With approximately 10 weeks until completion, the design is really starting to take shape! The stairs and ramps alongside the river are looking great, while some mature trees have now been planted.
The underground services are all but complete, with power and drainage now being finalised. The majority of the lights have been installed and connections through to the shade structure and kiosk are also compete.
The stairs and retaining walls are just about ready with some of the decorative components now due to be installed. The concrete and timber components of the amphitheatre are also complete and can be seen from the surrounding area.
The shade structure frame has been installed with ongoing fit out to continue over the next few weeks. The river foreshore path has also re-opened while the new concrete paving has already improved access to the ferry wharf.
The project has been delayed due to the complex nature of the site and early rain. Charles Street Square is now scheduled to open in late July 2023 (subject to weather).
With some classic summer weather after extended periods of heavy rain, work at Charles Street Square is progressing well.
Sydney Water works are complete, and work has commenced on offsite fabrication of the visitor kiosk, public shelter and bespoke seating elements.
Construction of the retaining walls is well advanced, and most of the footings for the various elements have been installed across the site.
Installation of the precast seating and stairs, timber stairs and decking that will form the riverside terraces will commence in the next few weeks.
In the coming weeks, the project will start to take shape as the precast seating, precast stairs, timber stairs, timber decking, garden beds and concrete pavement are installed.
Charles Street Square is now scheduled for completion in mid-June 2023 (subject to weather).
Work has been delayed by the unprecedented rainfall we have experienced over recent months.
Nightworks and extended hours 16 to 29 January 2023
Following a short break over the festive season, our lead contractor Regal Innovations Pty Ltd is back and along with Sydney Water will be carrying out urgent work between 16 to 29 January 2023. During this time, extended work hours 7am to 7pm will be in place.
The sewer mains running through the site are being upgraded. To ensure sewerage services in the area are not interrupted, a pump and temporary pipeline will be installed. The pump diverting the sewerage will need to be in operation 24 hours a day/7 days a week until the main line can be restored (estimated completion date 29 January).
Please note, there will be unavoidable disturbance on Monday 16 January between the hours of 2.30am and 6.30am when equipment necessary for the work must be installed. Work needs to be scheduled within the low tide period and when sewerage levels are at the lowest.
Regal Innovations will take steps to minimise disturbance. However, unavoidably there will be some machinery noise.
We thank you for your patience as we complete these urgent works.
Some sunny days, and approval for our contractors to work extended hours, have seen the construction site start to resemble the public domain we’ve envisaged for so long.
Due to some unexpected complications, the Sydney Water work previously planned to end 22 December 2022 will now continue in January 2023.
Charles Street Square is scheduled for completion in mid-June 2023 subject to weather conditions not causing further delays in the program. Completion has been delayed by the unprecedented rainfall we have recently experienced and we are working with the contractor to reduce the program where we can.
Construction will close down for the Christmas holiday period on 23 December with work resuming 28 December 2022. Work on site will take a break again for New Year closing 30 December with activity resuming 3 January 2023.
2023 work program
Sydney Water will begin work mid-January. Upon commencement of these works, the temporary pipelines and sewerage pump will be in operation 24-hours a day/7-days a week until the main line can be restored (expected completion mid-February subject to weather and site conditions).
During this time, to complete this work as quickly as possible, contractors will work extended hours: 7am to 7pm Monday to Sunday.
Our lead contractor, Regal Innovations, will continue to take steps to minimise noise and other disruptions. However, unavoidably, there will be some machinery noise. We thank you for your patience as we complete these urgent works.
As we near the end of the project, the next phase of work will include:
- installation of the pre-cast seating terraces
- construction of the public shelter and kiosk building
- creation of the garden terrace.
Work also continues to build new stairs and retaining walls and installing new paving.
Following demolition and clearing in February, work at Charles Street Square has been progressing well (despite the seemingly endless rain). Behind the hoardings, the earliest signs of an attractive and accessible public space are starting to take shape.
Extended work hours to commence 14 November 2022
From 14 November 2022, our contractor Regal Innovations Pty Ltd will be undertaking some urgent works in partnership with Sydney Water. In order to complete this work as soon as possible, they will be working extended hours: 7am to 7pm Monday to Sunday.
Part of the work program will require upgrades to the existing sewer mains running through the site. To ensure sewerage services in the area are not interrupted during the works, a pump and temporary pipeline will be installed.
The pump diverting the sewerage will need to be in operation 24 hours a day/seven (7) days a week until the main line can be restored.
