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 35 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

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  • 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) underway by Department of Planning and Environment
  • Request submitted by City of Canada Bay to the Department of Planning to amend the Sydney Regional Environmental Plan – Sydney Harbour Catchment to rezone Kendell Bay to W2 (Environmental Protection Zone)
  • 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

Water and sediments

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

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  • Feasibility study completed and installation underway by City of Ryde of a complete stormwater capture and harvesting system in Peel Park, including a 1st phase gross pollutant trap, UV treatment and tank storage for irrigation and pre-treatment before being released into the Parramatta River. Works planned for completion mid-2017.

  • 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.
  • 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 underway to prioritise management interventions to improve river quality for swimming
  • Get the Site Right sediment and erosion control compliance campaign coordinated across the catchment, with over 200 development sites inspected in October 2016

Estuarine Ecology

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

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  • 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 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
  • 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

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  • 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 underway by Sydney Water
  • 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
  • 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

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  • 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.
  • 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 and full concept designs underway 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

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  • 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
  • Business case developed for a future Riverwatch Monitoring Program for proposed new swimming sites in the Parramatta River