The New South Wales Government has announced that $3.25 million in grant funding is available to select councils for the development of new green spaces for communities.
Councils in Greater Sydney and the Central Coast can apply for their share of the funding from the Metropolitan Greenspace Program (MGP) for open space projects to improve liveability.
Eligible projects include playgrounds, walking tracks, pedestrian and cycleways, bushland restoration and recreation facilities.
The Metropolitan Greenspace Program (MGP) has seen recent success through projects including water quality improvement and stormwater harvesting at Gannons Park in Georges River Council.
The upgrades were highly commended at the National Engineering Excellence Awards in 2022 and won the ‘Excellence in Integrated Stormwater Design’ Award at the Stormwater New South Wales 2021 Awards.
The MGP commenced in 1983 and since 1990 more than $56 million has been provided to more than 681 projects.
Further funding of $250,000 is also available to Greater Sydney councils as part of the Places to Roam Community Gardens program.
Applicants can access up to $75,000 for community gardens, bush care schemes and waterway enhancements to support health and wellbeing in areas with priority housing growth.
A recent recipient of the program is the Pemulwuy Community Garden, which opened in late 2023 with wheelchair-friendly pathways and 16 raised garden beds for the planting of vegetables, fruits and flowers.
The new garden space has complemented Cumberland City Council’s three existing community gardens.
Small-scale projects are also encouraged with successful applications selected on merit, including how easily they can be delivered and community benefits.
An independent panel of experts will assess applications against each program’s key objectives.
New South Wales Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Paul Scully, said that there are already some incredible accessible green and open spaces across Greater Sydney and the Central Coast but that it’s vital to keep investing in these great programs.
“Greater Sydney and the Central Coast is growing, and while we’re focused on making sure we provide enough of the right kind of housing to suit everybody’s needs, we need to complement this with the right infrastructure including green, open public space,” Minister Scully said.
“I’m excited to see fresh ideas and plans from councils to help connect residential areas with even more high-quality parklands and public spaces.”
New South Wales Minister for the Central Coast, David Harris, said that green spaces are important for community health and wellbeing and that he is pleased that the Central Coast will be able to access and benefit from this great program.
“Our unique environment and green space is one of the main reasons people love living on the Coast and we need to ensure it is protected and enhanced for our growing population.”