Planning for community at Chand Raat

As-Salam-u-Alaikum! The Department of Planning and Environment, along with many others in our community, will be at Rosehill Gardens on Tuesday, June 4, for the Sydney Chand Raat Eid Festival – the biggest celebration of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr in Australia.

Acting Deputy Secretary, Planning and Design, Brett Whitworth, said the Department was keen to hear from people of all ages and background about their ideas for a great neighbourhood.

“This is the first time we’ve attended the Sydney Chand Raat Eid Festival,” Mr Whitworth said.

“Our team is really excited to meet with families on the Night of the Moon (Chand Raat), as they break their fast of Ramadan together as a community.

“Community is something we do together – so is planning for local neighbourhoods.

“Community input and local character are such important factors in the Department’s decision making so it’s vital we engage with multicultural communities, along with the wider community, during one of Sydney’s favourite festivals.”

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In Sydney, almost 23,000 people were born in Pakistan and as many as 6,000 are expected to converge at the Sydney Chand Raat Eid Festival this year – the greatest number.

“The most recent Census in 2016 showed the largest Sydney community of Pakistan-born people were living in the City of Canterbury-Bankstown Council with 4,853 people, followed by Cumberland (4,653 people) and Blacktown (4,111 people),” Mr Whitworth said.

“We want to ensure everyone in the community has the opportunity to engage with the planning process, so we’ve made a community survey available in Urdu.

“Come visit us at the Festival. Share your ideas with us for your neighbourhood. Together we can build communities close to jobs, schools, services and parks.

“We’re already working closely with Cumberland Council to ensure everyone can play – no matter their age or ability.”

The NSW Government has invested $45,000 under the Everyone Can Play program to help Council make the playground in Central Gardens, in Merrylands West, more inclusive.

“That’s just the beginning,” Mr Whitworth said. Department staff will be at Chand Raat to explain what the Department does and to talk through planning proposals that may be important to residents, such as new rules to boost Sydney’s after-hours economy.

“Nightlife can be one of the most important aspects when defining a place’s culture – Chand Raat festival and the famous Ramadan Night Markets in Lakemba are perfect examples of this!” said Mr Whitworth.

“The Department’s Night-Time Economy Guide is for budding entrepreneurs, from all walks of life, who may be thinking about extending their trading hours beyond the traditional 9am to 5pm, including to host cultural pop-up events, such as Chand Raat.

“The Department’s team will be at the Sydney Chand Raat Eid Festival at Rosehill Gardens, James Ruse Drive, Rosehill, on Tuesday, June 4, from 4pm to midnight.

And in the spirit of generosity and giving, that runs at the heart of Eid, staff will give out free water bottles, Damla soft candy, Halal-certified Milky Ways and Mars Bars, along with Department factsheets translated into community languages.

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