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Riverfest 2017 to celebrate ‘Our Living River’

Published on 20 July 2017

Riverfest 2017 will be hosted this year by Cumberland Council together with the Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG), an alliance of local councils, state government agencies and community groups. The event is a key part of the PRCG’s Our Living River initiative to make Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025.

The focus of this year’s event will be Cumberland Council’s vision for Duck River. Administrator for Cumberland Council, Viv May, has taken the first steps towards the creation of a visionary and, importantly, costed masterplan for Duck River.

Riverfest 2017 will also provide the first opportunity for residents of Cumberland Council to have their input into the plans for Duck River.

The masterplan will review and build on previous documents that have addressed improvements to Duck River, including the Parramatta River Estuary Coastal Zone Management Plan; The Upper Duck River Wetlands & Riparian plan of management; Waterways maintenance and rehabilitation masterplan for the Duck River Catchment; Duck River Shared path; Duck River Grey-Headed Flying-Fox Camp Management Plan; and the Duck River Catchment Floodplain Risk Management Study.

A key part of Riverfest 2017 is also to provide people with the opportunity to connect with our waterways in different ways. This year we are focusing on the connections between Duck River, art and music.

We are delighted to announce the launch of The Painted River art project. The aim of this new initiative is to highlight the importance that healthy rivers and water catchments have to the future of the Sydney region, and to communicate this message through community interaction where art meets science in a creative collaboration. Members of the public will be encouraged to pick up a brush and paint their vision of the future of Duck River, assisted by practising artists who will offer guidance and art tips.

Another highlight of the event will be performances by the Pinks. The band features an all-star line-up including original members from Mental as Anything, the Dynamic Hepnotics, the Mighty Reapers, Karma County and Dog Trumpet. The Pinks will play an eclectic and soulful blend of Chicago, folk and country blues, which is sure to get the crowd up and dancing.

Riverfest 2017 will also feature a wide range of entertainment and activities, including:

  • Performances by local musicians
  • Appearance and autograph signing by players from the West Tigers
  • Free guided cycling tours along Duck River (bicycles and helmets supplied)
  • Jumping castle, face painting, kids’ arts and crafts, food and community stalls.

Cumberland Council Administrator, Viv May, said that he is looking forward to starting community consultations and working with other councils to make the Duck River Corridor a natural asset of which residents can be truly proud.

“Community members should be able to walk and cycle along the banks of the Duck River, a river with clean, inviting water; amongst a regenerated landscape of suitable vegetation,” Mr May said.

“The importance of the Duck River Corridor, not only in contributing to the vision to make the Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025, but also at a more local level for the Cumberland community, cannot be underestimated.”

PRCG Chair, Clr Jerome Laxale, said that Riverfest 2017 is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about improving the water quality of the Duck River and the impact it will have on the overall health of the Parramatta River.

“Riverfest 2017 is a key part of a long-term strategy that is working towards delivering a world class, quality river where people can safely swim,” Clr Laxale said.

“In holding events such as Riverfest 2017, we hope to engage a wider cross section of the community and enourage them to learn more about the important role they can play in protecting our waterways.”


When: Saturday, 12 August 2017
Time: 12.00pm to 4.00pm
Where: Duck River Picnic Area, Auburn Botanic Gardens, Chiswick Rd Auburn.

For more information or to book, visit:

On the day interview and photo opportunities:

  • Mr Viv May, Administrator, Cumberland Council
    Available to discuss Cumberland Council’s Duck River masterplan.
  • Clr Jerome Laxale, Chair of the PRCG
    Available to discuss the role of the PRCG and mission to make Parramatta River swimmable again by 2025.
  • West Tigers
    Available for photo opportunities.

Additional ambassadors, spokespeople and ecology specialists available for interview upon request.

Parramatta River Catchment Group members include: Blacktown City Council, Burwood Council, City of Canada Bay, City of Canterbury Bankstown, Cumberland Council Sydney, The Hills Shire Council, Hunter's Hill Council, Inner West Council, City of Parramatta, City of Ryde, Strathfield Council, NSW Department of Planning & Environment, NSW EPA and Sydney Water.

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PRCG media enquiries

Nadia Young, PRCG Communications Officer

Phone: 0415 231 339



Last updated on 21 July 2017