Council has prepared a new single generic plan of management for all Community and Crown Land under our management. This will consolidate and update existing plans of management to ensure that our management framework reflects current legislation, community values and management issues.
The draft plan of management was endorsed by Council on Monday 25 July 2022 and has been referred to the Crown for approval prior to public exhibition.
Council manages a diverse network of approximately 375 parks and reserves throughout the local government area (LGA). This is made up of Community and Crown Land that was formerly located within five different LGAs (Auburn, Holroyd, Hornsby, Parramatta and The Hills) prior to the local government boundary changes that created the City of Parramatta in May 2016.
These parks and reserves include sporting fields, playgrounds, courts, fitness equipment, picnic and BBQ facilities. They provide a range of recreational opportunities to meet the evolving needs of our growing and diverse community, and also protect pockets of bushland and waterways that provide important habitat for our native plants and animals.
The Local Government Act 1993 requires that Council has a plan of management for all Community Land. There are currently thirteen different plans of management that apply to our parks and reserves following the local government boundary changes. This has resulted in an inconsistent and complex management framework for parks and reserves within the City of Parramatta.
The Crown Land Management Act 2016 now enables Council to manage Crown reserves as Community Land under the Local Government Act 1993. It also requires Council to prepare a new plan of management and assign community land categories (Park, Sportsground, Natural Area, General Community Use) for the 66 Crown reserves now formally under our management.
To comply with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1993, the Community and Crown Land Plan of Management will authorise permissible uses, including leases and licences, identify performance targets and broad actions to address key management issues for Community and Crown Land. It will also provide the strategic basis for development of site-specific landscape masterplans, which will continue to guide upgrades and other on-ground works at individual parks and reserves.
Stage one consultation
Submissions for stage one consultation closed at 9am on Monday 14 December 2020. Thank you to everyone that provided feedback! From the 116 responses to the online survey, it is clear that the community strongly value our local parks and reserves.
Responses indicated that parks and reserves are used for a variety of purposes, and that community members appreciate both the natural and built environment features and elements. A number of issues impacting the use and management of parks and reserves were also identified, with the dumping of rubbish and waste selected by 63% of respondents.
To find out more about what we heard, please click on the image below!
Council greatly appreciates the contributions of all survey respondents. This valuable feedback assisted in the development of the draft Plan of Management. This page will be updated regularly with key dates and other information as the project progresses.
Frequently asked questions
Council is required to classify all public land as either ‘Community’ or ‘Operational’ under the Local Government Act 1993. Community Land is that which is set aside for public purposes and community use, such as parks, sporting fields and bushland. It includes land under Council ownership as well as land owned by other government agencies under the care, control and management of Council for public reserve purposes (excluding Crown Land).
The development and use of Community Land must be in accordance with a plan of management and be consistent with the core objectives prescribed for the category assigned to the land. Any activities or development within parks and reserves must also be in accordance with the landuse zone (Public Recreation, Environmental Protection, Natural Waterways) assigned under the applicable Local Environmental Plan.
Operational land is that which provides a commercial or operational function for Council, such as a carpark or depot. It is not subject to the restrictive provisions or plan of management requirements that apply to Community Land.
Crown Land is owned and managed by the NSW Government and has been reserved or dedicated for a public purpose, such as Public Recreation or Environmental Protection, under the Crown Land Management Act 2016. Council can be appointed as Crown Land manager on behalf of the NSW Government to manage the land under the Local Government Act 1993. The land must be managed consistent with the gazetted reserve purpose/s and in accordance with a plan of management approved by both Council and the Minister (as landowner).
Crown Land 2031: State Strategic Plan for Crown Land can be accessed at Crown Land 2031: State Strategic Plan for Crown Land
A Plan of Management is a strategic document that guides the use and management of Community and Crown Land (public land) under Council ownership or management. It is based on core objectives and community values and addresses key management issues to ensure a consistent and transparent approach to decision-making. The Local Government Act 1993 requires that a plan of management identifies:
- the category for the land
- objectives and performance targets for management of the land
- the means (actions) by which Council proposes to achieve the objectives and performance targets
- measures by which council proposes to assess its performance.
A plan of management must also ‘expressly authorise’ the purposes for which the land can be leased or licenced.
The commencement of the Crown Land Management Act 2016 on 1 July 2018 now enables Council to manage Crown Land under the Local Government Act 1993. It requires that Council prepare a new plan of management for the 66 Crown reserves now formally under City of Parramatta management.
