NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet ‘loves’ plan for 80km shared pathway from Sydney Opera House to Parramatta

The NSW Treasurer “loves” a proposal for an 80-kilometre waterfront footpath that would wrap all the way from the Opera House to Parramatta’s CBD.

Dominic Perrottet today said he received the proposal last week and it had come from Labor-linked think tank the McKell Institute.

But he thought their report was “great” and that it was something the Government should consider funding.

“We haven’t done enough to even connect the eastern harbour to the western harbour, let alone go all the way to Parramatta,” Mr Perrottet said.

“So, I think it’s going to be great for Sydney, it’s going to be great for tourists and locals.”

Mr Perrottet said the proposal would be considered for the upcoming NSW budget.

The McKell Institute report estimated the project would cost between $200 and $300 million.

It flagged potential headaches along sections of the route where owners of waterfront homes might seek to limit access to the public.

The proposed route stretches from Woolloomooloo to Parramatta.(Supplied: McKell Institute)

Mr Perrotett said the coronavirus pandemic had “taught us is to really appreciate the outdoors”.

“I don’t think we do enough here in our state, to open up and make the most of the beautiful harbour that we have.

“So, a pathway from the city to Parramatta I think would be perfect for New South Wales.”

There is about 80km of foreshore stretching from Woolloomooloo to Parramatta but access for pedestrians has only been built along 22km of that waterfront.

Locals throw support behind the plan

A woman wearing a white t-shirt with a Daisy Duck cartoon on it stands with a pram beside a river.
Yuwen Qu regularly exercises along the Parramatta River.(ABC News: James Carmody)

Parramatta local, Yuwen Qu, regularly exercises along the river with her young children and would love to be able to go further along footpaths.

“I think it’s great,” she said.

“And it would be great to bring more people into the area on weekends.”

While Ben Hudson, who was fishing for bream and carp this morning, said it would open up a lot more access to the waterways for recreational fishers.

“It’s a shame the river is that polluted that you can’t really eat any of the fish in it, but for us catch and release fishers it’s still a great fishery,” he said.

“So, that would be awesome, it would just give us more access to the river to fish.”

A number of local businesses in Parramatta were also hopeful the idea would be funded.

Vivian Maglia is the head chef at Port Bar near Parramatta Wharf and said it would bring more groups of cyclists and tourists to the area.

“COVID has affected this business immensely but with the ferry and more cyclists and people coming through of course it would be great for us,” she said.

A man wearing a backwards cap and a hoody stands before a river holding a bicycle.
Santiago Arenas said right now there are too many gaps between bike paths.(ABC News: James Carmody)

While Santiago Arenas, who was promoting his E-Bikes business along the river today, said the path could create many opportunities for him.

“There’s really nice bike paths here, but there’s just too many gaps between them,” he said.

The McKell institute report suggests the path be built in stages beginning with routes along Rozelle Bay and Canada Bay, which would connect existing or already under construction pathways.

A 6.3km stretch would also need to be built to link Homebush Bay to the Parramatta River Walk.

The report estimates between 1,645 and 3,145 jobs might be created if the project goes ahead.

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