Footscray Park Western Lawn Upgrade

  • Project typeOpen Space
  • Project value$8.1 million
  • Project scheduleComplete
Western Lawn 16 April.jpg

The Western Lawn is a major asset in Council’s open space network, and in combination with the adjacent Eastern Lawn, Quarry Park, heritage gardens, Henry Turner South Reserve and the Maribyrnong River Trail, the precinct provides for passive use, festival and event use, dog walking, community sports, bike activities, physical recreation, active transport and cultural appreciation. 

The upgrade of the Western Lawn is now complete and mostly open to the public. There are some minor areas that will remain roped off to assist the grass to establish.

Works have included site excavation and soil replacement to allow new turf to flourish on a site that has had problems due to high saline content in the soil. Irrigation and drainage upgrades have also been undertaken to ensure the Lawn can continue to be used for future community events.

In line with the intent of the Master Plan, the Western Lawn, will provide a dog off lead area, a location for festivals and community events, along with formal and casual community sporting uses. 

Opening Stage 1

The Western Lawn Upgrade is complete however there will be some areas where the grass needs to establish, and these areas will be roped off. Please refrain from accessing these areas and using the access points highlighted below:

western lawn opening stage.jpg


For this opening stage, only passive recreation will be permitted on the Western Lawn and no formal sports bookings will be accepted. 

Project milestones





March 2024

Turf laid


June 2024

Turf establishment stage one – Western Lawn open to the public for passive use




Site plans

Passive Open Space

This plan depicts how the site will be available the majority of its time as a passive open space reserve.

western lawn june.jpg


Frequently asked questions

What was the scope of works for the Western Lawn?

  • The removal of the existing goal posts on the south-western boundary of the site, and two existing synthetic cricket wicket pitches.
  • A range of works to level the site, which has been prone to flooding, with low lying portions of the Lawn usually covered with standing water following rain events. These leveling works included earthworks and the removal of silt and top layer, new drainage and plumbing, a new irrigation system, and new lawn surface including gravel and geoweb layers required to ensure long term drainage and stabilisation.
  • Construction of a village green area capable of being configured to enable open space for passive recreation, a dog off lead area, local community sport, and a variety of community events. This includes a high performing turf surface with associated irrigation and drainage, one synthetic cricket wicket pitch, and AFL goal posts.
  • A new swale drain to assist in the drainage of the site.
  • The bollards have been returned on the north eastern boundary and new park benches have been installed.

How are the Western Lawn works related to the 2011 Footscray Park Master Plan?

  • The upgrade of the Western Lawn is noted in the 2011 Master Plan and detailed in the “Active Use Precinct” part of the Plan, which is available to download in the 'Related Information' section at the bottom of this page.

    The Master Plan notes Council will:

  • Maintain the western playing area as a dog off lead area for the suburb of Footscray.
  • Provide for overflow formal and casual sporting uses of the traditional playing fields.
  • Treat the existing problems associated with saline soil conditions and damage to the grassed surface of the floodplain by a combination of actions including improved drainage; creation of rainwater and swale gardens as an edge treatment to paths and car parks at selective locations, and use of salt tolerant plantings.

When will I be able to walk my dog on the Western Lawn?

The upgraded Western Lawn area is now mostly open for use however there are some areas that will be roped off to assist with grass establishment.

Can I book the Western Lawn for formal sport?

The Western Lawn is open for passive recreation at this time with some areas requiring further establishment. Formal sport will be considered in the future however this will be restricted to overflow use by community sports.

Will the Western Lawn remain a dog off lead zone?

The area will remain an off lead area.

Dog owners are reminded of their responsibilities when walking their dogs off lead. Find out more about Dogs Off-Lead Parks and Reserves.

Is the Western Lawn in keeping with the Footscray Park’s heritage values?

 Council, as part of its due diligence, sought advice from Heritage Victoria who concluded that the works or activities do not harm the cultural heritage significance of the place and, therefore, do not require a permit pursuant to s92(3) of the Heritage Act 2017 (the Act).

What will happen with the area adjacent to the Rowing Club where the current temporary work site exists?

This area will be returned to grass and any future changes will be guided by the review of the 2011 Master Plan.

When did Council resolve to undertake these works?

At the Council Meeting in June 2022, Council resolved to adopt the 2022/23 Capital Works Program, which included $4,350,000 for the Footscray Park Western Lawn.

At the Council Meeting in December 2022, Council resolved to award the Western Lawn Resurfacing and Lawn Update Contract to Joslyn Group for the total contract sum of $4,740,758.50 (ex GST). This was subject to required approvals being received by Melbourne Water.

At the Council Meeting in May 2023, Council resolved to authorise a variation to this contract to allow for the total contract sum to be increased to $8,100,000.00 (ex GST). This sum addressed variations associated with ground conditions including contamination and site stability.

At the Council meeting in March 2024, Council resolved to in summary –

  • Cease the construction of the proposed granitic path and remove it from the project,
  • Guarantee the priority of general public use of Footscray Park,
  • Restricting use of the Western Lawns to overflow use by community sports
  • Review and update the 2011 Masterplan and further consult with the community
  • Establishing a Footscray Park Advisory Committee to support the review of the 2011 Masterplan

All resolutions are on the public record and were made at public Council meetings.




Image gallery

Select images below to enlarge.


Contact details

Recreation and Open Space
9688 0200


Ballarat Road, Footscray 3011  View Map

Google Map