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Investment in livability: $250 million boost for public spaces

7 Aug 2020

Councils across NSW will have the opportunity to deliver new and improved public spaces for their local communities thanks to a $250 million program announced today, as part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said local councils that focus on fast-tracking development assessments for projects that deliver much-needed jobs and housing will be eligible for up to $5.5 million each in funding for parklands, town squares and main streets.

“As part of the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program, councils that push forward with assessments of job-creating projects will be incentivised with funding for more, and better, public spaces,” Mr Perrottet said.

“This program will unlock construction jobs across the State helping combat the economic shocks of COVID-19 while making communities a better place to live.”

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said the program would create a lasting community benefit across the state.

“In NSW, we’ve already fast-tracked the determination of 67 projects since the pandemic began – creating opportunities for 40,000 jobs, 18,000 homes, 400 hectares of open space and $17.7 billion in economic benefit through our Planning System Acceleration Program,” Mr Stokes said.

“Now we’re helping councils to prioritise local planning projects that will boost jobs and investment in their communities with a $250 million incentive to create new and improved public spaces.

“We want councils to think big and bold and deliver legacy projects – new parks, new walking trails, more walkable and inviting streets and open spaces for their communities.”

Mr Stokes added that the program will drive more efficient local development and support the delivery of the Premier’s Priorities to increase the amount of green, open and public space.

“It builds on the success of the Planning System Acceleration Program to bring greater benefits to neighbourhoods and streets by providing councils the funds to create new or improved public space, as well as encouraging more efficient planning processes.”

This new program is only available to the 68 councils currently participating in the eplanning system.

For more information about the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program and to see if your council is eligible visit

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