KINGSTON Council is driving what it believes is an innovative plan to deliver much-needed sports playing fields in the Green Wedge.
It is calling on the state government to back acquisition of the 34ha Delta site, at 91-185 Kingston Rd. The parcel of land is six times the size of Le Page Park in Cheltenham and four times the size of Carrum’s Roy Dore Reserve.
The mayor Cr David Eden said the site had potential to become a sports mecca. “Many sites in the Green Wedge are former landfill sites, which make it incredibly difficult to construct sporting pavilions as the land can shift and subside over time,” he said.
“However the Delta site – which has been the subject of a state government public acquisition overlay for many years – has not been used for landfill and is likely to be suitable for construction work.
“Council believes now is the perfect time for the state government to acquire the land for conversion into a regional sports facility.”
Cr Eden has written to Premier Daniel Andrews seeking support for the plan which requires the state government to acquire the site.
The plan requires large amounts of soil infill – which could be available from upcoming construction projects, including the state government’s level crossing removal project and the Metro Tunnel project.
“This could provide a cost-effective solution for both council and the government, as transporting the soil long distances from the construction site can be costly, while buying soil for local projects can cost millions in ratepayer funds,” Cr Eden said.
Investing in sporting facilities has been a key priority for Kingston Council over recent years with many millions invested in improving existing local facilities, he said.
“Our existing sites are already close to full capacity and growing demand across Kingston and the region – due to population increases and a fantastic increase in women’s participation – means new sporting grounds are needed.”
The idea was presented to MPs Sonya Kilkenny (Carrum) and Tim Richardson (Mordialloc) at a recent briefing. Mr Richardson said the state government was investing $100 million from its Community Sports Infrastructure Fund into grassroots sport, including $10 million for female friendly facilities to ensure more women can participate in the sports.
“With a growing population across the Kingston, Bayside and south eastern council areas, and the impressive growth in female participation across many sports, we need to seriously consider and plan for how we will accommodate more people in the future,” he said.
Mr Richardson welcomed the “innovative approach from Kingston Council which seeks to maximise the benefits of the level crossing removals in conjunction with the state government’s strong support for grass roots sports”.
“Kingston will seek to use the soils from the trenched level crossing removals at Balcombe, Mentone, Charman and Park roads to establish new sporting facilities in the Green Wedge,” he said.
“The plan is forward thinking, innovative and seeking to ensure as many people as possible can access playing fields in the future and participate in the sports they love.”
He said he was keen to work with Kingston Council to respond to the growth in sports participation and welcomed further discussions.