Johnston's Canal Community Consultation

(10am, Saturday 4 May 2013, Bicentennial Park)

Hello, everyone, welcome to our exhibition of the draft master plan for your parklands. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of our land, and to pay my respects to their Elders.

I also acknowledge the people of 200 nations who live in our City.

Thank you all for coming here today. I hope you've had a good look at the proposals, and if you have any questions, our staff are here to answer them. The project team will also be giving guided tours at 11am and 1pm, but there is a limit of 15 people on each tour.

And meanwhile, there are activities to keep the children happy, and a sausage sizzle from 11am.

Thank you to the many of you who contributed your comments during the two earlier consultations we held with you. These have all helped shape the Draft Master Plan we're presenting to you today.

This will be a 20-year plan which will bring all the public lands in this area together and add in the new public open space from Harold Park and the blocks along The Crescent. Together, they make 18 hectares, around the size of Hyde Park, with clear and legible connections linking them together.

We envisage a series of high-quality complementary spaces, forming a well-connected ribbon of parkland around the Glebe Peninsula.

They could be a whole range of recreational uses, whether for formal or informal sport, small amenities buildings, formal parklands and saltmarsh and mangrove communities.

Along the western edge, the properties gradually acquired first by Leichhardt Council and more recently by the City will, once the buildings are demolished, provide new areas for ball games and skating and a new, junior-scaled oval.

It's also been suggested that we retain part of one warehouse for community uses like indoor recreation, cultural activities and child-care.

Our first task, however, will be to transform the almost four hectares of new open space dedicated from the Mirvac redevelopment of Harold Park.

The company is required to undertake ground remediation, earthworks and stabilisation, and to provide around $8 million to the City for the creation of the park. This will be structured as a series of open lawns set among trees, with new wetlands and rain gardens to treat storm-water and a planted swale alongside the main path.

The new space will be well connected to existing parks and the surrounding neighbourhood by pathways and stairs up the cliff face.

We're also working on Stage 5 of the foreshore walk that will eventually thread around the southern side of Blackwattle Bay to the Fish Market.

Stage 5 is the section in front of Glebe High School, from Ferry Road to Bridge Road, which will connect into the boardwalk in front of Glebe Rowing Club.

We're working closely with the High School on this, as it runs across their land, and we're aiming to go out to tender later this year and hopefully begin work before Christmas so that a lot of the work can be done during the school holidays.

The work includes building a seawall, providing access stairs to the water, and seats, bins and lighting.

Since 2005, the City has invested more than $41 in renewal works in Glebe, including the $15 million Foreshore Walk; our restoration of the Glebe Town Hall and work at Foley Street and St James park, in addition to the upgrade of Glebe Point Road and the specially commissioned art works.

The work to integrate these parklands and provide generous open space, along with a rich variety of experiences will crown that work.

I encourage you all to give us your feedback so that we can finalise this Master Plan.

Thank you.