Why are construction vehicles driving on the fairways instead of the new path?

    There are two reasons why vehicles cannot drive on the new path at the present time.

    1. The path is not complete and using the path for construction vehicles will improperly compact the sub-base and road base. The material needs to dry out naturally before it can be compacted with the roller. For some parts of the site, there need to be 2-3 days of drying time before the proper compaction rates can be achieved.

    2. The concrete stormwater culvert has been installed in the path already, the weight rating for this is not high enough to hold a fully loaded truck or roller, so these vehicles need to go around on an alternate route over the fairway.

    The areas of fairway which will be impacted by this will recover quickly, grass grows very fast and it will be stabilised and restored in several weeks. 

    Any wheel ruts left in the ground from construction work will be flattened out daily and restored to a safe condition for park users. At the end of the works the area will be fully restored and the grass will be reseeded with fresh topsoil.

    The contractor’s stockpile area is large and grass is being worn away, will this be repaired?

    This area is heavily impacted because there are many deliveries of different materials being made to the stockpile area which needs to be moved to the path construction area in smaller loads. The damage to the fairway will be repaired at the end of the works and the grass will be reseeded in all disturbed areas.

    Will the park remain open during construction?

    Work will recommence at South Lawson Park shortly, following additional community consultation in March. Crews are on site to ensure it is ready for construction to begin as soon as possible.

    A Staging Plan for the upgrade works is also available.

    The new plan means the project will be conducted in stages, allowing large parts of the park to remain open for the community to continue to use during construction, whenever possible.

    There are times when the park may need to be closed while certain parts of the work are completed. This is for public safety and we thank the community for your understanding.

    What will be different about the dog area?

    A fenced dog off leash area that is significantly larger than the current dog off leash area is planned as part of the current project.

    Once inside the fenced dog off leash area, you can choose from several tracks and play zones as well as new areas to sit, relax and chat. The dog play opportunities and agility activities include tunnels, turf mounds as well as long runs. Drinking water will also be available. The fencing around the off leash area will make it safe for large and fast dogs to get the running exercise they need, as well as protect the sensitive wetlands at the site.

    Where will the accessible path go?

    An accessible shared path will go from the Ferris Lane carpark (near Lawson Oval) past the nature exploration area and amphitheatre to the fenced dog off leash area. Another shared path will come from Wilson Street in a sweeping walkway to meet the lower entrance of the dog off leash area. There will be accessible loop walks between 1 and 2km long. One will follow the boundary of the dog off leash area and another will allow you to venture further, enjoying the quieter outskirts of the park.

    Is the nature exploration area for kids?

    Yes. The nature exploration area will offer opportunities for families to discover and be led by the natural features such as boulders, logs and sand.

    Is there a new amphitheatre?

    Yes. Close by will be the grass terrace seating that creates a natural amphitheatre for informal gatherings and small community events.

    Can I book the new amphitheatre space for an event?

    The amphitheatre is designed for informal gatherings and small community events. There are currently no plans to have bookable spaces, but will Council will monitor the need for this.

    What is being done to look after the bushland?

    We are improving protection of the creek line, swamp and wet areas by extensive regeneration of 4,000sqm of bush and the planting of 35,000 plants.

    Are there any other new elements to the upgrade?

    Yes. Water refill stations will be positioned at the entrance to both the park and inside the fenced dog off leash area and to alert users to Adelina Falls, a low fence and entrance gate will be placed along the walking track.  

    Will there be a toilet?

    The need for a toilet is recognised in both the Plan of Management and Master Plan. However, no funding has been identified in the short or medium term and Council is actively investigating options.

    When will construction finish?

    Work on the upgrade started in November 2021 and an extension for the project is currently being sought from the grant body, to deliver the project by June 2023 given delays due to additional consultation and unprecedented rainfall.

     

    Tell me about the Masterplan and Plan of management for South Lawson Park

    The Draft Plan of Management and Amended Masterplan for the South Lawson Park were adopted on 30 March 2021.

    A Plan of Management is a legal document to guide how the park will be managed. It establishes directions for planning, permissible uses, management and maintenance of the land. These plans are endorsed by Crown Lands and Council.

