Sydney's parks are set to have added protection with new proposed legislation to expand and conserve green spaces, according to the NSW government.
After releasing a white paper on the new framework, Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes says that legislative change could further strengthen protections for state-owned parklands.
“Parks are for everyone, no matter where you live, and we need to shift our way of managing individual parks to a model that benefits Greater Sydney as a whole," says Stokes
“We need the right focus for community participation, governance, funding, and operating frameworks, along with strong and enduring funding streams, to deliver on the ambitions of our 50-Year vision for Sydney’s parklands,” he says.
The Greater Sydney Parklands (GSP) is currently the umbrella agency for Sydney’s most iconic parks – Centennial and Moore parks, Callan Park, Western Sydney Parklands, Fernhill Estate, and Parramatta Park which cover more than 6,000 hectares and are visited by more than 40 million people each year.
Stokes says the white paper maps a pathway for Greater Sydney Parklands legislation that would strengthen protections for our most iconic parklands by unilaterally prohibiting their sale; introducing new limits on commercial activities; developing a sustainable funding model to last generations, and giving communities a stronger voice in their future. Since the GSP was established in July 2020, it has:
- Released the Callan Park Landscape Structure Plan which included $14 million in works;
- Exhibited a draft plan of management for Fernhill Estate;
- Completed stages four and five at Bungarribee Park in Western
- Sydney, creating greater access to community open space and parklands;
- Regenerated native bushland in Centennial Park and launched the Indigenous art and cultural installation on the Gurawil Trail; and
- Contributed a $4.5m upgrade to ES Marks Field
“We are being open and transparent about this process. The white paper will be on exhibition for six weeks and we are keen to hear what the community has to say,” says Stokes.
The white paper is on public exhibition until July 5. Go to https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/GSPwhitepaper