What’s the Plan for Dan?
In July 2021, Council adopted the Heart of Play Masterplan. This plan provides the blueprint for an outdoor sporting and recreation network across seven open spaces in North Parramatta. Dan Mahoney Reserve is one of these seven spaces.
The plan includes a custom-built dog park, a flexible use lawn space (to be available for bookings as well as leash free play), wetland improvements, walking tracks, tree planting, and improved amenities. The final Masterplan can be viewed here.
It is estimated that implementation of the masterplan at Dan Mahoney will require significant investment. To finance these works, Council has applied for grant funding via the West Invest Fund, a $5 billion program created to fund infrastructure projects across Western Sydney. Council expects to be notified regarding the outcome of this application by December 2022.
Additional fencing has been installed around damaged areas of turf and the majority of the site is open for leash free play. To ensure the ongoing health of the turf, visitors are asked to avoid walking or playing in wet areas, and to avoid areas where the grass is trampled or tracks are forming.
While the site recovers from the most recent rain event, visitors are encouraged to consider a visit to one of Council's other leash free areas.
Wet Weather Update
The western side of Dan Mahoney Reserve has been reopened.
This area can be accessed from Gladstone Street and Waugh Avenue.
The eastern side of the reserve is still very waterlogged and remains closed. The closed area will be inspected regularly and public access reinstated as soon as possible.
Why does Council close Dan Mahoney?
Council fences and closes parts of Dan Mahoney Reserve from time to time as part of the short-term environmental management plan applicable to the site. This plan requires that Council close areas where turf is damaged or at risk of becoming damaged, so the turf can recover.
As a former land-fill that received asbestos waste, grass coverage plays an important role in protecting surface soils from erosion, and preventing the exposure of asbestos containing materials buried within the site.
More information on the planned long-term remediation of Dan Mahoney Reserve is available here.
2021 (Back to top)
Wet weather closure - 24 March
Due to the recent heavy rains, parts of Dan Mahoney Reserve have been affected by ponding of rainwater. To avoid damage to the turf cover onsite, the parts of the reserve east of Brickfield Creek will be temporarily closed. The western part of the reserve will remain open (accessible via Isabella Street and Waugh Avenue).
City of Parramatta officers will make regular inspections and we will re-open the park for play as soon as possible.
On re-opening, some parts of the grassed areas may be fenced, so please keep paws off these areas.
As soon as the grass is dog durable fencing will be removed and the park will be returned for everyone to enjoy.
Alternative off-leash parks
Update - 1 April
Dan Mahoney Reserve is now open.
Some areas of the reserve are still affected by ponding following the recent heavy rains and these areas have been fenced. To prevent damage to the grass, please ensure dogs are kept away from these enclosed areas.
Council officers will continue to monitor the site. As soon as the grass is dog durable, the fencing will be removed and the reserve will be returned for everyone to enjoy.
2020 (Back to top)
With newly planted grass now well established, contractors will be removing the majority of temporary fencing in early December. The new grass will then be mown progressively lower, over several weeks, until it is the same height as the rest of the reserve. This gradual mowing technique is necessary to prevent damage to the base (known as the "crown") of the grass and maintain grass health.
Temporary fencing will continue to be placed and removed on an as-needs basis.
Following delays caused by wet weather in May, asphalting works at the reserve are expected to recommence on Tuesday 9 June, and be completed by Friday 12 June.
Asphalting works at Dan Mahoney Reserve, 18 – 25 May 2020
The City of Parramatta and licensed contractors will be installing asphalt in front of the amenities block and park benches in Dan Mahoney Reserve over a one-week period from Monday 18 May to Monday 25 May 2020 (subject to weather and site conditions).
This work will help to ensure the ongoing safe management of the reserve, by capping areas where grass coverage is sparse, and new turf installations have been unable to establish. The works will be carried out in accordance with SafeWork NSW requirements, including the use of appropriate personal protective equipment, and the use of air quality monitoring during ground disturbing works.
To keep residents and their canine companions safe during these works, temporary fencing will be installed around the construction zone closing these areas to the public. Residents and their dogs will be able to use other sections of the reserve while the asphalt laying and associated works are in progress. During the works, access to the amenities building may be limited.
2019 (Back to top)
Fenced areas re-opened for off-leash play
Returfing and other measures to encourage grass growth has been successful and with ground coverage adequately restored temporary fencing at Dan Mahoney has been removed.
