Johnstons Creek naturalisation

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Johnstons Creek - artist impression of finished naturalisation

We are improving liveability and waterway health across Sydney. As part of this work we will be naturalising Johnstons Creek to make it a better place for you to enjoy and to help support a healthy environment.

What are we doing?

Johnstons Creek is currently in need of repair. Instead of replacing the channel like for like with concrete, we will be naturalising the creek between Rozelle Bay and The Crescent.

What does the work involve?

The project involves:

  • replacing the old concrete banks with sandstone and native plants
  • creating a natural planted stormwater system (wetland) in Federal Park near Dalgal Way
  • expanding the salt marsh around the creek and creating intertidal rock pools
  • creating a boardwalk, paths and new seating replacing the old footbridge near Dalgal way.

When will work start?

Construction started in January 2020 and is expected to finish mid-2021, weather permitting.

What are the benefits?

The project will improve the local environment and create a beautiful space for the community to enjoy.
The benefits include:

  • increasing the number and diversity of native plants and vegetation
  • significantly increasing the areas of saltmarsh along Johnstons Creek, providing important habitats and feeding areas for native invertebrate, bird and fish species
  • ensuring the stability of the banks of the creek therefore extending the life of the channel and making sure it remains safe
  • improving the community facilities in the area such as new boardwalks, a shared path and public seating
  • improving waterway health through the creation of a wetland to naturally treat and remove pollutants from the water before it enters the creek and nearby Rozelle Bay.

We understand how important trees, vegetation and green space are to the local community. Through the design process we worked hard to minimise tree and vegetation removal, some trees in the area have been removed so that we can complete the work.

The work will include the planting of tens of thousands of local native plants and as well as new trees to ensure total canopy cover across the park is maintained.

We are improving liveability and waterway health across Sydney. As part of this work we will be naturalising Johnstons Creek to make it a better place for you to enjoy and to help support a healthy environment.

What are we doing?

Johnstons Creek is currently in need of repair. Instead of replacing the channel like for like with concrete, we will be naturalising the creek between Rozelle Bay and The Crescent.

What does the work involve?

The project involves:

  • replacing the old concrete banks with sandstone and native plants
  • creating a natural planted stormwater system (wetland) in Federal Park near Dalgal Way
  • expanding the salt marsh around the creek and creating intertidal rock pools
  • creating a boardwalk, paths and new seating replacing the old footbridge near Dalgal way.

When will work start?

Construction started in January 2020 and is expected to finish mid-2021, weather permitting.

What are the benefits?

The project will improve the local environment and create a beautiful space for the community to enjoy.
The benefits include:

  • increasing the number and diversity of native plants and vegetation
  • significantly increasing the areas of saltmarsh along Johnstons Creek, providing important habitats and feeding areas for native invertebrate, bird and fish species
  • ensuring the stability of the banks of the creek therefore extending the life of the channel and making sure it remains safe
  • improving the community facilities in the area such as new boardwalks, a shared path and public seating
  • improving waterway health through the creation of a wetland to naturally treat and remove pollutants from the water before it enters the creek and nearby Rozelle Bay.

We understand how important trees, vegetation and green space are to the local community. Through the design process we worked hard to minimise tree and vegetation removal, some trees in the area have been removed so that we can complete the work.

The work will include the planting of tens of thousands of local native plants and as well as new trees to ensure total canopy cover across the park is maintained.

  • Project complete

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    Our work to naturalise the section of Johnstons Creek between Rozelle Bay and The Crescent is now finished.

    Built in 1898, Johnstons Creek was in need of a repair due to deteriorating banks. Construction in the channel started in January 2020 and involved:

    • removing the concrete lined base and banks and recycling 5,800 tonnes of concrete
    • replacing concrete banks with large sandstone blocks to stabilise rock banks
    • widening the channel in parts, including constructing saltmarsh benches and intertidal rock pools
    • creating a sandstone meandering in the channel base to provide in-stream aquatic habitat for diverse native marine species.

    Our work to install 25,000 new native plants and vegetation along the Johnstons Creek channel will be finished by November 2021.

    The naturalisation of Johnstons Creek has extended the asset life, while creating a better place for the community to enjoy and help support a healthy environment.

    We’d like to hear from you! Provide your feedback on the Johnstons Creek naturalisation project by using the following link

  • Project Manager Brett Vanderlight on site - May 2020

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    Work is coming along nicely at Johnstons Creek!

    Excavation of the old concrete banks and laying of new sandstone blocks is well underway. Take a look at a recent photo and click here to watch an interview on site with Project Manager, Brett Vanderlight from Diona (Sydney Water's delivery partner).

  • Cofferdam installation complete

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    We're well into the construction phase of this project. Our delivery contractor, Diona have installed a cofferdam, which allows workers to work safely in a tidal waterway.

    The demolition of the concrete banks will commence soon. We expect to update the community with a newsletter later this month with further detail of upcoming work.

    We'll also share the newsletter on this page.


  • Thank you for coming to our community information session

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    Thank you to all of those who came along to our community information session on 30 November 2019.

    It was great to hear feedback from the community and to meet nearby residents.

    If you couldn't make it on the day you can view the information we shared below:

    Please get in touch if you have any questions.

  • 30 November 2019 - Community information session

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    Community information day

    Join us for a free sausage sizzle and learn more about our work at Johnstons Creek.

    The project team from Sydney Water will be on hand to discuss this project and answer your questions.

    Date: Saturday 30 November 2019
    Time: 11 am to 1 pm
    Where: Federal Park (between Nelson Street and Dalgal Way)
    RSVP: johnstonscreek@diona.com.au
  • Final detailed concept design

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    Construction of the Johnstons Creek naturalisation and wetland project will start in January 2020 and is expected to be finished by winter 2021.

    You can see the detailed concept design for the naturalisation here and the wetland here.

    An overview of the project and its key benefits can be found here.





  • Final concept design

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    We have finalised the concept design based on your feedback. The final concept design can be viewed here. A summary of consultation is available here.Thank you to everyone who gave feedback. Our next step will be to do more detailed investigations to make sure everything proposed is feasible. We will let you know if anything changes during the next stage of design.



  • Thank you for attending the drop in information session

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    by Emily,

    We'd like to thank everyone that came to the drop in information session on Saturday 26 November and those who took the time to fill out the survey.

    We will provide a summary and an update on the project in early 2017.

    In the meantime, you can continue to contact us via the forum, phone (1800 257 484) or at waterways@sydneywater.com.au.

    Please note that the forum, phone and email will not be monitored from Friday 23 December 2016 until we return to the office on Monday 9 January 2017.

  • View the early concept designs

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    by Emily,
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    You can now view the early concept designs.

    To tell us what you think, fill out our survey or visit the discussion board.

    Following the completion of consultation we will prepare a report detailing the feedback we received from the community survey and on the concept designs.


  • Community drop in session

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    To see the early concept designs and tell us what you think, drop by on Saturday 26 November 2016. You will have the opportunity to provide your feedback on the designs and ask questions of the project team.

    Date: Saturday 26 November 2016

    Time: 1 pm to 3 pm

    Location: Jubilee Park, at the bridge over Johnstons Creek

    We'll upload the early concept design to Sydney Water Talk on the same day as the drop in session for those that can't make it on the day.


Page last updated: 18 October 2021, 09:56