Bourke Street Childcare Open Day

(11am, 277 Bourke Street, Surry Hills)

Hello, everyone, welcome to our childcare centre open day.

It's terrific that families are choosing to stay in the City rather than move to the suburbs, which has meant that we have to increase childcare places.

We are doing this through our planning controls - resulting in 2035 childcare places approved in new developments.

We have also committed to building another 6 childcare centres. As part of that we resolved to buy this former warehouse.

It will have 60 child-care places spread over three levels, with a multi-purpose space for community use on the lower ground level.

The design was conceived as a child-like "mini-city", with intimate domestic play spaces within the larger envelope. The creation of indoor-outdoor links was a priority, with ground floor dual play-spaces that connect to the bridge and platform tree-house. The bridge connects the groundfloor to the upper level platform in the playground and ensures continuing pedestrian access from Berwick Lane to Bourke Street.

The tree-house platform is integrated with the existing large jacaranda tree, and the ramped pathway provides access to the lower level play spaces. There'll be space for an outdoor classroom below the tree-house deck.

A roof and large windows, light wells, sandpits and garden planters on the first and upper floors create outdoor play spaces that provide natural light, connection to sky and landscape for a range of activities and play.

The work also involves improvements to the immediate surrounds, improving part of Berwick Lane and sections of Bourke and Liverpool Streets adjacent to the building.

Unified elements including the masonry base, fencing design and screens will created a clear identity along Bourke Street for both the building and the outdoor playground.

A new stair connecting Berwick Lane and Bourke Street will give more generous public access and at the same time, eliminate the hidden nooks that are used for anti-social behaviour.

Together, these various elements will give this special part of Sydney not only some much needed child-care and a community room with some wonderful new green space.

We expect construction to be completed and the child-care up and running by early next year.

So a very big thank-you to everyone involved, especially:

  • Our architects, Andrew Burges Architects
  • Our builders Balmadar
  • The City's project manager, Steven Farr and
  • Our design manager, Wendy James

Thank you all for coming and I hope you'll make the most of this new centre when it is complete.

It is the latest addition to the 250 community facilities and 100-plus parks we have delivered as part of our Sustainable Sydney 2030 work to create a liveable city and we fear that this work will be put at risk if the Government's plans for a mega-council, with a population the size of Tasmania's, goes ahead.

Eighty per cent of residents and 70 per cent of businesses told us via an independent survey that they oppose the amalgamation.

If you support our work and want it to continue, please tell IPART who will make recommendations to government, and also tell the Premier. We have information here if you would like to do that. I hope you'll make your voices heard to government, and speak against this subversion of your democratic rights.