The Proposed Park
The Government Proposal
The Federal Government presently own the site, which is considered surplus to their needs. They propose to transfer the site (the Commonwealth Air Services Australia property, 'Shanes Park', red in figure below) to the NSW Government. The confidential Deed of Agreement for the transfer requires that the NSW Government gazette the site as a Regional Park. At present, the NSW Government are finalising the processes needed preparatory to signing this agreement.
Separately, the Sydney Growth Centres planning requires the development of all surrounding lands to the west, north and east, in three precincts (labelled orange below). Virtually all native vegetation in these precincts will be removed. A package of 'offsets' (mitigations) for this clearing includes the aquisition of the eastern portions of Shanes Park (presently private land) as Environmental Conservation land. These parts of the woodland are proposed to be managed separate to the proposed Regional Park.The Growth Centres approval - which has allowed broadscale land clearing in the region - was conditional on the entire Shanes Park site being conserved.
The NSW Government have for some years proposed to construct a highway (Western Sydney Orbital shown red below) through on the southern portions of the site. Some land to the west of the site has already been aquired for this purpose; however there is no existing easement or other right for a highway on the Shanes Park property. The highway would need to cross Growth Centres Commission lands; however, the Growth Centre Commission have refused to provide for this highway in their development planning. The Federal Government's Deed of Agreement for the transfer of Shanes Park requires the NSW Government to relinquish their interest in this highway prior to transferral. We are informed that arrangements to this effect are proceeding.
These proposals are outlined on the map following.
Wianamatta Regional Park
Should Shanes Park become Regional Park, it will probably be amalgamated with the in-development Wianamatta Regional Park located to the immediate southwest. Whether incorporated with Wianamatta or gazetted independently, Regional Park status would decimate the unique woodland fauna of Shanes Park. Regional Parks are managed primarily to provide active recreational facilities. The Wianamatta Regional Park Masterplan and Plan of Management detail future bike race curcuits, amphitheatres, kiosk and carparks. The amazing wildlife and flora of the site will not survive, as discussed in the Case For Nature Reserve.
The Sydney Region Growth Centres planning and legislation provide for the high-density development of all surrounding lands over the next decades. While the Growth Centres themselves cannot be legally challenged, fine-scale planning ('Precinct Planning') has only been done for the precinct east of Shanes Park - the Masden Park Industrial Precint. This provides for development to within 2.5 m of the woodland edge, prohibiting the control of wildfire, or the use of fire for environmental management.
However, there is still opportunity to contribute to the planning of the western and northern precincts. The western 'Shanes Park' precinct offers opporunities to retain and restore bushland corridors along Stoney Creek (to South Creek) and to the Wianamatta Regional Park.
The map below indicates the alternative potential of Shanes Park as a functional, connected Nature Reserve. Please look through the information provided and visit How You Can Help to help keep this site a magical place for future generations to enjoy.