NSW Department of Planning and Environment

NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program

On 5 August 2020 we announced the launch of a $250 million NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program as part of ongoing work to protect the health of the community, provide economic and jobs stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and deliver a legacy of safe, quality public and open space.

The program incentivises local councils to accelerate their assessments of development applications (DAs) and rezonings to create new development capacity and meet demand for housing and employment over the next decade.

Over 100 projects across New South Wales have been approved as part of the NSW Government’s Public Spaces Legacy Program. Projects include a diverse range of public open spaces including new and improved walking and cycle paths, parks, trails and boardwalks, lookouts, foreshore and riverfronts, playspaces, civic plazas, outdoor event and performance spaces.

The NSW Government will be working closely with councils to deliver the projects to the community in 2023.

Read the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program Program Guidelines (PDF, 3.0 MB).


Program purpose

Accelerating the assessment and determination of local DAs will bolster the construction pipeline through 2021 to 2024 and build on the short-term acceleration work completed through the department’s Accelerated Assessment Program.

Accelerating local projects and providing new public and open space provides economic benefits and the opportunity to create a public space legacy for future generations, matching increases in development activity with broader, lasting public benefits.

For more information about the program you can:

Council funding breakdown

Funding has been allocated to councils across New South Wales.

Each council has different public and open space needs and varying underlying land costs, so funding will be assigned differently – whether a metropolitan developed council, a metropolitan fringe council, a regional city, a large rural council or a rural council.

Office of Local Government Category – Metropolitan developed councils (with open space shortfall)
Upper funding limit per Council – $5.5m
Council name Proposal name Project description
Bayside Council Re-imagining our Bayside Landscapes A new regional playspace and supporting infrastructure for Sir Joseph Banks Park and a shared path and elevated walkway in Barton Park.
Burwood Council Grant Park, Burwood Park and Enfield Village Transformation of an unused bowling green inaccessible to the public for 10 years into an all-abilities playspace in Grant Park; a new nature play facility for older children and 'tweens', a new sensory garden for quiet introspection and to connect people to nature, and upgrades to the pond un Burwood Park, and; a revitalisation of Enfield Village Centre through additional tree planting and landscaping, new street furniture and public art.
Camden Council Nepean River Pathway Extension Provision of a 985m shared pathway and 6.9ha of new public open space connecting the town centre to the Nepean River. The project will provide opportunities for a broad range of passive uses, improved access and interface with the water, ancillary items, activation features and increased tree canopy.
Canterbury-Bankstown Council Paul Keating Park Precinct Stage 1 of the Paul Keating Park Masterplan, providing enhanced open space and supporting amenity including enhanced tree coverage, integrated seating, improved connections and a destination playspace in the Bankstown CBD.
Cumberland City Council Merrylands Civic Square A new Civic Square in Merrylands comprising a range of spaces including an events area, seating areas for passive recreation and play elements.
Office of Local Government Category – Metropolitan developed council
Upper funding limit per Council – $4.75m
Council name Proposal name Project description
Blacktown City Council Unlocking the potential of the Ropes Creek corridor Unlocking public access to over 60ha of new open space along Ropes Creek and improved walkability and amenity along the Great West Walk route.
Willoughby City Council Artarmon Town Centre Open Space and Civic Plaza Improvement A new civic plaza on the eastern side of Hampden Road, improved access and increased pedestrian areas on the western side of Hampden Road to enable more outdoor dining opportunities, and a shared path through Artarmon Local Centre to connect cycleways between Chatswood and St Leonards.
The Hills Shire Council Public Domain, Playspaces and Connections (Anthony Skarratt Reserve and the Bella Vista Farm Park Projects) A new community centre and playspace at Anthony Skarratt Reserve in Box Hill and a new playground at Bella Vista Farm Park including new connections.
Woollahra Municipal Council Enhancing and Revitalising Woollahra’s Iconic Spaces Project (New Public Plaza at Knox Street) A new pedestrianised public plaza in Knox Street with new plantings, lighting, public art elements and seating areas.
Northern Beaches Council Improved connectivity, inclusivity and accessibility to recreational spaces and activities A new boardwalk and connecting trails at Manly Dam; an accessible ramp in Queenscliff, stage one of the pipeline shared path; upgraded tidal pool and boardwalk at Clontarf Reserve.
Mosman Municipal Council Mosman Legacy Program Upgrades to the Manly to Bondi Walk, including increased amenity and connections; and enhancement of Mosman's Town Square, Mosman Park and links between these two locations.
The Council of the Municipality of Hunters Hill Reibey's Green Upgrades to Figtree Park including playground upgrades, public art, new seating, lighting, a new public restroom and a new plaza connecting Gladesville Road to the park.
Waverley Council Waverley Cliff Top Walk and Waverley Park Recreation and Landscape Upgrade Upgrades to part of the Bondi to Manly Walk including widened paths, seating, boardwalks, heritage interpretation, landscaping, lighting, viewing platforms stairs, and enhancements to Waverley Park to create district level inclusive and multi-generational play precinct.
Lane Cove Council St Leonards Plaza Upgrade Funding towards the creation of St Leonards Plaza a 4750sqm open space incorporating landscaping, central lawn, passive recreation, play areas and alfresco dining opportunities.
North Sydney Council Quarantine Depot Acquisition and St Leonards Park Priority Project Acquisition and development of 2,185sqm of foreshore land on Waverton Peninsula; and upgrades to St Leonards Park Playground to provide greater play opportunities for older children.
Inner West Council Creating new and improved open spaces in the Inner West A new open space and active transport corridor along Cahill St, Annandale with potential acquisition of land to be converted to open space; a new park with an off-leash dog area and recreational elements in Lewis Herman Reserve, Ashfield; upgraded lighting for evening recreation along the Inner West portion of the Bay Run.
Sutherland Shire Council Seymour Shaw Park Youth Precinct and Open Space Upgrade Expanded recreational opportunities at Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda including a skate park, fitness equipment, picnic areas, shelters, street furniture, playspace, half-basketball court, and overall landscaping and amenity improvements.
City of Parramatta Parramatta Quay and Connections and Arthur Phillip Park

