Bringing the waterways back to life
The NSW Government is working with the community and other stakeholders to bring the vision for Wianamatta* South Creek to life. The vision is for a restored and protected waterway system that nourishes a cool, green and inclusive Western Parkland City.
Wianamatta South Creek flows around 80km through one of the flattest, hottest and driest parts of Greater Sydney. The catchment area for Wianamatta South Creek (the total area of land over which the creek and its tributaries flow) covers 62,400 hectares.
Integrated planning of land use and water cycle management across the catchment will ensure that future development, infrastructure, open space, biodiversity and waterway management work together to support the health of the waterway system and help to achieve a cool, liveable and resilient Western Parkland City.
*Dharug for ‘Mother Place’
What are we doing
To do justice to the ambitious, long-term vision for Wianamatta South Creek, we are taking an approach that considers the scale and timing of what needs to be achieved:
- A broad delivery framework for the whole Wianamatta catchment, and
- A place-based delivery strategy for the Wianamatta South Creek Precinct within the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.
Western Sydney Aerotropolis Independent Community Commissioner
In May 2021, the NSW Government appointed Professor Roberta Ryan as an Independent Community Commissioner to help address the concerns of landowners in the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.
The Commissioner released her report, with the recommendations focusing on delivering improvements across three areas:
- Communication, engagement and ongoing support;
- Responses to specific landowner impacts; and
- Governance and pathways.
These recommendations will inform the Wianamatta South Creek precinct delivery strategy and engagement with the community, and landowners about how the delivery of blue and green infrastructure in this area will affect their land.
Catchment-wide delivery framework
The catchment-wide delivery framework will be a central source of guidance and information for planning authorities, landowners, developers, infrastructure agencies and the wider community to plan and deliver the government’s commitments for the Wianamatta catchment.
Its purpose is to underpin long-term coordination across the catchment with a consistent approach to integrating land use and water cycle management. The framework will outline the overall vision and outcomes for Wianamatta, provide the context and mechanisms for delivery and include supporting tools and technical information.
We are developing this framework with a spatial digital platform which will map the locations of the important green (open space, biodiversity, tree canopy) and blue (waterways and water infrastructure) outcomes which will help to protect, connect and restore the Wianamatta catchment.
This spatial platform will become a publicly available web-based tool to illustrate the progress in delivering green and blue outcomes for Wianamatta over time.
Where are we up to
Detailed spatial analysis has been undertaken to build the digital platform. We have integrated property and technical data layers across multiple categories such as flooding, soil profile and salinity, open space, tree canopy, active transport, stormwater infrastructure, biodiversity, heat vulnerability and indigenous culture and heritage.
This provides a unique integrated geographic platform to understand the opportunities, constraints, environmental and cultural values across the catchment. The interaction of these layers will help us to identify the areas most important and most able to deliver the green-blue outcomes for Wianamatta, and support long-term coordination, planning, investment and delivery across the eight local government areas in the catchment.
Precinct delivery strategy
The Wianamatta South Creek Precinct is an initial planning focus within the state led Western Sydney Aerotropolis planning area. The Precinct covers an area of approximately 1,330 hectares, and its boundary is defined in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Precincts - Western Parkland City). Following exhibition of the draft plan from November 2020 to March 2021, the Western Sydney Aerotropolis Precinct Plan is now final.
The Precinct Plan propose specific objectives and future land uses for the Wianamatta South Creek Precinct. The delivery strategy will set out how these objectives and uses can be achieved. It will identify any land that is proposed for public ownership and recommend the timing for delivery aligned to funding sources, the staging of development and provision of enabling infrastructure.
Having a clear strategy to deliver the outcomes for the Precinct is important to provide certainty to landowners about the implications for their land. The strategy will also be important for current and potential future asset owners and managers to establish the Precinct’s delivery priorities, clarify responsibilities for management and identify funding pathways.
What is involved
The delivery strategy for the Wianamatta South Creek precinct is under development.
Given the importance of the Wianamatta catchment, we want to fully understand what other activities are taking place or are planned for local areas. We are talking to government agencies, local councils and utilities about their short and long-term plans, to get a better understanding of priorities. We are taking on board community and landowner feedback on the Aerotropolis planning instruments and draft Precinct Plans to understand and address the impacts on specific land holdings.
So far, we have sought input and technical information from councils and key government agencies, and we will listen and talk to key stakeholders, including landowners, along the way.
The delivery strategy will also respond to parallel planning processes for the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, and is targeted for completion in 2022.