• Our River Project

  • Included on this page

  • What is the Our River Project?

    The "Our River" Nepean River Master Plan (Clouston Associates 2013) provides Penrith City Council with a strategic framework for the management of the river reach and associated infrastructure servicing the River Precinct. The Master Plan identified the need for future design management of these infrastructure elements, together with the management of vegetation within the River Precinct. The Master Plan provides Penrith City Council and the community with a framework for the future stewardship of the city’s river reach. It is the blueprint for the next 20+ years of expenditure on the Nepean River precinct. 

  • Read the Final Our River Masterplan (pdf 12.5MB), endorsed by Council in November 2013. It will be implemented in stages and as funding is available:

    • improving views and access to the river
    • improving health and amenity of the river and surrounding area
    • expanding Regatta Park into a flexible, multi-purpose events and festival space, and
    • upgrading Tench Reserve.

    The draft "Our River" Masterplan was on public exhibition throughout September 2013. Thank you to everyone who had your say, through the online form, by email, mail or in person.

    Read the summary Community Engagement report (pdf 450KB) or contact us if you would like to see the full Community Engagement report.

    During the Our River Masterplan consultation, the community told us that management of vegetation along the river corridor needed special attention.

    In NSW the management of riparian and aquatic ecosystems is coordinated under a series of State and Federal legislative frameworks. Council is required to comply with relevant legislation when making decisions about the river corridor.

    Council has begun to implement the key actions of the Our River Masterplan and has responded to community priorities by beginning the preparation of a dedicated Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) (pdf 8.3MB) for the Our River area. Council appointed Eco Logical consultants to investigate the river precinct and work with the community to prepare the VMP. See the VMP community workshop report (pdf 200KB).

    Alongside development of the dedicated VMP, Council also wanted to update the existing Plans of Management (POM) for the Nepean River reserves.

    The study area for the VMP and Plan of Management (pdf 2.9MB) includes reserves on both the east and west riverbanks including Tench Reserve, Weir Reserve, River Road and Regatta Park East.

    The VMP includes maps, lists of plant species and other information that will guide Council and the community on how vegetation in different areas within the corridor should be managed to ensure the community desire for a healthy, accessible river can be achieved.

    The VMP outlines how to achieve the Our River Masterplan principles while addressing key constraints and opportunities. To achieve this, a balance between habitat improvement and public amenity is needed. The VMP also explains current legislation around vegetation removal and identifies opportunities for the community to be actively involved in caring for the river corridor.

    Council is required under the Local Government Act to prepare a POM for its public reserves. The updated PoM provides Council with a prioritised framework for managing the reserves over the next 5 years and will help Council secure funding and resources to deliver the outcomes set out in Our River Masterplan. Together these plans will address issues including amenity, flooding and bank stability, biodiversity, litter and identify threatened species and habitats.

    The Vegetation Management Plan and updated Plans of Management for Council's river reserves were on public exhibition from 29 August to 26 September 2014. All feedback on the plans was considered and will help direct further Our River projects. For more information email or call 4732 7642.

    The Great River Walk offers stunning scenery along the Hawkesbury-Nepean River.  

    Get more information on the Great River Walk

  • Current Projects

    Download the Nepean River Precinct Map (pdf 1.5mb) to view the locations of the four projects listed below.

    Tench Avenue Path Works (Stage 1)

    STATUS: Completed

    Council has designed and constructed new shared path along Tench Avenue, just south of Jamison Road.

    We committed to completing the path in stages as part of the Our River Master Plan. Funds for Stage 1 of this project were provided through the Metropolitan Greenspace Program, traffic share-use program and Section 7.11 district open space funds.

    The works included:

    • construction of 160m of shared footpath and all associated works 
    • construction of stormwater drainage 
    • construction of a new bus stop 
    • construction of new kerbs and gutter, road pavement, bollards and fencing 
    • landscaping and furniture.

    Tench Reserve Foot Path Upgrade 1

    Tench Avenue Path Works (Stage 2)

    STATUS: Completed

    Council has also completed the construction of additional shared path between Jamison Road and the M4 Overpass.

    The works included:

    • construction of over 800m of shared footpath and all associated works 
    • construction of stormwater drainage and gross pollutant trap 
    • construction of a new bus stop 
    • construction of new kerbs and gutter, road pavement, bollards and fencing 
    • landscaping and furniture.

