Melbourne Football Club Proposal

Hello again to everybody.

Our first DCA event for the year took place on February 1 with the presentation to members by the Melbourne Football Club of their proposal, in conjunction with Netball Victoria, for a training oval, netball courts and facilities to be located at Western Park which abuts Bolte bridge at the end of Docklands Drive.

Their proposal includes availability for community use. As previously stated, their proposal is one of three optional developments put forward by VicUrban for the reserve, which also could be made an ecological park or a public recreation area.

The 2ha site is not large and would have to be extended to house the football club’s development. The matter is back in VicUrban’s hands. We have asked VicUrban to provide us with more detail on concepts for the other two options. 

Because of the severe lack of public open space and parkland in Docklands we regard the Western Park development as a key issue for the community and have asked VicUrban for an indicative timing for community consultation, decisions and implementation.

Other community groups are saying there has been a regrettable decline in the amount of community consultation by council and authorities as it appears to be more convenient to rely on e-surveys and website responses. This also reflects an absence of ward structure in the City of Melbourne. There is concern that lip-service is being given to community input after decisions have already been made.

Council and VicUrban have been in discussion regarding the construction of a community centre and library which have been on the agenda for some three years. Three possible sites were recently discussed and referred to in council including the existing Hub site, and two other sites – apparently somewhere on the Esplanade foreshore.

The council report states that extensive consultation has taken place with Docklands. We presume this refers to VicUrban as there has been none with the DCA or anybody else to our knowledge.

We are of course looking forward to consultation on the new facilities being provided.

Our concern is size. Docklands currently has no community hall or library. The existing Hub building has always been too small, it is booked out most of the time and there is nowhere else to go other than hiring retail premises.

The new facility needs to be large enough to cater for the increasing needs of the rapidly growing population. Again, we are requesting VicUrban and the council to give priority to the new facility.

We think it is time for VicUrban to give the community some idea of what it is planning for the Harbour Esplanade foreshore. This is a large key area stretching from the NAB building to NewQuay Promenade – currently covered with old concrete.

There have been rumours of more retail. Some of us strongly favour provision of parkland, perhaps with the addition of kiosks.

For the Council to suggest putting the hall/ library in a particular spot there implies that concepts for use of the area have already been discussed between council and VicUrban. We request that concept sketches be provided, together with some indication of planned timing for the project.

At our next committee meeting in March we will be planning further activities for the year including guest speakers and get-togethers.

Our DCA members come from all parts of Docklands, ranging from Yarra’s Edge to NewQuay, and we look forward to cementing the interaction between the various areas.

If any reader wishes to become a member of the DCA or has any suggestions they wish to put forward they are welcome to do so by contacting us on:  [email protected]

If you would like to talk to me about any aspect you are welcome to call me on 0412 097 706.  You can keep up with things on our website

Roger Gardner
President DCA

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