PROGRESS ON THE PARRAMATTA RIVER ESTUARY COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PLAN

The Parramatta River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) is the legislated plan to protect and rehabilitate the coastal environment of the Parramatta River estuary, including the waterway, bays, foreshores and adjacent lands of the Parramatta River and its tidal tributaries.

This area extends from the tidal limit at the Charles Street weir at Parramatta, to Yurulbin Point, Birchgrove and Clarkes Point, Woolwich, in the east.

The Parramatta River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan was formally certified in accordance with Section 55G of the Coastal Protection Act by the Minister for Planning, The Honourable Rob Stokes, on 31 March 2016 and appeared in the NSW Government Gazette No 56 on 1 July 2016.

Development of the Plan and its gazettal was supported by the 8 Councils within the Parramatta River Estuary, as well as Sydney Water, Roads and Maritime Services, Sydney Olympic Park Authority and Office of Environment and Heritage. Each of these agencies have specific actions within the Plan.

Progress has been made on at least 50 Actions identified in the Plan, as summarised below. The full list of actions can be downloaded here.

 

Land use planning and development

To incorporate ecologically sustainable practices as the foreshore faces increased development and changes in land use

undefined

  • Upper Duck River Riparian and Wetland Plan of Management finalised and endorsed by the former Auburn City Council
  • Review of the Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005 (SHREP) and incorporation into a broader Environment SEPP underway by Department of Planning and Environment
  • The Department of Planning and Environment is currently reviewing City of Canada Bay's request to rezone Kendell Bay to W2 (Environmental Protection Zone) as part of the new Environment SEPP being developed that will replace the existing Sydney Harbour Catchment Regional Environment Plan
  • Synthesis of Water Sensitive Urban Design Policy in all 13 Councils in the Parramatta River catchment
  • Greater Sydney Commission’s GPOP (Greater Parramatta to Olympic Peninsula) Plan Direction 11: Make Parramatta River a great living waterway and connector, where people enjoy walking, cycling and safe swimming
  • Greater Sydney Commission's Eastern City, North and Central City District Plans include specific sections on the Parramatta River and reference the Parramatta River Catchment Group, the Parramatta River Masterplan and the mission to make the river swimmable again.
  • Parramatta River Masterplan developed, with ten key recommendations and associated pathways to action on how to make the river swimmable again

Water and sediments

To capture and treat stormwater and reduce sediment entering the Parramatta River estuary

undefined

  • Constructed wetland system at Blackmore Park due for completion end 2018 to improve stormwater quality and flows from the City West Link.
  • Stormwater harvesting system and irrigation to Bill Mitchell Park completed that captures and UV treats a 41 ha catchment area, preventing litter and pollutants entering the Parramatta River; connections to Peel Park also installed to enable future irrigation
  • Ongoing implementation of Hunters Hill Council Stormwater Management Action Plan, including cleaning of the Riverglade Reserve ponds and annual inspection and cleaning of all stormwater quality improvement devices across Hunters Hill local government area.
  • Parramatta River Waterway Health Program underway by Sydney Water to examine potential options for water sensitive urban design and implement appropriate works. Plans underway for a constructed wetland at Milson Park, Westmead. 
  • Litter Traps installed and maintained at:
    • Riverglade Reserve (2 traps installed) by Hunters Hill Council.
    • Birchgrove Oval by the former Leichhardt Council.
    • Bill Mitchell Park, Gladesville by City of Ryde.
    • Deakin St, Meadowbank by City of Ryde. 
    • Mona Park, Auburn by the former Auburn Council.
  • Community education program implemented by City of Ryde on the impact of litter entering stormwater systems and the Parramatta River, including the provision of car waste bags, drain stencilling, promotion of litter impacts at two events, schools litter competitions, litter pledges and bus shelter advertising
  • Audit of existing Litter Traps across the former Leichhardt local government area completed and feasibility study for additional Litter Traps underway
  • Design for bank stabilisation works with natural materials and vegetation completed by Cumberland Council for two reaches along Duck River (approx. 20-30m adjacent to the Auburn Botanic Gardens and 50m reach adjacent to Mona Park) and works identified on Cumberland Council’s Operational Plan 2016-2017
  • Ongoing, daily collection of litter from the estuary by Roads and Maritime Services
  • Stormwater Management and Water Sensitive Urban Design Policy developed by Sydney Olympic Park Authority
  • Parramatta River Water Quality Modelling study completed and management interventions prioritise to improve river quality for swimming; results indicate that water quality will decline under the current business as usual approach, given predicted development across the catchment, but that water quality can be improved through a combination of additional planning controls for stormwater management, wastewater infrastructure and education and compliance initiatives
  • Get the Site Right sediment and erosion control compliance campaigns coordinated across the catchment in October 2016, May 2017, November 2017 and May 2018; the two most recent campaigns have extended Sydney-wide and involved over 20 local Councils, the NSW Environment Protection Authority and Department of Planning and Environment; over 2000 sites have been inspected as part of the campaign and breaches followed up to ensure eventual compliance
  • Sediment quality and human health risk assessment undertaken at six potential swimming locations in the Parramatta River