    Funds for Stage 2 was provided through the ‘Walking Communities’ – NSW Government Priority Funding Program.

    Tench Reserve Foot Path Upgrade 2

    Parkland Path

    STATUS: Undergoing design, followed by construction

    Council is undertaking design and construction of new accessible parkland paths through Tench Park. Funds for the Tench Park path works is provided through the Metropolitan Greenspace Program (MGP) and Council contributions.

    Tench Reserve Parkland Path

    Waters Edge Deck Construction

    STATUS: Construction Tender

    The Project involves design and construction of new waters edge decks along the Nepean River. The Project involves the construction of two new waters edge decks in Tench Reserve and one waters edge deck along River Road, opposite Lewers Gallery

    Construction is expected to commence early 2019.

    The design and investigation was funded through a Better Boating Round 1 grant. Construction of the water’s edge decks is joint funded through a Better Boating Round 2 grant in addition to Council section 7.11 (formerly Section 94) Great River Walk funds.

    Tench Reserve Waters Edge Deck Construction

    New Boat Ramp and Trailer Parking

    STATUS: Construction

    Council is upgrading the boating facilities at Tench Reserve, Jamisontown. The works are an important element of Council’s Our River Masterplan, and are being jointly funded by the Australian Government and the NSW Boating Now infrastructure program.                     Council has appointed Land & Marine Ocean Engineering as the principal contractor to construct the new works at Tench Reserve. Construction commenced in June 2018 and completion is expected mid-2019, weather permitting. Current facilities will remain open during construction of the new facilities. The works include:

    • a new 3 lane boat ramp
    • 34 new boat trailer parking bays
    • new access roads
    • 10 new vehicle parking bays
    • new jetties along the foreshore, including connection to the existing jetty
    • new footpaths, stairs, balustrades and fencing
    • landscaping and lighting.

    Below is an artist’s impression of the new boat ramp and trailer parking facilities.

    Boat Ramp Artist Impression

    During construction, there may be minor disruption to traffic, parking and pedestrian access. For works enquiries, please contact Council’s Design and Projects team on 4732 7402 or DesignandProjects@penrith.city

    Tench Reserve Boat Ramp Construction September 2018

    Photo showing earthworks in progress in September 2018.

    Australian Government Logo  NSW Government Logo  Penrith P Logo

    Wharf Precinct

    STATUS: Design phase

    Council is currently preparing detailed design and documentation for the “Our River” Tench Reserve Wharf Precinct. Once the new boat ramp and trailer parking facilities are commissioned, the old boat ramp and access roads can be redeveloped into the Wharf Precinct zone. This project will deliver a design for future use of the old boat ramp zone and will be progressively implemented as construction funds become available. The works will address the safety, congestion and accessibility in this highly activated part of the park as well as provide improved passive recreation opportunities and create potential event spaces. The scope of the Wharf Precinct will include paths, steps and key service links to provide accessible connections between high activity areas (boat ramp, future playground, and street and water tourism operations). In addition, the river foreshore will be upgraded to an urban, operational and accessible promenade edge improving access to the wharf structure and become a waterside feature. Due to the topography, terracing and retaining walls will further enhance the park. Other park enhancements will include new amenities, furniture, feature lighting, public art, signage and landscaping. This design project is jointly funded by Council and the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development through the Community Development Grants Program.

    Tench Reserve Wharf Precinct

    Perspective view of the Wharf Precinct

  • Regatta Park Redevelopment

    STATUS: Investigation and design phase

    Regatta Park and associated sporting and amenities at Emu Plains are currently split by River Road. The Regatta Park component of the “Our River” Master Plan identifies deviation of River Road to create improved multi-purpose spaces together greater connectivity and safety. In recognition of Council’s commitment to the delivery of infrastructure facilities along the river Council is now developing the detailed design for the River Road deviation together with the design and approval of new traffic signals at the proposed intersection with the Great Western Hwy, Emu Plains. The project upon completion would provide improved multi-purpose open spaces, play and picnic areas for kids and families and terraced river bank with event decks including fishing/kayak launching platforms. Creation of a network of shared paths throughout the park, a fine dining restaurant with wide river views and sufficient parking have also been incorporated in the masterplan. The project is currently in the planning and design development stage. Subject to approvals and budget availability, construction on this project is expected to commence by the end of 2019.

