By Tang Li
While a number of projects across the Sydney CBD are in need of funding, the City of Sydney has multimillion-dollar plans to transform Hyde Park.
The park will soon undergo major upgrades to maintain its cultural and historical significance as one of Australia’s oldest parks used by over three million people each year.
The proposal will see more than 30 new trees planted, an upgrade to the pool of reflection, restoration of the network of pathways, changes to Museum Station and the adjacent cafe, and improvements to electrical and sewerage services.
Greens councillor Irene Doutney said while there were a wide range of projects across the council’s area such as social services, infrastructure and community resources that also needed funding, Hyde Park was of great importance to the city.
“The city’s budget is structured in a way that aims to strike a balance between all these important projects, including the upgrade to Hyde Park and other projects of value to the community,” she said.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said it was essential that Hyde Park carried out maintenance to address the impacts of its constant use, as the park delights millions of residents, workers and visitors.
“To keep Hyde Park in good shape requires constant work and I’m pleased we’re making these improvements to ensure our most important park is as good as we can make it,” she said.
Ms Doutney said in order to preserve the park’s historical integrity, the upgrade will replace trees that were previously removed due to disease and return the park to its historical layout.
“The City is taking a responsible approach to replacing trees so that the aesthetic appeal of the park is not diminished and public safety is upheld,” she said.
The council said any changes to the path layout would involve public consultation.
The upgrades are set to be completed in 2016-2017.