Regal Innovations will take steps to minimise noise and other disruptions. However, unavoidably, there will be some machinery noise during this time.
We thank you for your patience as we complete these urgent works.
We’re excited to announce the Charles Street Square project is set to begin in late February with site establishment and further archaeological works.
Regal Innovations Pty Ltd will be carrying out the upgrade works at Charles Street Square, Parramatta Quay. While early works are expected to begin in February, major works including demolition, will begin around 18 March 2022.
City of Parramatta is continuing to progress various aspects of our exciting Charles Street Square upgrade. The project team is liaising with government agencies and preparing the technical documentation required for public tender to appoint a construction company.
At this stage, we anticipate hoardings being installed in late 2021 and construction works to start soon after.
We will continue to provide updates and work closely with residents and neighbouring businesses to ensure access is maintained and appropriate wayfinding is incorporated into all our signage to direct members of the public safely.
Please read the July project update in the resources section or click here.
The City of Parramatta is upgrading Charles Street Square, Parramatta Quay. The vision for the precinct is to create a welcoming public space that connects people to Parramatta’s unique stories. Charles Street Square will offer a distinctive arrival for ferry passengers, and easy-to-navigate accessible connections from the riverfront to the City.
Following extensive community consultation throughout 2020, construction of a flood-resilient and sustainable public square is well underway.
More than 960,000 people were given the opportunity to engage with the Charles Street Square project over two consultation periods held during 2020.
Community feedback was highly supportive of the public art and cultural interpretation components of the project (120 formal submissions - 63% local residents and 4% local businesses) with participants wanting the public art and cultural interpretation at Charles Street Square to represent “the stories of the Dharug people and their connection to the land” (63% of participants); followed by local native plants and animals (58%); key events in Parramatta over time (53%); and the dynamic river environment (52%).
For full details of consultation on the concept design and the Review of Environmental Factors please see the REF tab at the top of the page.
The design focuses on accessibility and encourages visitors to move from the riverbank to the City’s edge and explore four distinct gathering places within the site: the Riverfront Walk, River Amphitheatre, Garden Terrace and Public Square. Visitors will be able to enjoy views over the Quay from under the shade of trees or meet for special events and public celebrations.
Within the new Charles Street Square is a layer of cultural interpretation and a significant public art piece which seeks to provide visitors with insights into Country, the river and landscape, and the people and events that have shaped our City over time.
The Charles Street Square public artwork will explore the themes of the land and river, flora and fauna, and will feature the stories of Parramatta, including the people and events that have shaped our City over time.
To be created by internationally renowned Australian artist Craig Walsh https://www.craigwalsh.net/about/ the artwork, titled Ebb and Flow, is a 30-minute layered video which will be projected directly onto the escarpment opposite the ferry terminal. The artwork is being created for a specific area of the natural shale embankment, a ‘canvas’ approximately 30 meters long x 10 meters high.
Due to the low reflective nature of the escarpment, and the limited brightness of the projection, the artwork will not radiate or spill ambient light outside the mapped ‘canvas’ area.
The artwork will use a collection of bespoke images within a layered video to create multiple experiences for people to explore and will contribute to our understanding of this special place.
The artwork acknowledges the continuing presence of First Nations people in Parramatta and among other stories of the land, flora and fauna, farming and urbanization, features our shared journey towards reconciliation, respect, and reciprocity.
It is intended that the projection will screen nightly at regular intervals between 8pm and 11pm in summer (Daylight Savings Time) and 6pm to 9pm in winter.
Ideal viewing locations for the projection artwork will be in the terraced seating areas being created within Charles Street Square. This location (confined to a 30-degree viewing angle within a horizontal plane) offers viewers the optimal experience of seeing good content detail. Please see the lime-coloured zone marked in the indicative map below.
The map also indicates broader areas where there will be an acceptable viewing experience with a reduced level of visibility of the detail within the artwork. Please see the orange-coloured viewing zone.
The artwork is unlikely to be visible from areas outside these viewing zones. The increased viewing distance and ambient light sources in these areas will mean that the subtlety of the imagery is lost with very minimal, if any, visibility - even if looking directly at the artwork.
Visibility is also reduced at height. Visibility is also restricted on the vertical plane for viewers located 4m or higher than the source of the projection at Parramatta Quay.
What does the public art look like?
The proposed artwork is being developed. The brief for the work is to convey the unique and complex stories of Parramatta including Dharug tradition and culture, the Parramatta River, native plants and animals, significant events and the people who shaped our City over time.