    Fishing Deck

    STATUS: Completed

    Council has completed design and construction of a new Fishing Deck at the southern edge of Regatta Park. This Project was funded by Recreational Fishing Trusts through the Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries NSW.

    Regatta Park Fishing Deck

  • Rowing Dock Extension

    STATUS: Completed

    Council has undertaken design and construction work associated with the extension to the rowing dock at Weir Reserve. The scope of works included design and construction of the rowing dock and all associated works, installation of rollers to assist with launching ‘tinny’ coaching boats into and out of water and asphalting between new deck and existing footpath. The rowing dock upgrade was funded through the Australian Government’s Community Development Grants (CDG) programme which funds community infrastructure projects across Australia. The works are in accordance with the progressive implementation of the “Our River” Master Plan. The Works are located in the Weir Reserve area, near by the Nepean Rowing Club, on the banks of the Nepean River. Access is via Bruce Neil Drive.

    Weir Reserve Rowing Dock Extension

  • Leonay Gully Bank Stabilisation and Stormwater Treatment

    STATUS: Completed

    This project is part of a series of works designed to enhance and restore the natural environment along the banks of the Nepean River. A series of stepped basins help slow down the water in the gully and prevent erosion, with planting in the basins improving water quality. The site was actively eroding and would have seen further loss of river bank soils, ongoing public safety issues and a further reduction in the aesthetic appeal of the recreation area/waterway and nearby streetscape. Appropriate engineering treatments coupled with revegetation works were constructed in line with the objectives of the Our River Riparian Vegetation Management Plan (EcoLogical 2015) and the Plans of Management for Tench Reserve, River Road Reserve and Weir Reserve (EcoLogical 2015).

    The works involved:

    • removal of introduced trees
    • excavations
    • export and import of sandstone boulders, aggregates and soil
    • reconstruction of banks
    • construction of a series of stormwater treatment rock lining for the channel bed and toe of bank
    • planting works (wetland plantings and low native groundcovers and grasses)

    Leonay Gully Bank Stabilisation and Stormwater Treatment

  • Expressions of interest

    Expressions of interest are now open from interested businesses to operate from Tench Reserve and help us activate the River.

    Download the Expression of Interest Form (pdf 147kb) and submit it by Thursday 20 December 2018 to be considered.

    Penrith is a city on the rise. Framed by the beauty of the Nepean River and the Blue Mountains, we are the lifestyle and economic heartland of the new Western Sydney Airport and aerotropolis and a place of progress and possibility.

    The Nepean River is central to our lifestyle and our identity. It is also central to our future success.

    Council is calling on Expressions of Interest from self-sufficient Commercial Businesses, that offer or support outdoor activities, to operate from Tench Reserve and help us activate the River.

    The ‘Our River Masterplan’ documents Council’s commitment to protect and celebrate the River and to better connect our community and residents to this spectacular natural resource.

    We want to hear from businesses who will enhance the appeal of the river and realise the potential of existing pathways and other infrastructure. These businesses will operate from Tench Reserve and could include kayaking, bike riding, canoeing, paddle boarding, paddle boats, a mobile coffee van and other similar ventures.

    Tench Reserve sits along the eastern bank of the Nepean River between the M4 and Jamison Road. It offers scenic views of the River and to the Blue Mountains. It includes extensive pathways including the “Great River Walk” and the newly opened Yandhai Nepean Crossing.

    While we have no formal visitation figures for the River, it is a popular destination especially during the summer months and on weekends. We invite investors to make their own observations to assess potential clientele.

    Due to the current and ongoing work focused around the River, no long term licences beyond 12 months will be entered into at this time. Following the Expressions of Interest process, a shortlist of operators will be
    contacted and then asked to respond to a formal request for proposal. Successful operators will enter into a negotiated licence agreement.

    If you need more information, please contact Alison Randall on 4732 8510 or via email at alison.randall@penrith.city.   

    Contact Details

    Have a question?

    Please contact the Design and Major Projects team on 4732 7568 or 4732 7402 or via email

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