More than 20 new pocket parks and off-leash dog parks will be created in built-up suburbs, giving families across Melbourne more green, open space to enjoy.
The value of local parkland has been brought into sharp relief over the past few months, as Victorians have stayed home to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives.
With some of the strictest measures now relaxed and record testing showing rates of community transmission remain low, more and more Victorians are getting out and enjoying a walk in the park with their pets and friends.
The 24 new parks announced today are being delivered through the first round of the local parks component of the $154 million Suburban Parks Program and will build 15 new pocket parks and nine off leash dog parks across Melbourne.
The parks will begin opening up from next year giving families much needed green space for recreation, relaxation and spending time with their pets.
The pocket parks will be located in South Melbourne, St Kilda, Bentleigh, Moorabbin, Brunswick, Caulfield South, Flemington, Sunshine West, Ivanhoe, Preston, Oakleigh, Prahran, Collingwood and Yarraville.
The locations were selected to ensure they are easily accessible by road and public transport, or well-linked to bike and walking trails, and after councils were invited to nominate potential sites that were then assessed by an independent panel.
The off-leash dog parks will be established in Cairnlea, Cranbourne East, Mickleham, Carrum, Rowville, Eltham North, Maribyrnong, Werribee and South Yarra.
The Suburban Parks Program will create up to 6,500 hectares of new parkland, walking trails, bike trails, pocket and dog parks – the equivalent of more than 170 Royal Botanic Gardens.
This includes $35 million for developing 25 pocket parks and $5 million to establish 16 new off-leash dog parks – another $10 million will help revamp parks and reserves with playgrounds, landscaping, toilets and picnic spaces.
Funding for the next round of the program will be open to eligible local government area from 1 June, with grants of up to $1.3 million made available for a new pocket park and $275,000 for a new dog park.
To see a full list of the round one projects and for details on round two, visit environment.vic.gov.au/suburban-parks/creating-new-parkland-across-victoria/local-parks.
As noted by Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“Being stuck inside the last few months has reminded us of the value of open green space to stretch the legs, clear the head and get some fresh air – that’s what this investment delivers.”
“We promised to establish these parks for families and their pets to enjoy – and we’re delivering.”
“As our suburbs continue to grow, we’re making sure people have easy access to much needed open green space to exercise, relax or just enjoy the outdoors.”