The Parklands, comprising the Eastern Creek, Prospect, Horsley Park and Hoxton Park open and special space corridors was first identified in the 1968 Sydney Region Outline Plan. At that time government planners advocated that a major program was needed to acquire enough lands to satisfy the demand for regional open space in the future.
Public inquiries into corridor proposals in the 1970s brought about by subdivision pressures, and coinciding with Sydney's era of `green bans', were undertaken by Walter Ralston Bunning and Professor Arthur Denis Winston.
By early 1974 the boundaries of the Eastern Creek and Hoxton Park corridors were confirmed and controls of these lands were in local planning schemes. Active periods of acquisition then saw approximately 70 per cent of the identified Western Sydney corridor of lands in public ownership by 1978.
In 1989, the area of Eastern Creek was gazetted under "SEPP No 29 - Western Sydney Recreation Area" which saw the approval of the Eastern Creek Raceway. These corridors provided the lands for the 2000 Olympic Games with spaces for rowing, equestrian, shooting, baseball, softball and mountain biking.
In 2001 the "Sydney Regional Environmental Plan No 31 - Regional Parklands" (SREP 31) was prepared to respond to the complex issues involved in balancing and assessing development in the Parklands, particularly residential developments that had reached the Parklands' edges.
This planning instrument has now been replaced with the Western Sydney Parklands SEPP to meet emerging issues and new demands on the corridor.
In November 2004 NSW Department of Planning prepared a Western Parklands Management Vision to map out the transformation of old farming paddocks to create accessible recreation areas and regenerate natural bushlands and habitat for local wildlife.
The Management Vision was created in partnership with local councils, the Department of Environment and Conservation, the Department of Tourism, Sport and Recreation, the Sydney Catchment Authority and the then, Department for Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources, now the Department of Planning.
In November 2006 the NSW Government introduced the Western Sydney Parklands Act 2006 to Parliament. The Act set out the boundaries of the Parklands and established a Trust to manage the majority of lands within the Parklands as well as achieve the Management Vision objectives. The Act commenced on 1 January 2008.
New Capital Works
Commencing in March 2009 a number of capital works projects are being undertaken by the Western Sydney Parklands Trust to add futher facilities to the Parklands. The Trust understands that some sections of the 27 km of Parklands Track are utilised more than others. Initially we are focusing on the most regularly used areas.
In the northern precinct a new loop walking track at Doonside Regional Park, combined with a new cross country cycle track and a dog leash-free area has been installed.
Residents of Liverpool LGA will benefit from new loop walking tracks within the larger Greenway Views Loop and new sealed bypass cycle tracks. An educational ampitheatre has also been installed.
A number of entry points to the Parklands Track are also being made more visible and attractive to visitors. A major directional signage project has also commenced which will make it easy to find your way.
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