THE New South Wales Government has announced that open space projects including new regional trails, playgrounds and an off-road bike park will receive nearly $4 million in government funding to help meet the recreation needs of Sydney's growing population.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard last week released the details of 46 grants under the Metropolitan Greenspace and Sharing Sydney Harbour Access programs, which he said will encourage Sydneysiders to spend more time outdoors and support healthy, active lifestyles.
Mr Hazzard said that in total, $2.5 million has been awarded for 23 projects under the Metropolitan Greenspace Program and another $1.4 million for 23 projects under the Sharing Sydney Harbour Access Program.
"These grants will help create regional recreation trails for walking and cycling between open space areas and make better use of parks for playgrounds and other facilities," the Minister said.
"The grants will also help open up Sydney Harbour – which is identified as a key city-shaper in the draft Metropolitan Strategy – through new waterside trails, paths, stairs, jetties, picnic facilities and bush care areas.
"Overall the grants will assist us to meet the needs of Sydney's growing population, which will increase to 5.8 million people by 2031," Mr Hazard said.
Much of the funding, which will be matched dollar for dollar by local councils, will go toward 2.4 kilometres of new and upgraded recreation trails around Sydney Harbour and 7.6 kilometres of trails across the rest of the metropolitan area.
Successful projects funded under the Metropolitan Greenspace program include:
- $250,000 to revamp the large, regional children's playground at St Ives Showground;
- $215,000 to continue the construction of the Great Blue Mountains Trail by building a 3-kilometre pathway alongside the Great Western Highway and a 400-metre pathway to the Leura Cascades;
- $200,000 to construct a national, competition-standard BMX and off-road bike park in the Sutherland Shire;
- $203,708 to continue to upgrade facilities at the Shelly Beach foreshore in Wyong Shire, helping build new picnic sites and new fencing to protect sand dunes;
- $270,000 to extend the Emu Plains section of the Great River Walk's shared pedestrian-cycle path by 280 metres; and
- $50,000 to conserve the remains of Australia's first stone convict barracks and asylum at Castle Hill.
Successful projects funded under the Sharing Sydney Harbour Access program include:
- $190,000 to upgrade and maintain popular walking tracks on North Head and Bradley's Head;
- $90,000 to construct a public jetty and floating pontoon at Clontarf and an additional $53,000 to continue the upgrade of the Manly Scenic Walkway;
- $99,100 to improve pedestrian links to the historic Woolwich dock and parklands;
- $66,000 to create a historic walkway across Balls Head at Waverton highlighting the transition from traditional Aboriginal ownership, through to active docklands, and then to the current harbourside recreational use.