Riverfest 2017

Celebrating landcare activities in the catchment that help make the Parramatta River swimmable again

Riverfest 2017

Celebrating landcare activities in the catchment that help make the Parramatta River swimmable again

Local Links - Stronger Communities -


The issue

To make Parramatta River swimmable by 2025, we need every resident, visitor and business owner to do their part both on their own properties and in their communities to reduce pollution entering the river and enhance habitat for our flora and fauna.

The solution

There are many groups within the catchment who are doing amazing work, all of which is helping to create a better environment and more enjoyable place to live, work and visit. Riverfest provides an opportunity for these groups to showcase their work to the community, build connections with each other, context how their efforts contributed to the broader goals for the river and, importantly, celebrate and be acknowledged for their amazing efforts.

The impact

Over 1300 people attended Riverfest, with over 500 email addresses (for future contact) collected. State MPs on both side of government came along to show their support, including Luke Foley (Member for Auburn), Dr. Geoffrey Lee (Member for Parramatta), and Julia Finn (Member for Granville). Presentations on the plans for the Parramatta and Duck Rivers were given by our PRCG Chair, Clr Jerome Laxale, City of Parramatta Council’s Administrator, Amanda Chadwick, Cumberland Council’s Administrator, Viv May, and Greater Sydney Commission’s Central West District Commissioner, Professor Ed Blakely.

Cumberland Council used the event to kick off community consultation around a Masterplan for Duck River and asked attendees “What is your vision for the Duck River?” 365 votes were cast between the categories of: connected, a sanctuary, community, recreation and healthy. 154 of those votes (including first and second preference) nominated a ‘healthy’ Duck Diver as the vision for the future.

Riverfest also provided a launchpad for "Painted River" a project whereby attendees were encouraged to explore their artistic side with the help of professional artists to produce 100 paintings of individual visions for the river.

People of all ages enjoyed the range of activities and entertainment on offer, including:

  • free cycling tours along Duck River by Addventageous.
  • Wests Tigers’ player Shaun Spence and mascot Timmy the Tiger,
  • music by award-winning soloist Tash Eloise and blues band The Pinks, and
  • stalls by many of our partners and local community groups, showcasing Our Living River, our five mascots and ways we can better care for our rivers and catchment.

Key facts

  • Over 1300 people joined us to celebrate all the ways you can interact with our waterways.
  • People voted overwhelmingly that first and foremost we need a 'healthy' Duck River.
  • Both Local and State politicians from both major parties attended and enjoyed the day.

Project Partners