Hamilton's green heart prepares for reimagined playspace

30 Nov 2023

City of Newcastle will invest more than $3 million into a new inclusive playspace at Hamilton's historic Gregson Park, with construction set to kick off early next year.

Councillors voted Tuesday night to accept the tender for the project, which will include a variety of traditional play equipment, as well as a range of accessible and nature-based play options, with traditional Indigenous elements, including a yarning circle to encourage knowledge sharing and a bush tucker garden to enrich learning of native edible plants.

Additional shade, a water feature, formal and informal seating, and footbridges will also feature, complemented by an upgraded, accessible amenities building and new covered picnic area, with construction expected to be completed in late 2024.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes welcomed the next step in the delivering this important project for Hamilton residents and the community.

“City of Newcastle is committed to delivering quality playgrounds and green spaces across Newcastle for locals and visitors to enjoy,” Cr Nelmes said.

"We know our community values Gregson Park’s rich Indigenous history and what it offers as a diverse recreational space.

"Construction of this playspace in the new year signifies an important milestone in delivering our shared vision for Gregson Park, and was identified as a high priority action as part of the adopted Masterplan for the much-loved park.

“We've undertaken extensive community engagement in preparing the Gregson Park Masterplan 2021, with feedback incorporated into the final design for the playspace and upgraded amenities, along with consultation with First Nations Australians to appropriately capture Indigenous elements in the design."

Councillor Carol Duncan, who is also the Chair of the Community and Culture Advisory Committee, said she looked forward to the project progressing.

"Gregson Park is a well-loved destination for Hamilton residents and the wider Newcastle community, offering a tranquil green space, just a short stroll from bustling Beaumont Street," Cr Duncan said.

"The enhanced inclusive elements of the new playspace and upgraded amenities will ensure Gregson Park is made even more accessible for the future generation's enjoyment of the space.

"I'm excited to see more members of our community interacting with this space in years to come."