Inner west residents will no longer need to travel long distances to cool off during summer months.
New plans for a foreshore upgrade and river access project in Rhodes were recently revealed by the City of Canada Bay.
“The City of Canada Bay is undertaking an ambitious $5 million project at McIlwaine Park and Brays Bay in Rhodes,” City of Canada Bay Mayor Angelo Tsirekas said.
The project, funded by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Precinct Support Scheme, will include upgrades to the Parramatta River foreshore, construction of a launch facility and transformation of the seawall into steps so visitors can enjoy water activities such as kayaking, rowing and stand up paddle boarding.
Early water quality testing by Sydney Water in Brays Bay has been positive, reporting similar results to established swim sites at Chiswick Baths and Cabarita Beach. However, a longer term program of sampling is still required to understand the relationship between water quality, weather conditions and potential recreational activities in the river. This sampling forms part of Sydney Water’s Riverwatch Program, developed specifically to help deliver a swimmable river.
The upgrade will also include an accessible pathway, the installation of lights and seating, and 15 to 20 metres of landscaping to include native plants.
“This is a real coup for residents from western Sydney and the inner west,” Mayor Tsirekas said. “People will no longer have to commute for over an hour to the eastern suburbs to cool off during summer months.”
“We have a responsibility to remediate and revitalise the river for the hundreds of thousands of people who live along its foreshore and surrounds.”
“With population growth increasing and temperatures rising it’s important now more than ever to give people access to the waterway.”
This project, scheduled to be delivered by 2021, is part of a larger Masterplan led by the Parramatta River Catchment Group which aims to make the entire river swimmable by 2025.
McIlwaine Park now marks the fifth site where visitors can access the Parramatta River after years of remediation works.
“We are working hard with the City of Canada Bay to achieve our goal of making the entire Parramatta River swimmable by 2025,” Parramatta River Catchment Group chair Cr Mark Drury said.
“The project at McIlwaine Park and Brays Bay will bring us one step closer to that goal and is a testament to the efforts by many Councils and organisations to improve the water quality of the Parramatta River.”
The City of Canada Bay already has two swim sites at Chiswick Baths and Cabarita Park Beach with plans for another site at Bayview Park in Concord to be delivered by 2025.
“We are working with the community to create a great place where residents and visitors alike can dip in and enjoy our open river,” Mayor Tsirekas said.
Visit bit.ly/ouropenriver for more information.