The City of Sydney last week said its $1.6 billion 10-year budget for capital works will increase open space, build major community infrastructure, reduce carbon pollution and provide new facilities for its growing population.
The $279.2 million capital works budget for the 2018/2019 financial year will fund new sports fields, indoor courts and recreation facilities, new and upgraded parks and playgrounds, and the next stage of development in the Green Square town centre.
"With a fast-growing population and large-scale urban transformation underway, we know the decisions we make today will affect our children and our children's children," Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
"We are making significant investments in community infrastructure to improve the lives of the 1.2 million people who live, work and visit our global city every day – and to provide for the future needs of our growing city.
"Over the next 12 months, we will deliver on our commitments to increase open space across the city, accelerate our action to reduce carbon emissions, and build high-quality facilities.
"We will build two new parks, upgrade seven existing parks and playgrounds, add 9,000 square metres of new and upgraded street gardens, and increase open space by more than 2,500 square meters.
"We have carefully budgeted these new initiatives to make sure the city is liveable, affordable and sustainable for future generations."
The proposed budget measures deliver on the City's plan to increase open space and sporting facilities. The City's open space plan received overwhelming support from the community when it was first adopted in 2016, with 90 per cent of submissions supporting more funding for open space.
"Four out of five of our residents already live in apartment buildings and that number is expected to increase as our population grows," the Lord Mayor said.
"Our parks and playgrounds are essentially their backyards. That is why we are committed to upgrading our parks and playgrounds, creating continuous green corridors, and building new recreational facilities to encourage healthy outdoor lifestyles."
The proposed $279.2 million 2018/19 capital works program includes $159.2 million for major projects, $58.9 million for asset improvements and $56.1 million for maintaining existing public infrastructure assets.
In 2018/19, residents can expect to see significant progress in Green Square, with a total of $110.1 million to be spent on community infrastructure projects as part of the City's overall $540 million commitment to the growing precinct. This includes:
- the opening of the $58.2 million Green Square Library and Plaza
- construction of the $100.8 million Gunyama Park, with $68.9 million to be spent in 2018/19
- construction of the $19.1 million Drying Green park, with $9.1 million to be spent in 2018/19
- continuing work on Green Square streets and drainage, with $26.7 million to be spent in 2018/19
The City will also spend $13.3 million in 2018/19 towards the upgrades of parks, playgrounds and open space, including:
- building two new indoor basketball courts and recreational facilities at Perry Park
- constructing an urban skate park at Sydney Park
- tree replacement and ongoing works to improve paths at Hyde Park
- building a new skate park, upgrading the Federal Park playground and increasing green space to enhance the harbourside parkland at Glebe and Annandale
- planting trees and street gardens as part of our Greening Sydney Plan to increase urban canopy by 50% by 2030.
Other major projects in the 2018/19 capital works program include:
- $6.1 million for green infrastructure projects including major efficiency improvements across City properties, new trigeneration plants at Cook + Phillip Park Pool and Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre, and installing additional solar panels on City properties and facilities
- $7.6 million for cycleways on Lawson Street and at Lawson Square, Wilson and Burren streets, and from Green Square to Randwick
- a further $38.6 million towards the NSW Government's light rail project, as part of the City's overall $220 million commitment.
In addition to the spending on capital works, the City has a 2018/19 operational expenditure of $470 million. This includes $2.4 million for accelerated climate action to support the 2050 goal of net zero emissions, in addition to the already committed $15.6 million for sustainability programs.