1 February 2018 - media release
An exciting master plan to guide the future development of the Scenic Drive and Victoria Park precinct, a key regional sporting and leisure precinct in Echuca, has been adopted by the Campaspe Shire Council.
Mayor, Cr Adrian Weston said the master plan entitled “Scenic Drive and Victoria Park Infrastructure and Services Plan” is the result of a comprehensive review, supported by feedback received from key stakeholders and the wider community through an extensive consultation process over the past ten months.
“The aim of the master plan is to improve the amenity of the area, its access and usage, so it better serves the needs of the community for many years to come,” Cr Weston said.
“It also captures the opportunities associated with the confirmed alignment of the Echuca Moama second bridge project.”
A review of the precinct started early last year using a survey to capture community comment, with a draft master plan released for further community comment in August.
Victoria Park (known as Vic Park) and the immediate surrounding area play host to a range of activities including tennis, Australian football, cricket, netball, fire brigade training and events, and water skiing. Scenic Drive, adjacent to the park, is an expansive natural bushland area with significant cultural heritage that extends to the Murray and Campaspe rivers, and is primarily used for nature-based activities, picnicking and recreational walking and cycling.
“With a master plan in place, staff can now progress an implementation plan of the initiatives and activities identified, including prioritisation of each, project costs and a funding strategy for future consideration by council,” Cr Weston said.
Throughout the public exhibition period staff have met with stakeholders to discuss the draft master plan and any concerns raised. Six courts at the Echuca Lawn Tennis Complex are required to be relocated due to the alignment of the second bridge project.
“The Echuca Lawn Tennis Club has objected to the preferred location of the six replacement courts at the western end of the complex.”
“Council recognises that the tennis club has advocated for an alternate location and has agreed to support their preferred placement,” Cr Weston said.
Advice received from the Department of Environment, Water, Land and Planning (DELWP) states that they are not supportive of the location due to native vegetation legislation.
The majority of the precinct is crown land. Council manages the land on behalf of DELWP, the landowner. The tennis club leases the complex site directly from DELWP.
“Council has provided the tennis club with written advice that the court location can be changed subject to DELWP approval and meeting native legislation requirements. Council understands that the tennis club is still in discussion with DEWLP regarding the location,” Cr Weston said.
Key components of the master plan include:
Road networks - Upgrade and redesign of road networks;
- Rationalise the current ad hoc network of roadways through the precinct with a focus of separating vehicles and pedestrians. This will improve access to sporting facilities and improve the efficiency and safety of vehicle and pedestrian movements.
- Parking spaces will be developed, eliminating the current informal use of public space as carparks.
- The Scenic Drive will be altered to allow vehicle access to the junction of the Murray and Campaspe rivers only via a two-way gravel roadway along the Campaspe River.
- The plan also allows for a small parking area at the junction with picnic table.
Pedestrian and cycle networks – Development of pedestrian and cycle networks to support informal recreation spaces;
- Develop improved cycle and pedestrian infrastructure and networks to encourage activity in the space through informal and unorganised community use.
- Themed pedestrian and cycling routes to cater for different interests and abilities with improved access through to Crofton Street and the Port Precinct.
Community open spaces -Redevelopment of open spaces including the Rose Garden and Boat Ramp Area;
- The entrance to the precinct, with the Rose Garden and historic Vic Park gates, will be redeveloped to allow for better pedestrian access, a more attractive environment and greater historic reflection of the area.
- The boat ramp area will be redeveloped to improve access and parking zones for cars and boats as well as a designated overflow parking area for special events.
- A redevelopment of the existing lawn terraces at the boat ramp to create another riverside open space for year round access to the river bank.
- A replacement toilet block at the boat ramp.
Sport facilities - Improvement of the sport facilities at Vic Park
- A larger, more modern comprehensive multi-use pavilion is planned to replace the Haw Pavilion, Boral Bar, public toilets and tennis clubhouse. This pavilion will include club facilities, function areas, storage, female friendly change and toilet facilities and other facilities to meet the current and future requirements of all users including sporting clubs and community groups.
- Six lawn tennis courts will be relocated and developed to replace those affected by the bridge project.
- The oval surface will be redeveloped with improved drainage and improved grass surface.
- New access and parking arrangements are proposed to improve accessibility during events and regular use.
Former High School site - Exploration of the potential at the former High School site
- Review use and ownership options for the former High School site.
- Potential ideas for this site include development of a Yorta Yorta Cultural Heritage Centre, a trailhead facility and parking and the reinstatement of the old school oval as a multiuse green space to support junior sport and community events.
- Finally the plan recommends a change to the management model of the precinct.
- The area to the south of the road, incorporating the boat ramp, old school oval, sports precinct to remain under council’s management.
- Investigate either crown management or management by the Yorta Yorta community for the area to the north of the proposed road incorporating bushland, nature and conservation areas that support passive recreation and enjoyment.
The master plan can be viewed on council’s website.