Parramatta River Masterplan
DUBA, BUDU, BARRA: Ten Steps to a Living River – the Parramatta River Masterplan was launched in October 2018 as part of the 21st International Riversymposium.
The Masterplan recognises the Traditional Custodians of the Parramatta River, its tributaries and surrounding lands, and their significant and enduring cultural ties to Country.
The holistic approach of the Masterplan addresses Duba (Land) – developments, water systems, regeneration of biodiversity and stabilisation of riverbanks; Budu (Water) – feeding creeks and catchments, surface water, flow speed and quantity, and the river body itself; and Barra (Sky) – the weather, calendar systems, climate, and day and night.
Ten Steps to a Living River
The Masterplan details the steps needed to achieve a healthy, liveable and sustainable river catchment.
Each of the 10 steps addresses different aspects of ecological and waterway health, including riparian protection, biodiversity, litter prevention and community engagement. They also identify opportunities to work with local and state government agencies on improvements to stormwater and sewer management, water sensitive urban design (WSUD) and land-use planning.
Progress on the Masterplan steps is reported regularly through the Masterplan Dashboard.
New swim sites
As part of the Masterplan, three new swimming locations at Putney Park, Bayview Park in Concord, and McIlwaine Park in Rhodes East and will be opened by 2025, joining current swimming sites at Cabarita Park beach, Chiswick Baths, Dawn Fraser Baths and Lake Parramatta. A fourth site at Bedlam Bay in Gladesville was announced in 2020.
The development of the Masterplan was based on years of scientific studies and testing, industry collaboration and community engagement. The process was led by the PRCG with substantial input and support from our partner agencies and community members across the catchment.
Sydney Water was appointed as the lead agency to drive the delivery of the Masterplan and has also provided significant additional resources to accelerate its implementation within the delivery timeframe.
The Masterplan is specifically referenced in several local council plans as well as key state planning documents, including the three relevant District Plans and the EPA Strategic Plan. It is also consistent with the OEH/EPA Risk-based framework for considering waterway health outcomes in strategic land use planning decisions.
The Parramatta River Masterplan was developed in two stages.
In Stage 1, we undertook a series of research projects to:
- Better understand and define the elements of swimmable river
- Develop an evidence base for actions and targets that can be realistically achieved by 2025
- Establish clear metrics for how we monitor progress towards achieving these targets.
In Stage 2, we used this evidence base to make decisions on the pathways we would take to achieve our mission, which led to our 10-step plan.