Bass Coast Shire Council has resolved to amend the Blue Gum Reserve Master Plan, to incorporate a new community garden.
The community garden is currently located in the grounds of Phillip Island Community and Learning Centre (PICAL) on Church Street.
The State Government’s development of the Cowes Community Hospital on Church Street requires PICAL to relocate.
Council has purchased a site on Warley Avenue for the relocation of PICAL. The new building is currently under construction (off-site, as it is a modular form of construction) and is expected to be in place before the end of the year.
Bass Coast Shire Mayor Cr Michael Whelan said that it was important to find a new home for the garden, as it is valued community asset
“Relocating the community garden to Blue Gum Reserve will provide a wonderful opportunity for the local community to be involved in its establishment. Once it is up and running, it will also supply produce for PICAL’s food pantry,” Cr Whelan said.
“The garden will be fully accessible and include a space to hold workshops and training sessions.”
Council is also looking to develop a community hub for Cowes within Blue Gum Reserve, with a range of groups being co-located within the former CFA site.
“The refurbishment of the former CFA building to accommodate community groups will be considered as part of the Draft 2022/23 Budget,” Cr Whelan said.
The social benefits from both the community garden and the refurbishment of the CFA building are pivotal in the re-establishment of community groups after the COVID pandemic.
The total cost for the construction of the Community Garden is estimated to be around $278,000. PICAL will contribute $38,764 towards the project. The remainder of the funding will be allocated from Council’s Recreation and Resorts Fund.
The cost for the refurbishment of the Council owned CFA building is estimated to be $185,582 plus GST, which will be considered as part of the Draft 2022/23 budget.