A new riverfront urban square, amphitheatre, and public park in Parramatta CBD.

*Includes top-up funding for Alfred Street pedestrian/cycle bridge being funded under the Housing Acceleration Fund.

Randwick City Council At the Heart of the Village New public plazas at the corner of Belmore Road and Waratah Avenue and Clovelly Road and Carrington Road, including new plantings, water sensitive urban design elements, bike racks, lighting, informal play opportunities and seating areas.
Liverpool City Council Macquarie Street Public Spaces, Bigge Street Park, Casula Performance Platform Upgrades to the public domain of Macquarie Street; creation of the Phillimona Gardens parklet; and delivery of an outdoor performance stage within the Casula Parklands precinct.
Strathfield Municipal Council Hudson District Park Stage 2 (passive open space elements)
  • Hudson District Park Stage 2 (passive open space elements) elements in Strathfield including a children's bicycle park, playspace , public performance space, improved pathways and landscaping.
  • Mason Park wetlands Project: Key wetland initiatives will be implemented to dramatically improve the health and ecology of the locale which will also encourage and support passive recreation
Fairfield City Council Bareena Park and Fairfield Heights Park Upgrades to Bareena Park and Fairfield Height Park including inclusive playspaces, fitness equipment, children's cycle paths, public art and supporting infrastructure.
City of Canada Bay Council Majors Bay Reserve Recreation Precinct Enhancements to adjacent parklands to create a recreational precinct at Majors Bay Reserve Concord.
Georges River Council Georges River Council – Better Places and Spaces Create an open and flexible space that reduces the visual clutter and creates a multi-functional and welcoming space for the Community to meet and relax in and enhancements to the Macmahon Street courtyard in Hurstville.
Campbelltown City Council Apex Park, Bradbury and Hurley Park, Campbelltown Acquisition of a land to increase the size of Hurley Park and enhancements to Apex Park including public art, event space and water features.
Office of Local Government Category – Metropolitan fringe council
Upper funding limit per Council – $4m
Council name Proposal name Project description
Blue Mountains City Council Blue Mountains Park Improvement Program Upgrades to Blackheath Soldiers Memorial Park, Corridor of Oaks and Jackson Park including play equipment, boardwalks, pathways and enhancements to the landscaping.
The Council of the Shire of Hornsby Bushland to the Waterways A new elevated walkway in Pyes Creek Bushland; learn to Ride Playspace in Ruddock Park; and improvements to the Brooklyn Foreshore.
Penrith City Council City Park Funding towards 7,000 sqm of new green open space on the corner of Henry and Station Streets including increased tree canopy, themed gardens, water features and natural landscaping.
Wollondilly Shire Council Wollondilly Legacy Program: Providing Quality Open Space for our Communities Upgrades to a series of open spaces within the LGA including Picton Parklands, Old Menangle School Site, Birrahlee Park, Willis Park and WS Williams Memorial Park, and provision of an inclusive playspace at Dudley Chesham Sportsground.
Office of Local Government Category – Regional city council
Upper funding limit per Council – $3m
Council name Proposal name Project description
Albury City Council Albury Riverside Boardwalk & Hovell Tree Park Market Area Enhancement of 2.6 hectares of public open space adjacent to the Murray River in Hovell Tree Park, Albury.
Armidale Regional Council Armidale Creeklands Restoration Upgrades to parks and reserves surrounding Dumaresq Creek, Armidale.
