Independent review into the design, use and impacts of synthetic turf in public open spaces – Final report

NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer

Synthetic turf has become ubiquitous in both public and private settings, and there is interest in understanding the impacts of materials used in its installation. In November 2021, the Hon. Rob Stokes MP, (then) Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, requested the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer (CSE) provide expert advice on the use of synthetic turf in public open space in NSW.

Following the Terms of Reference, the Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer (OCSE) has completed its independent review (the Review). To inform the Review, OCSE has drawn on available data and research, commissioned expert analysis, and undertaken consultation with key stakeholders and experts.

This report presents an overview of key insights and makes recommendations to guide the use of and improve the management of synthetic turf in NSW. Findings and recommendations will inform guidance being developed by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) for councils that are proposing new synthetic fields, as well as informing applications and management of synthetic turf in other settings.

Detailed findings and the expert advice informing the review are also provided in the appendices of this report.