Published On 16 April 2018 at 09:00 AM
After 18 years in the making, the Woolooware Bay Shared Pathway is now complete, with ‘Stage 6’ - the final 400 metres connecting Shorebird Reserve and Atkinson Road Taren Point - open to the public.
The five kilometre Woolooware Bay Shared Pathway is a major part of the 43.6 kilometre long Botany Bay Trail that will enable the community to safely walk and cycle along a dedicated shared pathway around Botany Bay from La Perouse to Kurnell.
It also provides an important regional link to the Greater Sydney region, including Kingsford Smith Airport, Sydney CBD, Homebush and Ryde.
“Among the many benefits of this pathway, one of the most significant is the improvement to pedestrian and cyclist safety. It creates a totally separate pathway along the bay foreshore that avoids the heavy vehicles and general traffic in the Taren Point industrial area,” said Sutherland Shire Mayor, Cr Carmelo Pesce.
“This once heavily polluted and weed infested industrial foreshore area has now been transformed into one of Sydney’s most scenic foreshore reserves and community spaces for all to enjoy.”
“Council is proud to have contributed $4.2M to the overall $6.2M cost of this stage and I’d like to thank the NSW Government for helping us bring this missing link to the community.”
The $6.2M project was primarily jointly funded by Sutherland Shire Council and the NSW Government’s Active Transport Program, with funds also provided by NSW Planning and Environment under the Metropolitan Greenspace Program and NSW Greater Sydney Local Land services.
“The NSW Government has invested an unprecedented amount on walking and cycling infrastructure throughout our state, with a further $62 million committed to the Active Transport Program in the recent budget,” said Ms Eleni Petinos, Member for Miranda.
“These projects are helping build new routes to connect growing communities, providing better access to new walking and cycling paths and helping link people to transport hubs, schools, shops and strategic centres.
“By delivering the final link of the Woolooware Bay Shared Pathway, we are improving the way we move around the Shire and ensuring locals can better enjoy the amenity of the beautiful bay foreshore.”
“I’m delighted that this missing link to the Woolooware Bay Shared Pathway is complete,” said Mark Speakman, Cronulla MP.
“I’m pushing extremely hard to progress the development of the Sutherland to Cronulla Active Transport Link, a shared pathway linking our town centres, schools and recreation spaces that will form the backbone of the shire’s cycling network and regional links.”
The completion of stage 6 has resolved several complex and interlinked environmental issues relating to land remediation, conservation of the heritage listed oyster processing jetty and a post WWII Nissen Hut, protection of mangroves, saltmarsh and aquatic ecologies as well as ensuring the protection of migratory and endangered shorebirds and their habitat.
Prior to completing this stage, significant remediation of the land, contaminated from earlier oyster farming activity, was carried out in conjunction with Roads and Maritime Services.
Whilst being a safe, accessible transport link and recreational space for Sutherland Shire residents, their families and visitors, the foreshore is also an ecological sanctuary and vital habitat for thirty types of migratory shorebirds of which four are listed as endangered and ten vulnerable.
The dilapidated heritage listed oyster processing jetty was sensitively restored and a new sand island constructed to provide a place for roosting and nesting for shorebirds, while also providing protection of the local endangered pied oystercatcher and the migratory bar-tailed godwit that flies as far as the Arctic Circle.
“The construction of the shorebird island, repairs to the jetty and installation of coastal saltmarsh are outcomes of a strong partnership between Local and State government and community experts,” said Greater Sydney Local Land Services officer Nerida Gill.
"The project contributes to one of the objectives of the Australian Government's National Landcare Program; to protect migratory shorebirds and their habitat.”
Interpretive screens built to shield the endangered shorebirds from the disturbance of cyclists and pedestrians, minimise the impact on the colony and providing them the best chance of storing energy for their long annual return flight.
The viewing deck, boardwalk, interpretive screens and shade structure have been architecturally designed to interpret the sites industrial history and immediate environment, providing views across the bay.
The shade structure reflects the geometry of the original jetty; the balustrade depicts the motion of the bays waves and also assists in disguising the substructure of the boardwalk, creating the illusion of a floating path over the bay.
Environmentally friendly seawalls provide protection to the foreshore from erosion and have been planted with 990 square metres of threatened native salt marsh species.
Interpretive signage has been incorporated throughout the project to inform the community of its rich history and the environmental significance of the area.
Sutherland Shire Council is proud to open this foreshore to the community.
Images for download