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A Public Spaces Legacy For The Hunter

The Hunter will share in a total of up to $250 million in NSW Government funding to create a legacy of quality, green and accessible public space to be treasured for generations to come.


Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin today announced $15 million has been allocated to five Hunter Councils, as part of the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program.

“This is a great result for the local community,” Mr Martin said.

“The program will create legacy public spaces for future generations as well as keep people in the Hunter in jobs to ensure the local economy keeps moving as we continue to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To secure full funding for their projects, councils needs to continue accelerating assessment and determination of local DAs, which will have the additional benefit of bolstering the local construction pipeline through to 2023.”

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the funding being delivered to councils was reliant on them meeting agreed targets to speed up local development applications.

“This program is the first of its kind in NSW and demonstrates state and local government working together to create a legacy of beautiful public spaces that communities, for decades, can be proud of,” Mr Stokes said.

“In exchange for legacy funding, councils participating in the program need to speed up their assessment times. They have until June 30 to keep hitting their targets but, so far, the program has seen a 20 per cent improvement.

“It’s been great to see the unclogging of the planning system as part of this program - 42 of 53 planning proposals that had been stuck in the planning system for more than four years have been resolved and 161 of 168 regionally significant development applications have been cleared.”

The councils will be provided with funding for project planning and design and will have until 30 June 2021 to demonstrate they have met DA assessment performance improvements to lock in their full allocation of funding, ahead of construction starting on projects from August this year.

Cessnock City Council - $3 million

 Construction and greening of a 5,330m active transport corridor connecting Wine Country Drive at Cessnock through to St Philips Christian College, Nulkaba

Lake Macquarie City Council - $3 million

 Enhanced community access to Swansea Channel including a 230m accessible boardwalk, two pedestrian bridges, upgrades to an existing viewing platform and walking trail connections

Maitland City Council - $3 million

 Enhancing Harold Gregson Park into a multi-use place providing green space, overnight RV parking, spaces for community-led and local events, shared pathways, barbeque and picnic facilities, tree plantings and a youth space.

Newcastle City Council - $3 million

 Stage 1 Newcastle Ocean Baths Upgrade

Port Stephens Council - $3 million

 A new shared path along the shores of Port Stephens from Nelson Bay to Halifax Point

 A new town square at Lemon Tree Passage with a shared path along the foreshore

 Upgrades to William Street at Raymond Terrace to improve connections between the waterfront and Boomerang Park

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