A NSW Government website

Synthetic turf study

Synthetic surfaces are sometimes considered in place of natural grass to accommodate the different demands we place on open spaces. The NSW government is investigating the impact of synthetic turf on the safety and amenity of open spaces.

Synthetic turf guidelines

The draft Synthetic Turf in Public Open Space – Guidelines for Decision-Makers were exhibited for public feedback from 17 March to 29 April 2024.

The guidelines will help decision-makers, planners and sports field managers who may be considering synthetic turf as an alternative to natural grass. They will also support designers, delivery agents and open space managers to plan and deliver the best outcome for their community.

The guidelines focus on synthetic turf for sporting purposes and offer strategies and case studies to inform decision-makers. They do not cover synthetic turf in private or residential settings, streetscapes or play spaces.

We worked with councils, key stakeholders and industry to prepare the draft guidelines. You can read the document on the NSW Planning Portal.

We are now reviewing the submissions, which will inform the final guidelines to be released in 2024.

NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer investigation

In October 2021, we released the Synthetic Turf Study in Public Open Space report (PDF, 5.4 MB), which highlighted the benefits and limitations of using synthetic surfaces in public open space.

After we published this report, the government asked the NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer to provide advice on potential risks to the environment and human health from the use of synthetic turf in public open space in NSW, and to assess alternative approaches and technologies.

The initial report was released in February 2022 with the final report published on 9 June 2023. The reports can be downloaded from the Chief Scientist and Engineer.

In response to this report, we are working with other government agencies to address the recommendations. These will be presented to Cabinet for endorsement in 2024.

For more information email [email protected]