(11.50am, St James Reserve, corner of John and Woolley Streets, Glebe)
Thank you, Stephen, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to our renewed St James Park.
A hundred years ago, a homestead called Inverness stood on this site. Now it has become the latest public space to be upgraded by the City, and, in acknowledgement of its history, the new plantings here are faithful to the original gardens of Inverness.
The 3,600 square metre space now has larger and healthier grass areas and a friendlier layout, with re-routed pathways.
The beautiful timber and brick pavilion overlooks the resurfaced tennis courts and a new adventure playground encourages imaginative play. The play space is adjoined by an area where schoolchildren can gather.
Other features include etching of drawings made by local children in the tree-house deck, a sandpit for toddlers that has been built with sandstone from the old Pyrmont Bridge, a timber balancing boardwalk and an informal stage.
The $2.1 million revamp came from a full public consultation process that included several public meetings and your feedback through a dedicated website. Later this year, work will also begin on the adjoining John Street Reserve which will include new plantings and a habitat for blue wrens.
St James is just the latest in a city-wide drive to upgrade our parks, large and small, to maximise green space and the pleasure and health benefits that people get from it.
We have more than 400 parcels of open space and parks, large, medium and pocket-sized. And I'm proud to say that in a recent state-wide survey, independently conducted as the Benchmark Park Users' Satisfaction Survey, the City's were ranked best in NSW of the nine local government areas surveyed.
That's due in no small measure to the terrific team of people who work on our parks, in this case:
- Our landscape architects, Aspect Studios
- Our architects, Sam Crawford Archtiects
- Our contractors, Hargrave Urban
- Our Builders, CD Constructions and
- Michael Woolley and Stephen Merchant of our wonderful City Projects team
Please join me in thanking them all, and in thanking Jensens' Tennis Centre for organising today's tennis activities and sausage sizzle.