Macquarie River Masterplan North and South Precincts

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The master planning project by Dubbo Regional Council extends from the Nita McGrath netball precinct to Devil’s Hole at the northern end and from the Lady Cutler Ovals to Shibbles Bridge at the southern end. Sala4D Landscape Architects has been working on spatial concepts for the river corridor precincts, informed by previous master plans, community strategic plan, Open Space Master Plan 2018 and initial ideas and insights gathered from a range of community and interest groups.

Expand the sections below to find out more about the consultation process, community sessions, and how to submit your feedback. For answers to any questions not listed below, please contact macquarierivermasterplan@dubbo.nsw.gov.au 

CONSULTATION FLOWCHART

Please see below flowchart highlighting the consultation process for the Macquarie River Masterplan North and South Precincts. For an accessibility friendly version, please download Consultation Flowchart - Macquarie River Masterplan North and South Precincts (PDF 65.5KB).

Consultation Flow Chart Macquarie River Precinct

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION ANALYSIS REPORT

The sala4D and Moir team conducted community consultation events in Dubbo on Thursday, 21 July 2022. They received follow-up emails and phonecalls to make comment, all of which have been documented and considered in an Analysis Report. Download a copy of the report; Macquarie River Masterplan North and South Precincts Analysis Report (PDF 36.4MB).

SPATIAL CONCEPT PLAN

Moir LA and sala4D have been engaged by Dubbo Regional Council to prepare a Landscape Master Plan for Macquarie River’s North and South Precincts.

The precincts consist of an important stretch of open space with vital ecological, cultural and environmental functions. The open space includes parkland, active recreation, riparian corridors, movement networks and bushland, drawing users from a wide catchment within the Dubbo Regional Council LGA.

Download a copy of the Spatial Concept Plan; Macquarie River Masterplan North and South Precincts Spatial Concept Plan (PDF 12.5MB)

COMMUNITY SESSIONS

The community will have the following opportunities to participate in information sessions facilitated by Sala4D. 

Three information sessions were held on Thursday 1 September, where Draft Concept Spatial Plans were presented. An information session was held on Saturday 3 September; roving staff were also available with QR codes at Dubbo Parkrun and Cross Cultural Carnivale events. An information session was held at Dubbo Farmers Market on Saturday 1 October; where Draft Concept Spacial Plans were presented.

Stationary QR codes were available at the following locations for community members to scan and complete the online survey; this survey closed on Tuesday 4 October:

  • Regand Park (end of Tamworth Street)
  • Nita McGrath Netball Courts
  • Dubbo Macquarie Regional Library
  • Western Plains Cultural Centre

Four Community Design Workshops were held on Tuesday 11 October at Victoria Park No.1 Clubhouse.

Download a copy of the workshop presentation; Macquarie River Masterplan Workshop Presentation (PDF 14.4MB)

Download a copy of the agenda for the Community Design Workshops; Workshop Agenda (PDF 257.8KB)

ONLINE SURVEY

This survey closed on Tuesday 4 October.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q1. Has Regand Park (in the Macquarie River South Precinct) been allocated for private sporting fields?

No. The Local Government Act requires all public land to be classified as either ‘community’ or ‘operational’ land in accordance with its intended use. (Division 1 Sections 25-34 of the Act).

Regand Park is classified as Operational Land. When purchasing Regand Park – the former dairy paddocks – Council at that time determined that the land was classified as ‘operational’ to allow for more flexible grazing leasing and other operational maintenance agreements in the interim period before it was reclassified and embellished in the future as ‘community land.’

For a community sporting group/ club such as St Johns Junior Rugby League to occupy public land to undertake their activities, under the Local Government Act they would have to undertake that on public land that is classified as ‘Community - categorised as sportsground’. Regand Park is not classified as Community Land and therefore cannot be categorised and used as a ‘sportsground.’

In order for this classification to change, a minimum of 28 days notification and public exhibition of Council’s proposed re-classification would need to be undertaken. Council would also need to develop and have adopted a draft Plan of Management for the land. This is a mandatory requirement of the Local Government Act.

 

Q2. Has Council given support for any local sporting club to build fields on Regand Park (South Precinct)?

