More than $16 million from the NSW Government’s COVID-19 stimulus fund will help deliver more quality green public space on Crown land across Greater Sydney.
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the new Greater Sydney Crown Land Open Space Activation Program would fund upgrades to Crown land and community facilities.
“The last 12 months has taught us the importance of green open space and creating public places where people can safely meet, congregate and relax,” Mr Stokes said.
“It makes good sense that by improving Crown land and public infrastructure we can make better use of the assets we already have to create more open space for the community to enjoy.
“These projects will also support local jobs and economies with work for tradespeople and materials suppliers.”
In addition to the funding, Crown land will be reviewed to identify sites for future activation.
Local councils will be invited to participate in partnership opportunities for activation and ongoing management of shortlisted sites for activation, which will include new or improved public parkland reserves, foreshore precincts and civic spaces such as town squares.
The program will also complement the Sydney Green Grid, which was bolstered by a $3 million metropolitan green space program launched in July to create more walking trails, bike paths and picnic spots that would build links between green spaces throughout Sydney.
An additional $500,000 over the next two years will be used to protect sensitive nature reserves being impacted by unauthorised activities such as four-wheel driving, dirt bike riding and rubbish dumping.
Mr Stokes said the funding will contribute to the installation of fencing, bollards, cabling, gates and signage on reserves where these activities have caused environmental damage.
“This funding will help local councils trying to manage hotspots where these inappropriate activities occur. Fencing and gates will also help manage bushfire risk by keeping reserves free of accumulated rubbish,” Mr Stokes said.
The projects are among a range of stimulus projects being funded on Crown land sites across Greater Sydney, with others including:
- $2 million to upgrade the Hungry Point walking track at Cronulla including construction of a coastal viewing platform;
- $1.5 million towards restoration of a former railway tunnel at Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains so it can be reactivated as a recreational trail;
- $1.5 million to help Penrith City Council restore a historic former police cottage at Emu Plains;
- $1.5 million to undertake essential maintenance work on the historic Meadowbank Bridge and its pedestrian path and cycleway;
- $1.5 million to remove dilapidated cottages from the Georges River foreshore at Illawong to restore the land to public open space;
- $1.135 million for maintenance and repair work at the former Prince Henry Hospital site at Little Bay including heritage-listed structures;
- $1 million to restore the heritage-listed South Head Signal Station at Vaucluse;
- $500,000 for improvement works at Bidjigal Reserve in Baulkham Hills including bushland restoration and upgrades to walking trails, signage and stormwater infrastructure;
- $250,000 to clean up and assess land at Northmead for contamination on the site of a mechanical workshop.