Estuarine Ecology

To enhance and protect aquatic and foreshore habitats and improve ecosystem health

undefined

  • Priority habitat corridors across Cumberland, Strathfield, Ryde, Hunters Hill, Parramatta, Blacktown, Inner West and Canada Bay local government areas identified in the Our Living Catchment Fauna and Habitat Report and on ground works and annual monitoring are ongoing
  • Five ecological health mascots for the entire Parramatta River catchment identified and management plans drafted
  • Enhancement of sensitive vegetation and habitat for migratory waders at Mason Park Wetlands by Strathfield Council, through targeted mangrove removal and weed control works, supported by monitoring of tidal flushing and saltmarsh species plant recruitment, volunteer bird monitoring at both Bressington and Mason Parks and an off-leash dog walking area at Allen Street Reserve
  • Enhancement of saltmarsh and other riparian habitat by Hunters Hill Council through bush regeneration of estuarine vegetation within Gladesville Reserve, Riverglade Reserve and Betts Park and from Clarkes Point to Bedlam Bay along the lower Parramatta River foreshore
  • Investigation by City of Canada Bay into suitable areas for enhancement of estuarine vegetation
  • Installation of a pilot saltmarsh artificial farm underway and due for completion in 2018/2019

  • Incorporation of habitat improvements, where feasible, into seawall upgrades undertaken by foreshore Councils, in accordance with the DECC and SMCMA (2009) Guidelines for Environmentally Friendly Seawalls 

Bank Condition

To manage erosion of river banks and seawalls, reduce environmental impacts, rehabilitate degrading shorelines and improve the social amenity of the estuary

undefined

  • Minister for Transport, The Honourable Andrew Constance, provides written assurance to the Parramatta River Catchment Group that “minimising ferry wash is a key criteria in the design process for the four new Parramatta River ferries planned”.
  • Powell’s Creek naturalisation project completed by Sydney Water
  • The City of Canada Bay has undertaken detailed investigations of environmentally friendly seawall options and the establishment of mangroves as a stabilisation method in areas of bank erosion, and has completed repairs to the sea wall at Wiremills, Abbotsford
  • The City of Ryde is working with Transport NSW, RMS and Community to construct two small groyne structures (seawall wash breaks) to address foreshore erosion impacts effecting community asset and beach access
  • Approximately 600m in seawall has been constructed by City of Ryde, including 220m near Railway Bridge and 378m near Meadowbank and seawall maintenance undertaken in existing sections
  • City of Parramatta has commenced a seawall audit of the approximately 8.2km of seawalls along its area of the Parramatta River. This audit will inform future repair and maintenance requirements and also investigate the possibility of making existing seawalls more environmentally friendly by providing improved habitat for local aquatic life.

Human usage and recreation

To encourage public access to the estuary and foreshores for a wide range of groups and communities while maintaining the river and estuarine health

undefined

  • Extension of the Parramatta Valley Cycleway Shared Path to the Parramatta CBD underway. Once completed this path will be 15km long and will consist almost exclusively of off-road cycle/footpaths.
  • Boardwalk construction underway by Strathfield Council and Sydney Water at the southern end of Mason Park Wetlands, connecting with an existing pathway at Mason Park, the new cycleway being constructed as part of the Powell’s Creek naturalisation project and the enhanced pedestrian / cycleway path along Underwood Road.

  • Incorporation of public access into new and existing developments during Voluntary Planning Agreement negotiations within City of Parramatta
  • Awareness raising of issues relating to estuarine health and management across industry and the community ongoing, including
  • Community research undertaken interviewing 1100 people (100 from each of the 11 Parramatta River catchment local government areas) to understand current community behaviour around the river, perceived barriers to swimming and the potential for increased activity as the river and surrounding areas are improved.
  • Swim site activation framework developed, with full concept designs for three proposed new swimming sites along the Parramatta River estuary.

Monitoring and Reporting

To adopt and implement a coordinated river health monitoring program and communicate progress to the community

undefined

  • Ongoing estuarine health monitoring as part of the NSW Office of Environment’s Estuary Monitoring Program
  • Ongoing recreational water quality monitoring at three designated swimming sites (Dawn Fraser, Chiswick Baths and Cabarita beach) as part of the NSW Office of Environment’s Beachwatch Program
  • Water quality monitoring at two water quality monitoring buoys, one upstream and one downstream of Duck River, with data available from City of Parramatta
  • Parramatta River Swim Report developed to show the current status of swimming in the Parramatta River
  • Detailed literature review undertaken on how recreational water quality should be assessed in the Parramatta River and strategic analysis of all available water quality monitoring data completed
  • Business case developed for a future Riverwatch Monitoring Program at proposed swimming sites; stage 1 sediment screening undertaken at six sites along the river and stage 2 initial water quality monitoring undertaken at four sites along the river