News from the NSW Executive - 9 October 2018

The NSW Executive Committee and the Advocacy Working Group are looking to undertake a proactive rather than reactive advocacy strategy. To this end, the group will be meeting with Rod Simpson, Environment Commissioner at our next meeting. The group recently met with Fiona Morrison, Commissioner Open Space and Parklands (OSAP), to define a deeper understanding of the key priority focus areas for the OSAP team since its inception in October last year. Many members have expressed interest in the activities of the OSAP and the conversation also centred around continuing the engagement between AILA members and the OSAP moving forward. Fiona has shared these insights with AILA NSW.

Fiona will be presenting at the opening of the AILA NSW ‘Cool Street’ workshop in Newcastle on Friday 16 November proudly sponsored by Andreasens Green – registrations open soon. We hope you can join us.

Mark Tyrrell

AILA NSW President

The NSW Office of Open Space and Parklands

Since its inception in October 2017, the Office of Open Space and Parklands (the Office) has been busy collaborating with stakeholders across Government and the community to plan for the future open space and urban canopy of NSW. The team is led by the Commissioner of Open Space and Parklands, Fiona Morrison and together with multi disciplinary team, the role of the Office is to implement the NSW Green Infrastructure Policy and to deliver the Open Space and Parklands Program announced by the NSW Premier and Minister for Planning and Housing in April 2018.

The Office continues to grow with a variety of functions and responsibilities that include the preparing of Green Plans for growth areas, creation of the draft Everyone Can Plan in NSW inclusive playspace guideline and strategic reviews of urban canopy and recreation provision across Sydney and other focus areas. The Office is working closely with other Government agencies to create better and more sustainable open space and urban canopy outcomes for NSW.

Of the $290 million Open Space and Parklands Program announced in April, the Office of Open Space and Parklands is responsible for delivery of $157.5m. Of this, $20m over 5yrs for inclusive playspaces, $37.5m over 4yrs for expansion of the urban canopy across Greater Sydney and $100m for acquisition of new land for parklands.

A few of the current projects the Office of Open Space and Parklands is delivering includes:

  • 5 Million trees for Greater Sydney. In November 2017, Minister Anthony Roberts announced the ambition for Greater Sydney to expand the urban tree canopy to 40%. Following this announcement, the Office has been working on determining the baseline measure of canopy across Greater Sydney. This data will be used to understand the existing canopy measure for each suburb andto prioritise areas for funding of future tree planting projects that will be supported by the program funding announced in April 2018.
  • Everyone Can Play In NSW(draft) has recently completed its exhibition period. During this time, the Office held 13 information sessions across Regional NSW and Metro Sydney to talk to stakeholders about inclusive play and to listen to some of the challenges faced when planning, designing and delivering inclusive spaces. The Office is now reviewing these submissions and will look to promptly finalise the Guideline. The $20 million funding for playspaces will assist in the implementation of Everyone Can Play in NSW.
  • Recreation Needs of Sydney– To inform the planning for the open space and recreation needs of a growing and changing Sydney, we need to understand how and when people recreate. As a part of the Recreation Needs of Greater Sydney Study, the Office undertook an extensive community engagement piece. Over 7,000 people have told how they recreate in public and private open space when not participating in organised sport. This information is being finalised and will be shared with stakeholders and the community in the coming weeks. The wider Study is has been informed by this community feedback and workshops with Councils across Sydney are being planned to share the findings. The information collected in these sessions will inform the finalisation of the Recreation Needs Study for Greater Sydney.

We are keen to continue our engagement with landscape architectural industry and with Local Government to test ideas, develop best practice and to support the great work that is already happening across NSW in the delivery of green infrastructure. Our team is growing, and we would love to hear from passionate landscape professionals who are eager to see the development of important green infrastructure outcomes for NSW.

Commissioner Open Space and Parklands

Fiona Morrison