100 new public space projects planned for NSW

Communities across the state will share in $250 million worth of funding to create a legacy of green and accessible public spaces as part of a program that is the first of its kind in NSW.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the funding supported 60 successful council proposals for more than 100 projects as part of the NSW Government’s inaugural Public Spaces Legacy Program.

“This pandemic has reminded us of the immense value we all place on our public spaces – our parks, streets, plazas, cycleways, foreshores, bushland and walking trails,” Mr Perrottet said.

“This program and the funding behind it will not only lead to better public spaces, but the work to construct them will boost local economies through the creation of more jobs.”

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the funding being delivered to councils was reliant on them meeting agreed targets to speed up local development applications.

“This program is the first of its kind in NSW and demonstrates state and local government working together to create a legacy of beautiful public spaces that communities, for decades, can be proud of,” Mr Stokes said.

“In exchange for legacy funding, councils participating in the program need to speed up their assessment times. They have until June 30 to keep hitting their targets but, so far, the program has seen a 20 per cent improvement.

“It’s been great to see the unclogging of the planning system as part of this program – 42 of 53 planning proposals that had been stuck in the planning system for more than four years have been resolved and 161 of 168 regionally significant development applications have been cleared.”

This innovative program will see legacy projects delivered across NSW including:

  • Albury: More than two hectares of public space adjacent to the Murray River will be upgraded with a boardwalk and the construction of a shared zone market area to provide for up to 60 market stalls;
  • Bankstown: Paul Keating Park precinct will be rejuvenated with an inclusive playspace in the heart of the CBD, plus more tree coverage and seating;
  • Georges River: A car park will be converted into permanent green, public space, including smart furniture, more trees and shade.
  • St Leonards: the new St Leonards Plaza will create a green space in the heart of the CBD to benefit local residents and workers with an accessible, active and vibrant public space;
  • Double Bay: A road will be closed to create a public plaza in Knox Street, including seating and gathering areas, landscaping, lighting and public art elements;
Mr Stokes said 28 councils in Greater Sydney and 32 councils in regional NSW took part in the program.

“We’re offering funding from $2 million to $5.5 million for projects from Albury to Byron and from Dubbo to Sydney, including parklands, trails, foreshore and riverfront precincts, plazas and street improvements,” he said.

Councils will be provided with funding for project planning and design and will have until 30 June 2021 to demonstrate they have met DA assessment performance improvements to lock in their full allocation of funding ahead of construction starting from August.

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