What is 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 include 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.
- At the completion of works, the bollards will be returned to the north eastern boundary, new park benches will be installed.
- A new granitic sand path around the perimeter to provide for greater use and accessibility, and assist with ongoing site maintenance.
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 expected to be available for general community use at the end of June 2024.
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.
Will there be a bitumen path placed around the Western Lawn?
Why is a granitic sand path being installed?
A granitic sand path has been placed around the perimeter of the Western Lawn. Its purpose is to:
- Achieve a barrier between turf species and assist with ongoing maintenance.
- Reduce the need for chemical treatments.
- Support passive use such as walking and jogging when community sport is being played.
- Allow use of the space in inclement weather conditions.
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?
Council is currently preparing landscape plans in line with the 2011 Master Plan. These plans will consider path connections, event bump in requirements and plantings in line with the Master Plan intent being native and exotic plantings to provide for shade, moderate the view of car parking areas, and provide spatial definition of the precinct activities. Final detailed design has yet to be completed.
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.
All resolutions are on the public record and were made at public Council meetings.