meet standards that set out height, operational and location-specific parameters, and any development will also need to continue to comply with broader heritage, noise and lighting controls that already apply to the site.

“This proposed SEPP amendment has been given priority so that Luna Park can continue to operate effectively over the Christmas holidays – it’s limited in scope and the changes proposed will have minimal impacts. It simply means Luna Park can continue operating as it has since 2002.”