In February 2021 Council provided a letter of support for St Johns Junior Rugby League Football Club as part of an application they were submitting to the State Government for funding. This was based on a resolution of Council from the February 2021 meeting. This application was ultimately successful and the funding was announced by the State Government on 17 December 2021. The letter from the then Mayor welcomed the proposal but with a condition that it is contingent upon Council endorsement of site drawings, technical plans, relevant supporting documentation and approvals.

In a separate funding application made by the local junior rugby league football club to the Federal Government, the CEO provided a letter in early February 2022 that provided advice to the funding agency that the project could take place on community land categorised for sport and this excludes Regand Park. In effect it was advice that what the junior club wanted to do was allowable on community land allocated for sport. It should be noted that there are many more approval steps required both by Council policy and by legislation before a project could be delivered and occupied on community land.

Council subsequently resolved in January and February 2022 to develop a northern and southern Macquarie River Master Plan. This resolution overrides the previous resolution as there is no strategic direction set for Regand Park and there is a requirement for the master planning process to be completed before further consideration by Council on the community usage of Regand Park in the Macquarie River Corridor.

 

Q3. Why does Council spend money on Master Planning open space?

A Master Plan sets the long terms vision for public land that is to be open space. That empowers technical staff to work on delivering various elements as the need and/or opportunity arises.

Future Councils can consider Master Plan elements when considering future capital works budgets as part of adopting an Operational Plan and budget. This also includes a public consultation process.

For example the Barden Park Regional Athletics Facility Master Plan enabled Council to target grant applications that funded the facility you see now. Another positive outcome is from the previous Regand Park Master Plan that identified the installation of the current riverside shared pathway that goes from Tamworth Street to Macquarie Street (via the weir). It would be unlikely that this shared pathway would have been built without a Master Plan for the area.

A Master Plan can also inform infrastructure contributions plans – charges to developers to ensure community infrastructure keeps pace with population growth. This is particularly important for open space that provides city wide and regional benefits to the population such as the Macquarie River corridor. 

 

Q4. When will community see a draft and final Master Plan for the Macquarie River Master Plan?

Staff are working towards producing a draft Master Plan of the Macquarie River corridor for Council to consider placing on public exhibition for consultation at its December Ordinary meeting 2022. This public consultation from December will be open until the end of February 2023, allowing for additional time over the summer school holidays. 

The feedback from the public exhibition will be considered by technical staff and the consultants before producing a final Master Plan for Council’s consideration at a meeting in April 2023. 

 

Q5. Was the Regand Park area previously set aside for purely environmental purposes?

No. In 2018, Council resolved: “That the Regand Park Master Plan be revoked with the exception of environmental related activities such as tree planting.” This resolution was subsequently rescinded by Council at its March 2021 meeting.

Regand Park was classified as ‘operational’ land to allow Council to offer grazing licences over these areas to reduce maintenance costs, as well as undertaking various improvements including environmental rehabilitation and restorations works.

The original adopted Regand Park Master Plan (2013) had identified a circular track cycle facility, like the previous No.1 Oval facility that also included a football field.

 

Q6. How did Council come to own Regand Park?

Regand Park was a working dairy farm but in 2004 a DA was lodged to develop the dairy farm in to 66 residential lots and one lot as a residue lot that was not suitable for residential development as it was flood prone land.

At the June 2004 Council meeting, Dubbo City Council resolved to purchase the 59.57 hectare lot and classify this as Operational Land. It was noted at the time that this was in line with Council’s adopted 2003/2023 Corporate Strategic Plan which identified that “Council is anxious to extend its ownership of land along the river foreshore in the urban area in order to extend the green river corridor, thus providing future opportunities for both passive and active recreation needs”.

Since that initial purchase, Council has made further purchases to arrive at the 71.22 hectares that consists of the Regand Park area. 

 

Q7. Who will make the final decision on what happens with the Master Plan in general and Regand Park specifically?

Decisions of Council are made by a majority of Councillors at Council meetings. Once the master planning process and public consultation processes are completed and the draft plans are displayed and submissions are received, Councillors will vote on the final Master Plan at a Council meeting. Councillors will rely on extensive information from a range of sources to make their decision but the final decision will be made by the group of Councillors.

Last Edited: 12 Oct 2022

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