The Current Sept 2018 – Parramatta River Masterplan

At the PRCG Full Group meeting held last Thursday, PRCG Coordinator, Sarah Holland Clift, provided an update on the progress to delivering the final Parramatta River Masterplan.

The full draft Masterplan will be launched for formal public exhibition on Thursday, 18 October. We warmly invite you all to join us for the launch of this long-awaited Masterplan. The launch will be held at 10am at Putney Park. If you would like to attend, please email to register.

There are several pieces of work currently underway that will input into the final Masterplan:


Masterplan community consultation (please support)

In the lead up to the launch, the PRCG has been undertaking community consultation on the Ten Steps to a Living River, which form the basis of the Parramatta River Masterplan. This is to ensure that the Masterplan recommendations are understood and supported by everyone.

To support the consultation, we developed the Ten Steps to a Living River brochure, social media video, engagement survey and display materials. We encourage you to promote this via your agency’s communications channels. Please contact for access to any of the resources available.


Economic Analysis

An economic analysis is currently underway to demonstrate the overall economic benefits of returning the Parramatta River to swimmable conditions and to inform the funding models and business case to deliver the Masterplan. During the public exhibition period on the Masterplan, a full cost-benefit analysis and business case will be developed and then packaged up with the final Masterplan.



A cross-agency Masterplan Governance Working Group was established to work through the options and recommend the preferred governance model for delivering the Masterplan. This working group is chaired by Clr Penny Pedersen, the current Vice Chair of the PRCG, and includes representatives from all member Councils and relevant State Government agencies.

The PRCG Full Group has endorsed the working group’s proposed collaborative governance arrangement for the Masterplan. This builds on the existing PRCG structure and provides clarity on the roles of each stakeholder in delivering the Masterplan. The working group will evolve into a cross-agency Masterplan Delivery Engine, with a focus on direction, guidance and the operational elements of delivery. Sydney Water will take the lead role in coordinating this Masterplan Delivery Engine, but other agencies can and should take lead on specific projects, based on their skills and capabilities. The Delivery Engine will take guidance from and be accountable to the existing PRCG Full Group and will report to each Full Group meeting using the visualisation dashboard being developed.


Aboriginal Leadership

Aboriginal engagement was identified as a key gap in the Parramatta River Masterplan development. A dedicated project is therefore underway to undertake specific engagement with the Aboriginal communities connected with the river. It recognises the inherent rights of the original custodians as well as the historical and contemporary connections of other Aboriginal people to the river and considers management and use of the Parramatta River for cultural purposes. The project is being undertaken in four stages:

  1. Development of case studies of other rivers as a basis of engagement on future governance;
  2. Specific Aboriginal engagement as part of the broader consultation on the Masterplan;
  3. Incorporation of Aboriginal culture into the Masterplan document and launch event; and
  4. Development of a proposal to incorporate Aboriginal involvement into ongoing governance of the river.

The key principles underpinning this project include:

  • River management is co-defined, co-developed and co-managed with Aboriginal partners.
  • Aboriginal knowledge, stories and values are embedded in river planning and decision making.
  • Aboriginal voices and representatives are involved in decision making at all levels.
  • Swim site design, river quality and ecological health solutions will be site-specific and reflect the cultural and environmental context.