City of Parramatta Council is seeking your feedback on our environmental assessment of plans to upgrade the public domain, improve access and revitalise Charles Street Square as a key part of the Parramatta Quay precinct.

The design for Charles Street Square was placed on public exhibition in March 2020. Following refinement of the design in response to community input, the proposal was endorsed by Council in May 2020. Project information, including community feedback, can be found on the Charles Street Square Draft Concept Design page.

We have now prepared a Review of Environmental Factors (REF), which is an assessment of the potential environmental impacts of Charles Street Square, both during construction and after completion. The REF has identified a range of environmental safeguards and mitigations to protect archaeology, preserve water quality, ensure flood resilience, manage contamination, plan for waste removal and maintain local habitat. This is a planning process known as Part 5 under the EP&A Act.

As part of the REF, we need to fully assess possible environmental impacts, and then look at mitigations to limit any negative impacts. The resources section on this page includes a Community Summary of the REF, which helps to outline and explain in an easy to use format, the key parts of this planning process.

Read on to learn how you can have your say and provide feedback.


Public exhibition of the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) closes at 5:00pm on Thursday 15 October 2020. Written submissions on the REF can be made during the exhibition period, using the online submission form, email or post (refer to details below):

Supply of personal information: The supply of personal information by you is voluntary. If you do not wish to provide personal information, Council may be limited in dealing with your comments. The intended recipients of any submissions including your personal information are Councillors and officers within Council. Please note that your submission may be made public as it may form part of a public report. Further information is provided in the City of Parramatta Council’s Privacy Statement.

Other ways I can make a submission?

Written submissions can also be made during the exhibition period, via:

Attention: The Charles Street Square Project Team
City of Parramatta
PO Box 32, Parramatta NSW 2124

Questions or concerns?

For further information, please contact the Charles Street Square project team on 1300 617 058 or via email at

Frequently Asked Questions

Charles Street Square, at Parramatta Quay, is where people who travel to our city along the Parramatta River first arrive. Situated at a unique place where the fresh water of the Parramatta River meets the salt water of Sydney Harbour, it is a place of great cultural significance and an important public place that connects the river and our city.

Upgrading Charles Street Square is an important step in the development of Parramatta Quay, which is part of the long term planned transformation of the Parramatta City River foreshore. Located at the head of the harbour, Parramatta Quay will be the river gateway to Parramatta’s CBD, complementing Circular Quay.

A review of environmental factors (REF) is a document that is prepared to demonstrate due diligence and comply with the requirements of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act (1979). Typically, it applies to construction activities which do not require consent under the act. Instead, the proponent (in this case, the City of Parramatta) must clearly demonstrate it has identified all environmental impacts of the proposal, along with mitigation measures to minimise those impacts. The REF needs to be appropriate to the nature and scale of the proposal, and often draws on specialist studies to reach a conclusion on the nature and extent of impacts and mitigations.

An independent planner was commissioned to prepare this REF. The planner integrated the advice and findings of all specialist designers and engineers who prepared the design for the upgrade and associated works. This was supplemented by reports commissioned for the project from heritage specialists, archaeologists and ecologists.

The City of Parramatta is committed to implementing the mitigations and safeguards identified in the REF.

It is anticipated work on Charles Street Square will begin mid-2021 and be completed in around 12 months.

Access to local businesses will be retained throughout the construction of Charles Street Square. Pedestrian access to the riverfront will be maintained where possible.

Further consultation with Transdev, operator of the ferries for Transport NSW, will be undertaken as part of detailed construction planning. At this stage, it is anticipated the majority of this work can be completed whilst keeping ferry operations functioning. Closures or impacts will be minimised and if there is a period of impact to ferry operations, a replacement bus service will be provided.

Meeting obligations under NSW Government Planning and Assessment legislation, City of Parramatta has prepared a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) which considers a range of potential impacts posed by the design and construction of the Charles Street Square upgrade.

The REF considers heritage, archaeology, flooding and stormwater, flora and fauna, contamination and acid sulphate soils, lighting, public safety, construction impacts of traffic, air quality and noise, waste management, social and economic impact.

As part of the REF, the community is being asked to review the proposed safeguards and proactive measures to minimise identified risks, and comment on their effectiveness. Comments on additional mitigations are also welcome.

This current consultation opportunity follows on from the previous stage which sought stakeholder feedback on the design. Design refinements were made in response to community and stakeholder feedback.

Accessibility and Translations

Council is committed to making sure everyone can access the information they need in a format that is right for them. If you would you like information supplied in another language or format, contact Council's Community Engagement Team on 1300 617 058 or at

If you have accessibility concerns, please contact the National Relay Service at and provide them with the City of Parramatta contact number, 1300 617 058.