Environment Minister Robyn Parker today officially announced a public exhibition of the draft Centennial Park Master Plan 2040, providing the community with an opportunity to help shape the future of Australia’s most historic public park.

Sydney’s Centennial Park is Australia’s most distinctive park. The land, which used to be a huge catchment of creeks, swamps, springs, sand dunes and ponds fed by ground water, was traditionally home to the Gadi people.

More than 100 years later, Centennial Park features a large green recreation area in the middle of Sydney’s eastern suburbs and is home to diverse flora and fauna, with trees of note including Port Jackson figs, Holm oaks and Norfolk Island pines dating back to the early 20th century.

Centennial Park

Centennial Park

In addition, it is one of the few inner city parks in the world to offer horse riding facilities.

“Centennial Park holds a special place in Australian history and in the hearts and minds of the community. We have the opportunity to help shape the future for this 125 year old public park and ensure it has a sustainable future,” Parker said when announcing the master plan exhibition.

“Originally given as a gift to the community to mark the 100th anniversary of European settlement in this nation, it was then chosen as the site for the inauguration of the Federation of Australia – this makes the Park the birthplace of modern Australia.”

Centennial Park Old

The military occupied part of Centennial Park during World War II

“We want to make Centennial Park locally valued, nationally significant and internationally recognised – Sydney deserves nothing less, and we should not take for granted what we have. There is expected to be intense interest in this draft master plan and I thank the community for their involvement and input so far in helping create this draft plan.”

There are eight key elements outlined in the draft Master Plan, outlining existing issues or areas of opportunity, and proposing solutions or design projects that will ensure the Park remains relevant and sustainable.

The key elements are listed as Outer Park/Inner Park; Traffic, Access and Circulation; Enhanced Pedestrian Experience; Network of Hubs and Improved Amenities; Defined Event Zones; Wellness, Sport and Recreation; Play for All Ages; and Enhanced Interpretation.

Centennial Park Horse Riding

The park is one of the few inner city parks in the world to offer horse riding facilities

Parker encouraged Australians to review the plan, which is now on display, and have their say.

“Importantly, the draft plan aims to conserve what the community loves about the Park, and where there are areas that we can improve, we’ve provided concepts of how we could improve them. Centennial Park does not have a current master plan, so this process will help to provide more certainty and direction for what is one of the world’s best urban parks,” he said.

An exhibition offering those interested a chance to meet the planners is being held in Centennial Park until Sunday, October 13. Information will also be available online at www.centennialparklands.com.au/cpmp until October 29.