Prior to opening these areas for off-leash play, the City of Parramatta mowed the grass, leaving it slightly longer than usual to ensure adequate ground coverage is maintained. Air-quality monitoring was undertaken at this time.
City of Parramatta will continue to monitor the site to guard against buried materials becoming exposed. Work to develop a plan for the appropriate permanent treatment of the site continues.
As a result of environmental investigations conducted in 2018 (see March 2019 update on this page for more information), City of Parramatta Council has commenced a series of interim works programs and remedial actions, which will mitigate the risk of buried material becoming exposed.
From Monday 3 June 2019, work will commence on the eastern embankment.
While this area will be closed to the public, the rest of Dan Mahoney Reserve will remain open for normal use.
Work on the embankment will include the installation of an erosion control barrier, mulch, and a sandstone block and boulder border. These works are expected to take up to two weeks.
While Council’s contractors will have a traffic management plan in place, Reserve users are asked to exercise caution throughout the works program and to closely supervise their dogs while playing in the Reserve.
Enquiries about the work can be directed to Council’s Dan Mahoney Project Team on 9806 5050.
Dan Mahoney Reserve closed 6 – 13 May 2019 for groundwater testing
As a result of environmental investigations conducted in 2018 (see March 2019 update on this page for more information), City of Parramatta Council has commenced work to design a new cap for the landfill that exists beneath Dan Mahoney Reserve.
To prepare this design, engineers need more information about the type and depth of groundwater beneath the reserve.
Specialist environmental consultants have been engaged to undertake groundwater testing. Large drilling machinery will be used to take samples of the groundwater deep beneath the reserve.
To ensure the safety of park users including residents and their dogs, the works area will be closed to the public during the testing. The western side of Dan Mahoney Reserve will remain open for play (accessible via Waugh Avenue).
Groundwater testing is expected to take a week. The reserve will also be top-dressed as part of these works.
Council staff and contractors will continue to work in consultation with the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA) including; the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), SafeWork NSW and NSW Health to ensure that Dan Mahoney Reserve remains safe for public use.
All appropriate safety precautions will be taken during these works with all consultants licensed to safely work in soils affected by asbestos.
For further information please contact Council’s Dan Mahoney Project Team on 9806 5050.
Environmental Testing Report
To plan for the ongoing safe management of Dan Mahoney Reserve, including future maintenance works, City of Parramatta Council commissioned highly-qualified, independent consultants to conduct environmental testing.
Testing was performed in September and October 2018.
Given Dan Mahoney Reserve’s history as a landfill site, consultants were to provide information on the type and quantities of any potentially hazardous materials, including asbestos, that may be present in the landfill beneath the park.
The consultant’s report confirms Dan Mahoney Reserve is safe for use provided that adequate grass coverage or a physical barrier between the landfill and the surface of the reserve (a capping layer) is maintained.
Air quality monitoring confirmed no airborne asbestos was present during the testing period. Asbestos fibres are only a health risk if they are released into the air and can be inhaled. This is what is known as an “exposure pathway”.
Laboratory analysis of the soil taken from the 45 bore holes dug during testing showed Dan Mahoney Reserve does not contain heavy metal contaminants in excess of the applicable health investigation levels.
Asbestos materials (such as small pieces of fibro similar to material found in many homes) was found in the soil beneath the reserve.
These results mean Council is undertaking interim works to improve capping layers and will need to plan for longer term treatment or remediation.
Council sought advice from its environmental consultants, the EPA and NSW Health, and will continue to consult with these agencies as treatment options are considered and implemented.
Council staff and contractors are undertaking regular inspections to monitor the condition of Dan Mahoney Reserve.
Council is taking immediate action to improve capping layers in the short term, and is seeking advice from specialists to secure the most appropriate permanent treatment of the site.
Current temporary fencing will remain in place in order to prevent public access – helping to encourage grass growth and restore coverage.
Alternative capping will be investigated for areas where grass coverage is sparse.
In the next few weeks, works including mulching, re-turfing and the use of erosion control products will take place at Dan Mahoney Reserve.
Council may also extend or install additional hard surfaces including paved or concrete areas as required.
City of Parramatta will continue to provide the community with information on its management plan for Dan Mahoney Reserve and will update on further works, likely to take place later this year.
Council will continue to seek advice from specialists to secure the most appropriate long-term treatment for the site and will continue to work in consultation with the Heads of Asbestos Coordination Authorities (HACA) including the EPA, SafeWork NSW and NSW Health to ensure Dan Mahoney Reserve remains safe.