Whilst the Local Government Act 1993 previously required Council to prepare plans of management for all Community Land, they were generally not required for Crown Land prior to the commencement of the Crown Land Management Act 2016. Crown Land was included in existing plans of management to enable the holistic management of all parks and reserves; however, Council had limited management authority. A new plan of management is required to comply with the Crown Land Management Act 2016 and to empower Council to manage Crown Land as Community Land under the Local Government Act 1993, such as authorisation to grant leases and licences.
The CCLPoM is a broad strategic document that will apply to all 375 parks and reserves managed by Council. It consolidates and updates existing plans of management to ensure compliance with legislative requirements and to provide a consistent management framework that reflects current community values, key management issues and Council strategies, plans and policies.
There will be no significant changes to the ongoing maintenance or use of Councils parks and reserves. Any upgrades or other on-ground works will continue to be guided by site specific landscape masterplans or as identified in other Council strategies and plans such as the Community Infrastructure Strategy.
The Local Government Act 1993 requires that Council categorise Community Land based upon its characteristics and use/s as one or more of the following:
- Natural Area (Bushland, Wetland, Escarpment, Watercourse, Foreshore)
- Area of Cultural Significance
- General Community Use
This is to be in accordance with the categorisation guidelines under the Local Government (General) Regulation 2021. Multiple categories can apply to an individual park or reserve and these are identified in maps within a plan of management.
The Crown Land Management Act 2016 also required Council to assign initial land categories to Crown Land under its management based upon that which was most closely related to the purposes for which the land was dedicated or reserved. Multiple categories can be assigned to Crown Land with multiple reservation or dedication purposes.
As the majority of Crown reserves under Council management are dedicated or reserved for a ‘public recreation’ purpose, they were initially required to be categorised as ‘Park’. This initial categorisation is inconsistent for Crown reserves that comprise ‘bushland’ or ‘sportsground’ areas, and the plan of management process provides the mechanism for review and re-categorisation to ensure they more appropriately reflect the characteristics and use/s of the land.
Are there any parks and reserves within the City of Parramatta that will not be covered by the new plan of management?
The new CCLPoM will not apply to Parramatta Park and Sydney Olympic Parklands as they are managed by other government authorities under different legislation.
The majority of Community Land managed by Council was previously categorised under the existing plans of management adopted by the five different LGAs (Auburn, Holroyd, Hornsby, Parramatta, and The Hills). Council is required to categorise Community Land recently transferred under our ownership and not covered by the existing thirteen plans of management.
A review of the existing land categorisation has been undertaken as part of the plan of management process to ensure that categories are applied consistently for all Community and Crown Land based upon its characteristics and use/s in accordance with legislative guidelines. The intent of the review was to retain and refine existing categorisation where possible, with no significant changes for the majority of parks and reserves. Amended categorisation was required where:
- inconsistent with categorisation guidelines
- initial Crown land categorisation inconsistent with its characteristics or current use
- significant change or upgrade to Community Land, such as a new sportsground.Any new or amended categorisation (except Crown Land) will be subject to a public hearing during the public exhibition period as required under the Local Government Act 1993. This will be chaired by an independent facilitator to provide the community with an opportunity to review the proposed categorisations and discuss any concerns or questions. Further information about how, when and where the public hearing will take place will be provided early in 2023.
The draft plan of management has now been prepared and endorsed by Council for public exhibition following community and stakeholder feedback. It also requires the approval of the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces (as Crown landowner) prior to public exhibition. Following Crown approval it will be placed on public exhibition for a 6-week period during which the community will be able to review and provide comment. Public exhibition is likely to occur in late 2023, with this timeframe to be updated as the project progresses.
I have a specific request for my local park or reserve. Will it be considered for inclusion in the Plan of Management?
No. The Plan of Management will provide a broad framework to guide the management of all Council parks and reserves in accordance with legislative requirements. It will not include provisions for individual parks or identify specific on-ground works, as these will continue to be guided by site-specific landscape masterplans.
Any issues or requests related to individual parks or reserves should be submitted to Councils Online Services Portal.
The survey feedback was reviewed and used to inform preparation of the draft CCLPoM. Council also considered issues, actions and performance targets identified in existing plans of management as well as current legislation, strategies, plans and policies relating to parks and reserves.