    A Masterplan is a more detailed plan that guides future design to improve function and access, facilitate social activity and amenity for residents and visitors while recognising, respecting and enhancing the existing character. Masterplans are endorsed by Council.

    Does South Lawson Park have an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)?

    Lawson Parklands (South Lawson Park) is a Gundungurra listed site, and Council has an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with the Gundungurra people. This is a legally binding agreement, which means the final plans for what we do on the site must be approved by the traditional owners of the land.

    The City of the Blue Mountains is located within the Country of the Dharug and Gundungurra peoples. Council recognises that Dharug and Gundungurra Traditional Owners have a continuous and deep connection to their Country and that this is of great cultural significance to Aboriginal people, both locally and in the region.

    What kind of fencing will be constructed around the dog off-leash area?

    Community consultation held in March 2022 revealed that stakeholders did not agree on the type of fence to be used for the dog off leash area.

    Respondents were split down the middle, over the two fencing options provided.:

    Option A -  A 1.2 metre wire mesh fence with a combination of galvanised steel star pickets and square heavy duty galvanised steel posts.

    Option B:  Black PVC coated chain wire fence.

    Following further engagement with Traditional Owners, Council has decided to install the black PVC coated chain wire fence at the site as it is viewed as more likely to be visible to wildlife in the area, with less chance of animals inadvertently running into the fence.

    The installation will be done by a fencing contractor. 



    Artist's renders of the black chain link fence at South Lawson Park

    Will there be plantings in front of the fencing?

    Council’s Bushland Operations team has prepared a plan for plantings along the dog fence which is a mix of local native species known to be present in the Lawson area. Species include: Purple Damperia; Carrot Tops; Old Man’s Beard; Blue Flax Lily; Mat Rush; Weeping Meadow Grass; and Native Iris. 

    Council only uses plant nurseries that grow the highest quality tubestock to ensure success.  The plants will also be watered as required for 6 months after planting.

    The plantings will soften the fencing and act as another visual clue to its presence.


    What fencing will be constructed around the riparian zone?

    The fencing around the riparian zone is standard five-strand stock fence with five strands of tensioned wires on a combination of round posts and star pickets.  

    The purpose of this fence is to discourage park users from walking through the bush regeneration which will be done on the east side of the park along the creek line and bush. (There will be no barbed wire.)

    How many gates will there be into the dog off-leash area?

    There will be four airlock gates into the dog off-leash area.

    Will there be dog poo bags at each dog off-leash area gate?

    No, the dog poo bags will be by the bins. There will not be a bin at each dog off-leash gate; they will be located near the park entrances to facilitate emptying.

    Will I still be able to take my dog to the waterfall?

    Yes, but this is outside the dog off-leash area, so your dog will need to be on a lead. The gate which will lead from open grassed area to the Adelina Falls track marks the change from a managed area into bushland.

    Can the fenced dog off-leash area be used 24/7?

    Yes, but the park is not lit, so you will need to bring a torch.

    Why can’t dogs be off-leash in bushland and parks if it’s Council land, not a National Park?

    Dogs can only be off-leash in parks in designated off-leash areas. Dogs can be on leash in parks, but they cannot go within 10 metres of a playground, either on- or off-leash, in line with the Companion Animals Act.

    To find out more about dog off-leash etiquette and additional guidelines go to: bmcc.nsw.gov.au/dogs

    Will the whole site be fully mowed?

    No.  High use areas will be frequently moved, while the rest of the site will be occasionally slashed, as required.

    Will parking along Wilson Street be formalised during this project?

    Improving parking along Wilson Street is not part of this project.  

     

    Why have trees been removed to construct the path?

    Six living and two dead trees have been removed to allow for the construction of the path on the southern end of South Lawson Park. The route which has been selected for the path has been chosen to minimise the number of trees impacted.

    The tree removal was done under the supervision of an arborist to ensure that felling the trees was done in a way that did not damage or otherwise impact the health or stability of any other trees in the area.

    The existing track, which was an old maintenance track for the golf club, is too steep to build a path which has accessible grades. If the path was constructed here, the works would have required significant excavation to deliver an accessible walking grade. This would have passed through the structural root zone of around 12 living trees which would then need to be removed.

    Three small trees were also removed elsewhere at the site to ensure that a path could be constructed to the area planned for smaller dogs.