An embellished video, layered with illustrative animated work and images, will be created to form a subtle narrative. The 30-minute work is expected to be shown at regular intervals from 8pm to 11pm each day in summer (Daylight Savings Time) and between 6pm and 9pm during winter (Eastern Standard Time).
Who will create the public art?
Renowned Australian artist Craig Walsh has been commissioned to create the public artwork. To date, Craig has consulted with key stakeholders including historians, heritage specialists and the Dharug community. For information, please see https://www.craigwalsh.net/about/
When will the public art be visible?
It is expected that the first screening of the public art piece will occur shortly after the new Charles Street Square is opened (details to be confirmed).
The projector will be housed in a kiosk at Parramatta Quay, with the artwork projected across the river onto the escarpment. The projection ‘canvas’ is approximately 30m long and 10m high, there is no light spill outside the ‘canvas’ area.
The artwork has an optimal viewing zone with visibility affected by distance from the projection source. Visibility is also reduced at height (see map for viewing zones).
The 30-minute work is expected to be shown at regular intervals, from 8pm to 11pm each day in summer (Daylight Savings Time) and between 6pm and 9pm during winter (Eastern Standard Time).
Where can the public art be viewed?
The low reflectivity of the natural rock face and the conditions required for optimal viewing of the artwork, including viewing distance and ambient light, will mean that the artwork will be visible from a limited viewing area.
The optimal viewing for the public artwork is within a 30-degree area, located across from the escarpment. The Charles Street Square upgrade will deliver seating terraced seating in this space (refer to the lime-coloured area within the map).
Acceptable viewing locations are also indicated on the map (refer to the orange-coloured viewing zone on the map).
Outside the optimal and acceptable viewing zones, it is unlikely that the artwork will be visible.
The artwork is also rendered less visible at height. The artwork will not be able to be viewed from locations 4m and above the projector at Parramatta Quay.
What about native animals, what environmental studies have been completed?
The limited brightness of the projection and the timing of the projection (between 8pm and 11pm in summer and 6pm and 9pm in winter) will limit the disturbance to foraging habitat for threatened microbats, nocturnal birds and diurnal species (those active during the day).
The Review of Environmental Factors found the work unlikely to have a significant impact on a threatened species or ecological community.
Will light spill affect local residents?
Lighting in the public domain will comply with the Australian Standards for Lights for Roads and Public Spaces and Control of obtrusive effect of lighting. The light projection has limited brightness and will be displayed for a maximum of three hours to no later than 11pm nightly.
Lighting levels within the artwork are comparable to streetlights, with periods of lower levels of brightness within the overall 30-minute story.
Lighting trials held in May 2022 confirmed no light spill beyond the escarpment and limited viewing areas.
The projection ‘canvas’ is located so the projected light is not in the direct line of sight of pedestrian and cyclists using the Escarpment Boardwalk.
What about the ferry?
Stakeholder consultation throughout the Charles Street Square project, including throughout the lighting trial, has involved the ferry operator Transdev and Transport for NSW.
This consultation will continue during the detailed design phase for the artwork projection to ensure ferry operations are not impacted.
What are the benefits of public art for Parramatta?
Public art (sculpture, murals, installations etc.) plays a positive role in improving a community’s experience of our built environment and creates more meaningful public spaces. It can transform a place, create a sense of belonging in a community, generate cultural tourism and contribute to local economies.
Cultural participation, including the opportunity to engage with public art, contributes to a community’s identity and is a proven social and economic driver in making places liveable. The benefits associated with public art include improving health and wellbeing, increasing community cohesion and social inclusion, and stimulating social resilience.
Public art can transform landscapes and create a sense of uniqueness that appeals to residents and attracts visitors. The opportunity to experience another cultural attraction while in Parramatta has the potential to stimulate tourism and provide residents and visitors with an additional reason to stay longer within the Charles Street Square precinct.
A welcoming and attractive riverside destination, with more to see, do, learn, and enjoy, provides greater opportunities for visitors to spend locally.
In late 2022, the City of Parramatta invited local business owners to consider the potential impacts of the proposed artwork, including opportunities for the piece to provide a cultural experience which draws additional visitors to the area.
Submissions closed at 5pm on Thursday 6 October 2022.
A REF is part of the planning process known as Part 5 under the Environmental Protection & Assessments Act. As part of the REF, the City of Parramatta was required to fully assess the potential environmental impacts of Charles Street Square both during construction and after completion.
The REF was placed on public exhibition in October 2020; it identified a range of environmental safeguards and mitigations to protect archaeology, preserve water quality, ensure flood resilience, maintain local habitat and respond to other potential environmental risks.
