We are building a new accessible carparking area between the Leisure Centre, Shared Pathway and the Athletics Track within Waratah Park.

Waratah Park - 24-28 Rawson Parade, Sutherland.

Project timeline

Project start:  May 2023

Completed: December 2023

Project background

The new carpark in Waratah Park at Sutherland aligns with the Masterplan for this precinct, which was adopted by Council in April 2022.  The Masterplan provides a coordinated and long-term approach to the way open spaces and recreation opportunities are improved into the future.

This carpark is the first stage of delivering the Waratah Park Masterplan at this important and diverse regional recreational facility.

The carpark will improve accessible parking and access for community buses.  It will provide safe, level and well-lit pedestrian connections to Rawson Avenue and provide parking close to the future playground.

Planning is underway for a regional all abilities playground (with picnic shelters and seating) to improve the recreation opportunities and amenity within Waratah Park.  Construction of the playground is planned for later in 2023.

Consultation with our community

Council consulted with the local community and stakeholders about the Waratah Park Masterplan between February and November 2021.  Your feedback informed the development of detailed design elements for the new carpark. Find out more here.

Scope of works

The current work includes:

  • Drainage works
  • Retaining wall to improve the grade
  • Relocation of a Fire Hydrant
  • Undergrounding of power lines
  • New lighting
  • New vehicular service road
  • Kerb and gutter, and pedestrian pathway connections
  • Asphalt pavement and linemarking
  • Feature trees in a variety of species

Project schedule

Community Consultation for Masterplan – February to November 2021 (complete)

Concept Design – March 2022 (complete)

Adoption of Masterplan - April 2022  (complete)

Detailed Design – Dec 2022 to February 2023  (complete)

Site Establishment – May 2023  (complete)

Practical Completion – November 2023  (complete)

Carpark Open - 6 December 2023

Access track construction (southern end) - February 2024

Public impacts during construction

The site area will be closed for public use during the construction period.

Alternative car parking is available nearby.

Normal access to the Leisure Centre will be uninterrupted.


This project is funded by Sutherland Shire Council from the Developer Contribution Plan.

Truck parked next to footpath with bollards and overhead lights Waratah Park - pedestrian bollards and lights
Stepped retaining wall and garden planting between levels with large rock on foreground Waratah Park - garden planting
parking bays and tree planting with central footpath Waratah Park - parking bays and tree planting

Frequently Asked Questions

Council adopted the Waratah Park Masterplan in April 2022. A masterplan is a valuable land use planning document which provides a coordinated and long-term approach to the way open spaces are improved into the future. Stage 1 works detailed in this masterplan include construction of an accessible carpark and a new regional playground specially designed to cater to people of all abilities.

Development of the masterplan was supported by an extensive, multi-stage consultation program to ensure that the final plan reflected community feedback and current and future recreation needs.

The overarching objective of the Waratah Park Masterplan is to create a regional recreation precinct that can be accessed by everyone both now and in the future and provide more opportunities for people to participate in recreation that will lead to improved health and wellbeing. The upgrade of the informal carpark which exists on this site is an important step in creating spaces that are safe, inclusive, and accessible to meet the diverse needs of our community.

The masterplan proposes a new formalised carpark that delivers improved accessibility, lighting, drainage, community bus parking, increased disabled parking, tree planting, and safe pedestrian connections between the Rawson Avenue Shared Pathway, the new ‘all abilities’ playground and Sutherland Leisure Centre.

Preliminary works on the carpark began in April and construction is anticipated to be complete in September 2023. Council will continue to update the dedicated Waratah Park carpark construction webpage accessible via our website to keep the community informed as this project progresses.

As part of the design development for the Stage 1 carpark, Council investigated several options for creating a safe, accessible-grade carpark as well as retaining as many trees as practical on the site. A tree assessment report was commissioned as part of the design and this identified that many of the existing trees are in failing health and are structurally unsound, with the adverse effects of frequent vehicle movements over their root structure, and poor soil quality rendering them unsuitable for long term retention. In the interests of public safety, Council is required to remove these trees due to the high likelihood of structural failure, particularly given their location in an area which will continue to be subject to high vehicle and pedestrian movement.

The design of the new carpark integrates improved planting methods and construction techniques to support tree health. This includes providing significant areas of structural soil underneath the carpark and bays of permeable pavers to improve access to water, nutrients, and airflow for the new trees.

We know that urban heat is a growing issue impacting our community as we experience extreme heat events with increasing frequency and severity. Supporting the health of the next generation of trees within Waratah Park is an effective, nature-based solution to help reduce the effects of urban heat as well as adding to the amenity of the site.

The carpark construction works are guided by a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) Report. The report has identified three trees as being potential habitat and stipulates that a qualified ecologist be onsite during tree removal to supervise the works.

Council’s Urban Tree & Bushland Policy requires that Council undertake offset planting as part of any project in which trees are removed. For each tree that is removed, four trees will be planted as a replacement. The design includes for more than 20 mature trees to be planted within the new carpark, with additional trees to be planted in surrounding streets and parklands resulting in an addition of more than 150 native trees to the local tree canopy. All offset planting will be funded from the project budget.

The REF and Tree Assessment Report specify that replacement trees within the carpark have a minimum root ball volume of 200 litres and must meet all the criteria for Australian Standard AS2303-2018 Tree Stock, including the non-conforming criteria. Replacement trees are estimated to be between 1.2 – 2 metres tall subject to species selection.

Council has recently engaged a design team for the new ‘all abilities’ playground. Construction of the new playground is expected to commence in late 2023, subject to further consultation, design approvals and project funding.

Council will continue to update the dedicated Waratah Park carpark construction webpage available on our website to keep the community informed as the project progresses. For more information about the Waratah Park Masterplan, you can contact Council’s Open Space Assets Team on 9710 0333 or ssc@ssc.nsw.gov.au