Friday, July 8, 2022

State funding for Kiama park upgrade

Kiama Municipal Council has received funding from the NSW Government’s Public Spaces Legacy Program to make improvements to the town’s Hindmarsh Park.

The Council conducted community consultation regarding the proposed upgrade during December 2021 and January 2022.

More than 350 submissions were received during the consultation period, with approximately 90% of the submissions coming from Kiama, Gerringong and Gerroa residents.

“The community shared a wide range of ideas for the park’s upgrade. Approximately two-thirds of the people who responded would like to see improved facilities for picnicking and outdoor dining, including more seating and picnic tables, more of these with shade, and with improved lighting for evening use,” Council said in a statement.

“More than half of the people who responded would like to see upgrades to the existing play space, with popular features including slides, climbing equipment, swings, water play and nature play.”

Approximately a quarter of the people who responded wanted to see upgrades to the foreshore at Black Beach Reserve as well as better access between Black Beach Reserve and Hindmarsh Park, via upgraded paths and connections, Council said.

“We also heard that the community highly value Hindmarsh Park’s natural assets. We heard that it is a great place to relax and a lovely natural space in the town centre. Community feedback made it clear that it is important not to overdevelop the park, to retain as much of the existing open space as possible and to retain the views to Black Beach and Kiama Harbour.”

Council’s design consultant, Civille, is currently working to develop concept designs, guided by the community feedback that was received.

“The response from the community has been fantastic, we received many thoughtful comments from a wide range of community members and it has become clear to us how much Hindmarsh Park is loved. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to talk to us in person or make a submission online,” said David Knights from Civille.

Department of Planning and Environment Executive Director Public Spaces, Caroline Butler-Bowdon said the NSW Government’s $250 million Public Space Legacy Program was the biggest injection of funding for public spaces in a generation.

“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 can enjoy for decades to come,” Ms Butler-Bowdon said.

“We’re supporting Councils to create fantastic outcomes for communities now and into the future, while also keeping people in jobs and the economy moving as we respond to the impacts of the pandemic.”

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