The City of Parramatta reviewed feedback on the REF provided by the community and stakeholders including NSW Government agencies and utilities, and has made further refinements to the REF. The Revised REF notes that the recommendations of the Biodiversity Impact Statement will be implemented to protect existing site trees and manage sediment impacts on the adjacent Parramatta River to protect fish habitats.
Project information including the Revised REF can be found in the resources section on this page.
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.
Based on responses to the REF, City of Parramatta has:
- amended the design to include more cycle parking hoops. The design now allows for parking for 24 bikes with three parking hoops installed at the upper square and nine in the Garden Terrance
- confirmed where access is permitted via a right of easement on an adjacent property; removable bollards will be installed as part of the design to protect the square from general vehicle traffic while facilitating permissible access for property owners.
The City of Parramatta is committed to creating a safe construction site and will install clearly signposted safe detour routes for pedestrians and cyclists when required.
A construction traffic management plan will be implemented to mitigate the impacts of construction traffic movements to and from the site.
The Revised REF is available in the resources section on this page.
Preparations for the Charles Street Square upgrade are continuing with construction scheduled to begin mid-year.
The project team is progressing detailed design, planning and technical approvals, as well as documentation for the tendering of the construction works. The project team is also liaising with relevant utilities to ensure all approvals are secured and that their requirements are incorporated into the site design and construction.
Archaeological testing, conducted in accordance with Heritage NSW requirements, will begin in March 2021. Archaeological teams will work alongside participating Aboriginal representatives and civil contractors to mitigate the risk of harm to any historic and Aboriginal relics discovered as part of the works.
The City of Parramatta will continue to provide project updates on this page.
What did we hear?
Parramatta Quay is the place where people travelling along the Parramatta River arrive at our city. This site, a gathering place for thousands of years, holds a unique place in the story of Parramatta.
Proposed upgrades to Charles Street Square, adjacent to the Ferry Wharf, are part of significant ongoing investment in the revitalisation of Parramatta Quay and transformation of the Parramatta City River Foreshore.
- يمكن العثور على المزيد من المعلومات في قسم "الموارد" على الجانب الأيمن من هذه الصفحة.
- ज़्यादा जानकारी के लिए इस पृष्ठ की दाईं तरफ 'संसाधन' भाग देखें।
- 자세한 정보는 이 페이지 오른편에 있는 ‘자료(Resources)’ 섹션에서 확인하십시오.
Anticipated for completion in 2022, the new Charles Street Square will offer an attractive and usable public space that celebrates the place where communities connect. Proposed upgrades are part of significant ongoing investment in the transformation of the Parramatta City River Foreshore. Along with the Escarpment Boardwalk, these projects will create an accessible, green, and vibrant foreshore that is connected to our City.
The Charles Street Square concept design responds to the local environmental conditions including the changing river, the need for easy navigation between city and foreshore, and the rich cultural heritage of the place.
The flood-resilient design creates a wide riverfront walk and three attractive terraces connected by stairs and a series of gently graded ramps. People can easily move from the river foreshore to the city’s edge or explore welcoming spaces designed for enjoying river views, or gathering for special events and public celebrations.
The resources section provides more information on the proposed design and includes artist impressions.
At the City of Parramatta Council meeting held on Monday 11 May 2020, a report on the public exhibition of draft plans to transform Charles Street Square at Parramatta Quay was put forward for consideration. Councillors approved the concept design, including minor amendments in response to community feedback and stakeholder submissions. The amended concept plan is available in the resources section.
Public exhibition of the concept design occurred between 25 February to 16 March 2020 and it is estimated that communications regarding the project reached more than 880,000 people during this period. As a result of our engagement program, eight (8) email submissions and, 115 online survey responses were completed. The community also provided responses via social media and shared their views at our dedicated community drop-in sessions.
For further detail on the feedback received, please click on the image below. You may also like to find out more about our engagement activities and what we heard by reading the Charles Street Square Upgrade Draft Concept Design Public Exhibition Consultation Report which is available in the resources section.
The project team will now progress the project through detailed design, planning and technical approvals, as well as documentation for the tendering of the construction works. Council will be undertaking an environmental impact assessment on the project to satisfy the requirements of Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. The Review of Environmental Factors will be placed on public exhibition. We will notify you when there is an opportunity to review and provide feedback on this document.
For more information, contact the Charles Street Square project team by calling the City of Parramatta on 1300 617 058 or email CharlesStSquare@cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au