Award recognises a 50-year vision
Published: 27 June 2018 at 12:00 amFrom Left to Right: Bob Waldron, Office of Strategic Lands, Suellen Fitzgerald, Executive Director, Western Sydney Parklands Trust, Lucy Turnbull AO, Chief Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission
A 50-year-old vision that led to the creation of Australia’s largest urban park has been celebrated with an award from the body that will help shape Sydney’s future.
Western Sydney Parklands and the Office of Strategic Lands shared the Chief Commissioner’s Award from the Greater Sydney Commission at its 2018 Greater Sydney Planning Awards.
In the citation for the top award, Chief Commissioner, Lucy Turnbull, said:
“Western Sydney Parklands has been 50 years in the making and are an important example of the value of long-term strategic planning.
“Not only are the Parklands a significant part of the Sydney Green Grid, they will help meet the recreational and leisure needs of Western Sydney now and for future generations,” Ms Turnbull said.
Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Gabrielle Upton, welcomed the award and said it recognised the present and future importance of the Parklands to the people of Western Sydney.
“The 50-year old vision that inspired the creation of Western Sydney Parklands delivered an asset whose value will be recognised for generations to come,” Ms Upton said.
“As Sydney expands, the Parklands will continue to provide the open space and the recreational and tourism capacity the people of Western Sydney need and deserve.
“Western Sydney Parklands is an urban park to rival all others, and the Government has been proud to oversee the continued development of more open spaces, more award‑winning parks and recreation areas, and more tourism and economic opportunities for Western Sydney.
The Parklands are the largest urban park in Australia, spanning 27 kilometres across 5,200 hectares – 14-times the combined size of the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Domain, Centennial Park and Moore Park.
Consecutive NSW planning departments have worked consistently to implement the concept, which was made possible by a 40-year program by the Office of Strategic Lands, which identified and acquired the lands that compose Western Sydney Parklands.
More than 3.5 million people visit the Parklands and its range of attractions each year.
Today, it is home to award winning picnic and recreation areas, sports fields, legacy Olympic venues and more than 60 kilometres of walking and cycling paths. Since 2008, 1,300 hectares of bushland, including endangered Cumberland Plain Woodlands, and more than 350,000 native trees, shrubs and plants, have been restored or established across the Parklands.
To celebrate ‘50 Years in the Making’ Western Sydney Parklands is holding a showcase of special events and offers, highlighting its recreation areas and the businesses that operate within the Parklands, including Sydney Motorsports Park, TreeTops Adventure Park and Calmsley Hill Farm.