NSW Government and council must come together to complete ‘urban game changer’ GreenWay project
27 April, 2022
A Dulwich Hill residents’ action group has called on the NSW Government and Inner West Council to work together to overcome a worrying new funding gap stopping the completion of a long-awaited regional active transport and biodiversity corridor.
The Save Dully residents’ action group said it was vital that the Iron Cove to Cooks River GreenWay be completed, due to the sustainability, open space, transport, health and safety benefits it would deliver to the suburb and Inner West region.
It was previously expected that, later this year, construction would begin in Summer Hill and Dulwich Hill on the final in-corridor elements of the Iron Cove to Cooks River GreenWay
But on 8 March, after considering a confidential report, Inner West Council decided to not progress construction of the southern part of the GreenWay in Dulwich Hill, while it seeks additional funding from the NSW Government to pay for the works.
This section includes a new safe off-road cycling and walking path from the Waratah Mills light rail station to Hercules St, Dulwich Hill, mainly alongside the existing light rail line and including tunnels under Davis St and Constitution Rd.
It also includes a proposed 1.5 hectare extension to Jack Shanahan Reserve, including the site of the now redundant western fork of the former Rozelle to Dulwich Hill goods line.
This park will be a significant new environmental and open space area, which will deliver new wetlands and enclosed biodiversity areas, along with restoration of an existing creek.
Artist's impression of proposed extension to Jack Shanahan Park
The council has however voted to progress construction on improvements around Summer Hill and Lewisham, including new off-road cycling and walking tunnels under Longport St and Old Canterbury Rd and an underpass below Parramatta Rd.
The Iron Cove to Cooks River GreenWay is a proposed 5.8km active transport and biodiversity corridor, which runs directly alongside the light rail line, or on roads or in parks.
The concept of a GreenWay has been the subject of strong community support for many years and it is currently the number one ‘green grid’ priority in the Eastern City District Plan.
Traffic calming and cycling priority and environmental works have already been constructed on streets along the corridor.
GreenWay works in Weston St, Dulwich Hill
Save Dully president Liz Locksley said it was previously thought that the GreenWay had been fully funded and it was disappointing to hear of a potential shortfall of up to $8 million to construct the corridor’s southern links.
“From what we hear, additional funding is needed and there needs to be a greater commitment from a wide range of NSW Government bodies to give timely approvals for improvements,” Ms Locksley said.
“The council on 8 March voted to allocate an extra $3.4 million to the project and clearly we would also love to see the NSW Government come to the party.
“The GreenWay has long been seen as a game changer for our suburb and region and it would be very distressing to see this project in trouble when we’ve come so far.
“We seem to be hearing more reports of pedestrian accidents and this corridor will provide a safe cycling and walking route between two major waterways.
“It will be easier for people to get to work or kids to get to school by walking or bike, or simply for people to enjoy the great outdoors.
“It will also help to make up for an existing shortfall in public open space in Dulwich Hill.”
Ms Locksley said it was also important to note that there was an unrealised opportunity to extend the GreenWay vision to the area around the corridor.
“There is an opportunity to use the GreenWay to improve the urban environment and deliver a broader urban green corridor vision in Dulwich Hill,” Ms Locksley said.
“The vision would retain existing biodiversity and residential zoning protections and put in place planning provisions which support other environmental enhancements, such as tree canopy preservation and growth, water sensitive urban design, active transport and healthy waterways.
“For example, Save Dully’s Heart of Dulwich Hill concept plan includes a green grid connection between the GreenWay and Dulwich Hill’s schools and shops.”
About Save Dully
The Save Dully residents’ action group has been in place since 2015 to fight for good planning outcomes in Dulwich Hill. Save Dully is an incorporated association with an elected committee. Find out more at www.savedully.com