Byron Shire Council Sandhills Wetlands Activation Embellishment of Sandhills Wetlands to create a public space at the centre of town that combines ecological and cultural values with circulation routes and recreation activities.
Coffs Harbour City Council Jetty Strip Open Space for the Future Acquisition of 5,099sqm of land currently owned by NSW Property to create new open space adjacent to the Jetty Strip in Coffs Harbour.
Cessnock City Council Bridges Hill Park to Wine Country Shared Pathway A new accessible, tree-lined 5,330m active transport corridor connecting Wine Country Drive, on the outskirts of the Cessnock’s CBD with St. Philips Christian College, Lomas Lane, Nulkaba.
Dubbo Regional Council Dubbo CBD Macquarie River Bank Boardwalk A new Macquarie River bank boardwalk including seating and viewing platforms.
Clarence Valley Council Clarence Valley Council Open Spaces Projects Implementation of the Ulmarra Riverside and Village Precinct Plan and shared pathway connections between Townsend and Gulmarrad.
Council of the Municipality of Kiama Hindmarsh Park Enhancement Upgrades to Hindmarsh Park including a new and accessible regional destination playspace and other enhancements such as shade elements, picnic shelters, tables, BBQs and water fountains.
Lake Macquarie City Council Swansea Foreshore Boardwalk Construction of a 230m accessible boardwalk improving access to the Swansea Channel including two pedestrian bridges, upgrades to an existing northern viewing platform and walking trail connections to existing trails.
Maitland City Council Harold Gregson Park Upgrade (Maitland Regional Sports Complex - Stage 4) Upgrades to Harold Gregson Park including new pathways, BBQ and picnic spaces, overnight RV parking spaces, a youth space and additional tree plantings.
Newcastle City Council Newcastle Ocean Baths Upgrade Project Stage 1 Upgrades to the Newcastle Ocean Baths to revitalise and renew the heritage-listed 100-year-old pools, promenades and pumping systems, increasing the amenity, safety and accessibility of the site.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Port Macquarie-Hastings Public Spaces Legacy Upgrades to Bain Park, Wauchope; significant expansion of playspace at Westport Park; and creation of an outdoor amphitheatre at Town Beach.
Port Stephens Council Port Stephens Shared Paths and Civic Spaces Upgrades to William Street, Raymond Terrace improving the connections between the Hunter River Waterfront and Boomerang Park; a new shared path along the shores of Port Stephens, from Nelson Bay to Halifax Point; and a new town square at Lemon Tree Passage with a shared path along the foreshore.
Shellharbour City Council Reddall Reserve Foreshore Promenade A new 155m of promenade foreshore pathway with seating and a series of access points to the water as part of the Reddall Reserve Masterplan.
Shoalhaven City Council Ulladulla Boardwalk & Harbourside A new elevated public space including boardwalk, lighting, viewing platforms, seating, trees and other plantings.
Wingecarribee Shire Council Bong Bong Common Masterplan Stage one of the Bong Bong Common Masterplan and elements from Stages two and three including recreational pathways, landscaping, heritage interpretation, viewing points to the Wingecarribee River and other enhancements.
Wollongong City Council Access and Play Wollongong (Fairy Creek Shared Path and Cringila Hills Bike Track) Delivery of the Fairy Creek Shared Path in Gwynneville including interpretive signage, landscaping and seating and construction of a new bicycle skills track at Cringila.
Office of Local Government Category – Large rural and Rural council
Upper funding limit per Council – $2m
Council name Proposal name Project description
Cootamundra Gundagai Regional Council Jubilee Park Upgrades to Jubilee Park to increase the amenity of the park and expand on the natural habitat for native birds.
Cowra Shire Council The Cowra Open Space Legacy Project

