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Plan of Management - Public Open Spaces

Public Open Space

The Plan of Management was adopted by Council on Wednesday 15 June 2016.

What is a Plan of Management?

A Plan of Management is a document that Council uses to inform its staff, the community and other stakeholders on matters concerning public open space or parks. It ensures that the methods of caring for and managing the parks are all clearly identified and publicly available. Council manages the parks on behalf of the community.

Background to the Plan of Management

Rockdale City Council at its meeting on Wednesday 15 June 2016 resolved to adopt the Plan of Management in accordance with the Local Government Act 1993, No 30, Part 2 Division 2 - Use and Management of Community Land. The Plan has been developed for all of Council's public open space areas, to replace the many plans previously used to manage Council's open space.

Council is required to have a Plan of Management for all public open space to satisfy the legal requirements of the Local Government Act (1993). Council also uses the Plan to successfully manage its public open space resources in a sustainable manner on behalf of the community to meet "the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The Plan provides the guiding principles for each category of community land and provides the governing direction to ensure:

  • Economic viability - to enable the ongoing costs of maintenance, capital improvements and capital replacements to be met
  • Environmental or ecological sustainability - to allow various uses to occur within the public open space, while not diminishing, endangering or destroying the natural ecosystems
  • Social capital - permitting opportunities for the community to participate in activities which bring them together eg. sporting matches, cultural festivals, family celebrations, and provide social interaction, physical activity and exchange of values and information

The Plan of Management

The Plan contains information on parks:

  • Identifying all the land that council owns, or has care, control and management of on behalf of other government departments, that is park or public open space:
    • street address
    • name - this is not as easy as it may seem, some parks have up to three 'names' that they are known by
    • existing community uses
    • possible future community uses
  • Categorising the park (according to the legislative requirements) into:
  • How the various categories of parks are to be maintained and managed so that the area is available for community use now and into the future
  • What is allowed to occur in the park, or not

What are the various categories of Park?

Public Open Space

Sports Fields

Sports fields or active open space is public land that is set aside by government for use by the community to pursue various types of sports at local and other levels of competition, or just for fun. Sports fields require enough area to have several sports fields of various sizes (to cater to the various age groups that participate) adjacent to each other, and enough space for spectators, and associated facilities, eg. canteen, toilets, change rooms etc. Rockdale City Council has fifteen (15) sporting 'precincts' which provide for a variety of sporting needs within the local community.

Council manages the following areas for sporting activities:

  • Ador Park
  • Cahill Park
  • Arkin Field
  • Arncliffe Park
  • Gardiner Park
  • Riverine Park
  • Barton Park
  • Gilchrist Park
  • Rockdale Womens Playing Field
  • Bexley Park
  • Kyeemagh Reserve
  • Scarborough Park
  • Bicentennial Park
  • Kingsgrove Park

  • Memorial Field
  • Redmond Field


An area of land that contains mainly local native plants, which may or may not have been disturbed by the affects of human development, eg. roads, houses, sewer pipes etc. An area may still be called 'bushland' even if there are only the native trees present, with none of the smaller plants that usually grow with the trees nearby. This lack of native shrubs, normally found with the native trees may have been destroyed over the years by the area having been mown and used as a picnic area.

Council manages several large areas of bushland, some with shrubs and trees, some with only trees, on behalf of the community, these include:

  • Bardwell Valley Parklands
  • Hawthorn Street Natural Area
  • Frys Reserve
  • Stotts Reserve

These areas are managed for the community to ensure that:

  • local native biodiversity on public and private lands is not lost or damaged further by building development  or issues related to development
  • the plants and animals are protected, enhanced and where appropriate the local native plants and trees are increased on public and private land adjoining these areas
  • the connections between bushland reserves are kept and increased for community use (paths and cycleways) and for environmental links
  • the community understands the value of these areas to the environment and the social possibilities (family picnics, walking, cycling etc) that they can provide within our community and Council

Wetlands and Water Courses

Wetlands are areas of land that include marshes, mangroves, backwaters, billabongs, swamps, sedge lands, wet meadows and or wet heath lands that form a water body that is inundated cyclically, intermittently or permanently with fresh, brackish, or salt water whether slow moving or stationary. While water courses defined as areas of any stream of water, whether permanent or occasional, flowing in a natural channel or in a natural channel that has been artificially improved or in and artificial channel that has changed the course of the stream of water and any other stream of water into or from which the stream of water flows.

The watercourses and their associated wetland areas in the City of Rockdale include:

  • Cooks River (south western bank) from Wolli Creek in the north to Kyeemagh in the south east
  • Muddy Creek
  • Wolli Creek (southern bank) from Kingsgrove in the west to Wolli Creek in the east
  • Waradiel Creek
  • Georges River (northern bank) from San Souci to Dolls Point
  • Bado-Berong Creek
  • Bardwell Creek Bexley in the west to Turrella in the north
  • Goomun Creek

Areas of General Community Use

Areas classified as general community use may small or large areas of public open space, available for use by the community for any purpose for which community land may be used, whether by the public at large or by specific sections of the public, eg. events, social occasions, leisure etc and is not otherwise categorised under any of the other classifications eg. sports fields, bushland etc.

Aresa of general community use in the City of Rockdale include:

  • Rockdale Park
  • Frys Reserve
  • Bexley Park
  • Nairn Gardens
  • Golden Jubilee Reserve
  • Kingsgrove Rest Reserve
  • King Street Plaza
  • Stell Reserve
  • Bona Park
  • Paine Street Reserve
  • Almond Street Reserve
  • Tom Hanratty Reserve
  • Flynns Reserve
  • Chapel Street Reserve

Areas of Cultural Significance

The areas of public open space that are of cultural significance within the City of Rockdale, are significant because they have one or more of the following features that gives the park its 'value':

  • Scarborough Park
  • Gardiner Park
  • Seaforth Park
  • Cook Park
  • Bardwell Park
  • Lydham Hall
  • Arncliffe Park

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