Ground is breaking on a $6.67 million project that will see the Parramatta River open its shores at McIlwaine Park in Rhodes for the first time in generations.
The project, funded by the NSW Government’s Precinct Support Scheme, will include upgrades to the Parramatta River foreshore and transformation of the seawall to improve access to the river so visitors can enjoy water activities such as kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.
City of Canada Bay Council says water quality testing by Sydney Water at McIlwaine Park has been positive, reporting similar results to its established swim sites at Chiswick Baths and Cabarita Park beach.
The upgrade will also include an accessible shared pathway, the installation of lights and picnic facilities, and native landscaping including the planting of 22 trees.
“This is a real coup for residents from western Sydney and the inner west,” Mayor Tsirekas said.
“People will no longer have to commute to the bays and beaches of the eastern suburbs to cool off during the summer months.
“With population growth increasing and temperatures rising, it’s important now more than ever to give people access to the waterway.”
This project, scheduled to be delivered by February 2022, is part of a larger Masterplan led by the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) which aims to make the river swimmable by 2025.
PRCG Chair, Councillor Mark Drury, said the start of construction at McIlwaine Park was a significant milestone in the delivery of the masterplan.
“The project not only aims to improve water quality in the river, it will provide greater foreshore access, amenities and liveability for the community,” Cr Drury said.
“The Parramatta River Catchment Group is proud to be working with the City of Canada Bay, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and Sydney Water on this project as well as all our other member Councils and State Government agencies on the broader mission to make the Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025.”
Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes said the NSW Government’s funding commitment to upgrade the Parramatta River foreshore was part of the $100 million Precinct Support Scheme.
“Public spaces and shared paths are just as important to the community as roads and shops, and these new facilities will provide local residents, workers and visitors with better access to active transport,” Mr Stokes said.
“We are ensuring communities across Greater Sydney reap the benefits and enjoy new and improved open space and infrastructure as their communities grow.”
McIlwaine Park now marks the fifth site where visitors will be able to access the Parramatta River after years of remediation works.
The City of Canada Bay already has two swim sites at Chiswick Baths and Cabarita Park beach with plans for another site at Bayview Park in Concord to be delivered in late 2021.
For more information about the project visit bit.ly/ouropenriver