The New South Wales Government has announced the planned appointment of the state’s first Minister for Public Spaces, to be complemented with a $150 million funding package for “new and improved” parklands in the state’s urban areas.
In announcing the new ministry, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the Minister for Public Spaces would have a remit for enhancing and expanding State parks and gardens, while also providing additional protections for Crown Land.
“Today’s announcement takes this to the next level with a dedicated champion for public spaces to be placed at the heart of Government,” Ms Berejiklian said.
The new Minister for Public Spaces will also have the first right to identify and protect existing Government-owned land that should be preserved as parkland or public space.
The $150 in funding will see the formation of a network of connected parks and green space, which the Government claims will improve the overall quality of the state’s existing parks.
Legislation will be further strengthened to ensure Crown Land reserved for recreational purposes cannot be sold, leased or change purpose without approval by the Minister that any change is in the public interest. This is on top of changes introduced last year that have delivered the community more power than ever before over the use of Crown land held for public recreation.