City’s National Park Under Review

The future of Newcastle’s National Park is being reviewed as the city population density increases.

With an extra 4,000 homes expected in Newcastle city area by 2036, council is investigating improvements to it’s largest community space.

Hockey on National Park playing fields, 22 July 1972, from the K.G. Edwards collection, Newcastle Libraries Local History Collections.

National Park is a 20 hectare multi-purpose reserve stretching between Union and Parry Streets in Newcastle West and includes Newcastle’s largest and oldest sportsground No. 1 Sportsground.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said community input is important to make National Park a space that locals and visitors continue to enjoy into the future.

The long-term future of the area will be shaped through community consultation on the review of National Park’s Plan of Management and will also take into consideration recommendations made from the Strategic Sports Plan which is nearing finalisation.

The Office of Sport has also identified strategies to establish No. 1 Sportsground as a Regionally Significant Sports Facility within the Draft Hunter Sport and Active Recreation Plan (2018-2023).

National Park is a unique site in Newcastle and will play an important part in the liveability of our city centre as the population grows and the CBD moves westward.

National Park is an essential greenspace in the heart of the city for passive reaction and also caters for a variety of sporting codes including netball, football, cricket, rugby league, rugby union, AFL, athletics and croquet.

It is also a popular venue for school sports and a hub where recreational activities such as walking and casual play or games take place.

The northwest corner of National Park was formerly home to tennis courts and a bowling club, which was later occupied by charity Life Without Barriers until 2017.

In 2019 City of Newcastle commenced a process to provide safe public access to the northwest corner of the park, including demolishing the Life Without Barriers building and turfing the area for passive recreation.

In September City of Newcastle opened new basketball courts near the corner of National Park and Parry Streets to activate the formerly unused corner of National Park.

Community engagement is open until 7 December with the National Park Plan of Management draft plan to be publicly exhibited in early 2021.