An exciting future for HD Graham Reserve in Altona Meadows was revealed at Tuesday’s Ordinary Council meeting with the adoption of the HD Graham Reserve Master Plan.
Deputy Mayor and Wetlands Ward Councillor Michael Grech said the plan aims to develop this under-utilised parcel of land into an asset which can be enjoyed by many different segments of the community.
“The master plan balances the needs of a number of different user groups incorporating nature trails, viewing platforms, sports fields, a new playground, improved skate and BMX facilities and a large open lawn area perfect for hosting large social gatherings or just lounging around with a good book,” said Cr Grech.
“Many of the features incorporated into the plan were gathered from community feedback and budget submissions and we had an unusually high response to the draft master plan which was put out for consultation in April.
“As a result of feedback from the community we have incorporated a number of changes including scaling down the proposed BMX park to a smaller facility suitable for younger children and reconfiguring the layout of the soccer fields so lighting is at least 110m away from residential boundaries.”
The plan also includes a potential site for the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre, a community-led project headed up by this year’s Hobsons Bay Citizen of the Year, Dr Marilyn Olliff.
Wetlands Ward Councillor Colleen Gates said that redeveloping the reserve would open up some of Hobsons Bay’s hidden treasures to the entire community.
“We have a large area of open space on the edge of Laverton Creek and there has been much anticipation on what the future of this area could look like,” said Cr Gates.
“The master plan ensures there are elements of the site dedicated to both active and passive interests including sports grounds, a playground, walking paths and play areas for children.
“I am also particularly pleased about the prospect of a future wetlands centre. This area of Hobsons Bay is not well known locally but has worldwide significance for its biodiversity and its migratory shore birds. To have a centre that can educate and showcase this special part of our coastline to our community is really exciting.”
The cost estimate for the implementation of the master plan is $6.6M, which includes the design development, sportsground development, sports pavilion, shared pathway network, landscaping, BMX and skate park upgrades, a new play space, water sensitive urban design initiatives, site remediation and preparation. The master plan will be delivered over the next three financial years, as per the five year Capital Works Program, with $500,000 allocated in the 2019-20 Budget to develop the sport facility.