Planning for future of Stuart Park and Galvin Park – Wollongong

We’d like to thank the community for sharing their ideas on how Council could continue to ensure Stuart Park remains a great place for everyone to enjoy. We’ve taken your feedback and used it to create the draft Stuart and JP Galvin Park Landscape Master Plan.

Our community has told us time and time again that they love Stuart Park just the way it is. We feel the same way, and that’s why Council is not looking to significantly develop the site. Instead, we want to see what other improvements we can focus on to make it an even greater place to visit.

Now that we’ve got ideas on paper, we want to check back in with our community to see what they think about the draft Master Plan. We want to know what if we have got it right, what could be improved, and what other ideas should we consider.

From now until Wednesday 2 November, the draft Master Plan will be on public exhibition on the Our Wollongong website, with physical copies available at Wollongong Library.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said that Stuart Park and JP Galvin Park is Wollongong’s premier park and a much-loved community space.

“We recognise that there’s a lot of community interest in this location for recreation, exercise, events, play and community. Stuart Park and JP Galvin Park are used for a variety of public recreation purposes such as cycling, exercise, picnics and BBQs, social gatherings, and play. The parks are also home to important vegetation including large Norfolk Island Pine trees and extensive swamp oak tree plantings,” Cr Bradbery said.

“Stuart Park and surrounding areas are also an important place for Aboriginal people as it has significant cultural value. To date, we’ve had many conversations with Aboriginal community members about how Council can develop a Master Plan that acknowledges and responds to the cultural significance of this place.

“We’ve been told that Stuart Park would be a great location for a yarning circle. A yarning circle is a defined space where people can gather and share their culture, knowledge, and stories. The draft Stuart and JP Galvin Park Landscape Master Plan includes suggestions for this idea to be considered and through this work, we’ll continue to collaborate with members of the local Aboriginal community to ensure the Park’s significance is respected and celebrated.”

What is a Master Plan and why do we need one for Stuart Park and JP Galvin Park?

A Master Plan is a strategic, long-term document that helps guide Council’s priorities and decisions for a specific place. The draft Stuart and JP Galvin Park Landscape Master Plan explains what our community values about the park, what Council will do to take care of it, and what upgrades are planned for the future.

“The draft Master Plan paints a picture of what our community cares about and what they want to see prioritised for the area. It’s important to remember this is a long-term document with actions that will be rolled out over a number of years,” Cr Bradbery said.

“It’s a collaborative document that takes into account the different ideas and thoughts of the diverse community members who use this popular space. More than 870 people shared their ideas back in the first round of community engagement and we’ve carefully reviewed this feedback and used it to create the first draft of the Master Plan.

“At the same time, Council also considered a number of important factors such as Stuart Park’s use as an event space, the impact of climate change on the site and its significance as an Aboriginal cultural place.

“Council’s draft Master Plan will build on the work we’ve already completed or started in this space. The draft Master Plan also takes into consideration separate projects such as the All Abilities & All Ages Playground, new boardwalk and footpaths, new yarning circles and upgraded public amenities.”

How does this fit into the Council’s plan for the Blue Mile?

Back in 2007, Council adopted the Blue Mile Master Plan which incorporated the Stuart Park precinct and proposed several city and foreshore improvements to realise the potential of this iconic urban beach and foreshore.

Over the years Council has made upgrades to this space as a way to invest in public infrastructure and improve the experience of the community and visitors.

Some of the improvements Council has made to date in Stuart Park include:

  • the upgrade of the existing playground
  • construction of new public toilets including new accessible facilities and parking
  • new and upgraded picnic facilities in both Stuart and Galvin parks including protection and enhancement of the existing heritage picnic shelters
  • Major upgrades and increased length of footpaths
  • Upgrade and increased capacity of car parking. We’ve also added new streetlighting for these car parks
  • Upgrade to Stuart Park entrance off Cliff Road to improve cycling and pedestrian safety.

“Since the adoption of the Blue Mile Master Plan in 2007, our city has gone through several changes. We’ve witnessed population growth, changes to the tramway and increased walking and cycling movement through our city, increased visitation from western and southern Sydney, as well as bigger community events such as Yours & Owls music festivals,” Cr Bradbery said.

“At the same time, how Council does business has changed significantly. We’ve updated our Urban Greening Strategy, adopted a new Reconciliation Action Plan, and we’re working towards preparing our community for changing weather events through our work with Council’s Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation Plans.”

With all these changes in mind, it’s the right time to hear from our community about the future of Stuart Park and JP Galvin Park.

“We have no desire to make drastic changes to the park. We know our community loves the space and so do we. Instead, the focus of the draft Master Plan is on how we can retain what’s already great and enhance the park’s positive qualities,” Cr Bradbery said.

“We don’t want to make changes for change’s sake, we want to build upon what we’re already getting right, and make improvements where we can, to add value for the whole community. Your feedback will help us refine this important, strategic document.”

Feedback on the draft Stuart Park and JP Galvin Park Landscape Master Plan is open until Wednesday 2 November 2022. Visit the Our Wollongong website

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