Parramatta Park will expand with the addition of the adjacent historic two-hectare Wistaria Gardens in a significant win for the new Greater Sydney Parklands Trust (GSP).
Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Rob Stokes said the new Greater Sydney Parklands Trust Act 2021 creates a new, single powerful voice for Sydney’s parklands, which will enable the NSW Government to expand State-owned parks for a growing Greater Sydney.
“Sydney’s best parklands will bloom under the leadership of the Greater Sydney Parklands Trust, with the first step being the inclusion of Wistaria Gardens,” Mr Stokes said.
“GSP will be tasked with transforming this beautiful, historic garden, with so much potential into a public space that the growing communities around Parramatta will flock to.
“The new laws provide our parks stronger protections than ever before and a specialist agency to drive the expansion of new parklands and blue-green grid connections.”
Member for Parramatta Dr Geoff Lee has been a strong advocate for the transfer of the Gardens and said it was a significant milestone for the park.
“Wistaria Gardens is a remarkable part of the nation’s heritage and one of Sydney’s last surviving large-scale Edwardian Gardens, which will be protected and restored to its former glory for future generations to enjoy,” Dr Lee said.
“There is a unique opportunity to improve access to the now 87 hectares of Parramatta Park for North Parramatta residents, and also lease historic Glengarriff House to help maintain both the Park and the building itself.
“This is the start of a conversation with the community about how they would like GSP to manage Wistaria Gardens, which is highly valued for its cultural heritage, and as a tranquil haven on the edge of the bustling Parramatta CBD.”
Parramatta Park was established in 1857 and is one of 11 sites that form the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The new agency is charged with protecting the environment and cultural heritage of Sydney’s existing parklands that include Centennial Parklands, including Queens and Moore Parks, Callan Park, Parramatta Park, Western Sydney Parklands and Fernhill Estate, while also establishing new parklands to realise the NSW Government’s vision for Greater Sydney to become a ‘city within a park.’
GSP will conduct horticultural work in time for spring, before consulting with the community on future plans to restore the Gardens and involve the community in their management.