Embellishments to a series of recreational areas and linkages including:

  • Lachlan River Recreation Linkage
  • Cowra CBD and Peace Precinct Art Project
  • Village Signage Project
  • Aboriginal Art Installation and Landscape Project.
Forbes Shire Council Lake Forbes Activation Plan A new all abilities outdoor gym area, beaches for launching water craft, a BMX track and a swimming platform at Lake Forbes as part of the Lake Forbes Activation Plan.
Glen Innes Severn Centennial Parklands Skywalk A new elevated Skywalk and viewing platform at Centennial Parklands including interpretive signage showcasing Celtic and Ngoorabul cultures.
Gunnedah Shire Council Gunnedah Public Spaces Activation Program Four new shared pathway projects creating a 3,970 linear metre loop; improvements to the 2.16km Wandobah Road walking trail; and activation of the Poetry Precinct.
Kyogle Council Kyogle Civic Precinct Activation (Phase 1) New landscaping works on Summerland Way and conversion of Stratheden Street and Roxy Lane into one-way streets to prioritise pedestrian activity including landscaping, new lighting, shade and street furniture.
Leeton Shire Council Chelmsford Place Town Square A new pedestrian boulevard along Chelmsford Place including improved walkable connections and public domain.
Moree Plains Shire Council Moree Plains Public Spaces Legacy Project Upgrades to the Mehi River Corridor including Indigenous public art, water splash park, amphitheatre, dog agility park, scenic river boardwalk, botanical garden expansion, fitness course and pedestrian/cycle linkage to Mary Brand Park along with enhancements to Cooee Park and Jacaranda Park.
Murrumbidgee Council Towards a vibrant and connected community through open space (Luke Park Jerilderie) Upgrades to Luke Park, Jerilderie including improved connections, public art, signage, walking trail resurfacing and embellishments to the bush tucker trail.
Snowy Valleys Council Tumbarumba Playground and Skate Park and Rotary Pioneer Park Tumut Upgrades to the Tumbarumba Playground and Skate Park and Rotary Pioneer Park to provide nature-based playspaces, additional green infrastructure, better amenities, improved pathways, picnic areas and seating.
Tenterfield Shire Council Tenterfield Youth Precinct & Mountain Bike Trailhead & Jennings Playground (passive open space elements) Upgrades to Jennings Park including a new playspace, exercise equipment, shade structure and picnic facilities; and creation of a youth precinct in Tenterfield including the construction of a new mountain bike trailhead.
Upper Hunter Shire Council Upper Hunter Shire Council (St Aubins Town Square) A new St Aubins Town Square in Scone to provide new opportunities for community gathering, an improved environment for pedestrians, and natural cooling of the CBD.
Uralla Shire Council Glen Precinct and Pioneer Park upgrades Upgrades to two centrally located public open spaces, the Glen Precinct and Pioneer Park, to create destination open spaces in the heart of Uralla.
Yass Valley Council Riverbank Park Open Space Precinct (Adventure Playspace) A new Riverbank Park Adventure Playspace, an inclusive playspace with tactile and sensory elements for all ages.

Note: Councils are responsible for all aspects of delivery of the projects including land acquisition, environmental approvals and costs exceeding their allocated funding under the program. Land acquisition is subject to the normal acquisition processes. Some projects may change through the early design phase.

Program timeline

Funding will be released to councils for various stages of public space project delivery from June 2021 to project completion.

Details of the funding schedule are available in the program guidelines (PDF, 3 MB).

Oversight and governance

Councils’ proposed planning acceleration performance has been overseen by an interagency steering committee. Council’s will report regularly on the progress of their open space projects to the Department.

Page last updated: 28/11/2022