Footscray Park Masterplan

Footscray Park Community Advisory Group

In accordance with the resolution of the City Development Special Committee on 27 August 2019, the community has elected the following community representatives to the Footscray Park Community Advisory Group (the Group):

  • Sara Coward
  • Ming Kalanon
  • Rafaela Lopez
  • Shari Loudon
  • Sharon Schwab.

Role of the Group

The role of the Group will be to advise Council on:

  • Amendments to the Footscray Park Master Plan.
  • The community benefits of the youth academy as outlined in the proposal.
  • The possible location of the youth academy and supporting facilities.
  • Conditions concerning any lease and licensing arrangements that may be required.

The Group will work towards developing recommendations to inform an amended draft Footscray Park Masterplan for community comment prior to it going back to Council for a decision.

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Frequently asked questions

What has been added to the Footscray Masterplan?

The Footscray Park Masterplan (2011) has guided improvements and developments across the park, including Maribyrnong Boulevard carpark, Mills Close Steps, the regional all-abilities play space, public toilet, picnic areas and broad scale tree planting.

Additional works to be completed in 2019 include barbecue and picnic facilities along the river, completion of the Drew’s Walk axis, a pontoon on the Maribyrnong River and improvements to the Moore Street gateway (signage).

The updated masterplan unlocks the sites potential and will strengthen the sporting landscape with the inclusion of the Melbourne Victory Football Academy.

Key changes to the revised plan include:

  • a Melbourne Victory Football Club female and junior football academy incorporating 3 playing fields
  • enhanced interpretation and park interactivity including free public Wi-Fi
  • increased landscaping and continued boulevard planting along Ballarat Road
  • ·new walking paths around the playing fields and Henry Turner South oval
  • an improved car park at the eastern end along Ballarat Road.

The updated plan further builds upon the Maribyrnong Open Space Strategy, Maribyrnong Recreation Strategy, Festival City Program and the Footscray University Town project.

What community consultation has been undertaken?

Community consultation took place in March and June 2019 and included:

  • a survey on Council’s community engagement platform Your City, Your Voice (YCYV)
  • three on site consultation sessions and one at Town Hall, as well as direct engagement with park users, sporting clubs and neighbouring stakeholders, including Footscray City College, Victoria University, and Heritage Victoria
  • written submissions to Council.

Has Council approved the development of a soccer academy at Footscray Park?

No, Council entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Melbourne Victory Football Club (MVFC) to undertake a feasibility study into the establishment of a junior football academy.

What has Melbourne Victory proposed?

MVFC is seeking a 21 year lease and license arrangement that would be subject to a statutory process which includes advertising. They have secured funding of $10 million from Sports and Recreation Victoria to develop the academy, which will deliver opportunities for female players, boys and girls, quality school and community-based programs and contribute to the overall success of football in Maribyrnong.

They are proposing to build three playing fields – one show and two for training – with a pavilion and tiered seating for 500 spectators.

Two fields would be hybrid surface – that is, a combination of synthetic and natural – that would be three times more durable and allows three times the use of normal turf.

The Masterplan is the first step in the approval process for the academy. After the Masterplan goes to Council, MVFC will then need to negotiate a lease agreement with Council and seek town planning approval for the construction of the academy with a public exhibition process.

Footscray Park - Community Access

Are Melbourne Victory leasing the entire park?

No, Melbourne Victory are only leasing the pavilion with licence arrangement for the three playing fields. Footscray Park will continue to be managed as is by Council.

Will these soccer fields be available for the general public to use?

Yes. The lease and licensing agreement would not include exclusive use of the playing fields. All fields will be open to the general public when not in use by the academy and local sporting clubs. This includes normal recreational use by community members.

MVFC currently estimate that they would, on average, be using the training fields for less than 40 hours a week.

Other sports clubs are in need of improved facilities, can they use the facilities?

Yes, the show field will be available for community use when games are not scheduled and the other two fields will be available for use outside of training times. Our current grounds are at capacity and we need to cater for the growth of participation in soccer as well as our population growth. Projections show that we will need an additional 20 soccer fields by 2040.

Where will major events/festivals take place at Footscray Park?

Footscray Park will continue to be the premier site for Council’s festival program ensuring the New Year Eve celebrations and other community festivals continue to operate from the park.

The Masterplan will ensure spaces are provided for the ongoing use of the park for a wide range of events with enhanced access to basic facilities and improved universal access for all.

Will this negatively impact the park’s ecosystem?

There will be no loss of ponds, trees and no negative impact to wildlife. The Masterplan includes increased planting of trees. The Heritage gardens are an important and much loved feature of the Park and will not be affected by this proposal.

What will happen to the dog off lead area if the soccer fields are installed?

Dog off lead will continue in the park further to the east of the site as well as at Quarry Park. We have been seeking community’s feedback on this matter.

Footscray Park - Dog off lead

How high will the fences be around the field?

A standard Maribyrnong sports field fence at 1.1metres with regular openable gates will surround the show field and an outer 1.8metre fence of the show field will established for a number of ticketed events. The training fields will not be fenced.

Why does the show field need to be fenced?

The show games being played are ticketed and therefore the field needs to have a secure outer fence to manage the ticketing process.

Why did Council select Footscray Park as the location for Melbourne Victory soccer academy?

Other sites were considered but did not prove to be feasible. Historically the site has been used as playing fields and had fallen into disrepair. This proposal allows the space to be upgraded to support both the football academy and local community recreation needs.

How will the Masterplan affect the flood plain?

Any works within the flood plain will be referred to Melbourne Water who will provide guidance on the necessary works to ensure the project meets all flooding and water management requirements.

What are the next steps for the Footscray Park Masterplan following the community consultation?

Comments and submissions from the public consultation will form the basis of a report that will be tabled at an upcoming Council meeting for endorsement, alongside the updated Masterplan. Any future planning application would need to go through a statutory approval process which would include a public exhibition period.

Who maintains the facilities?

Melbourne Victory will maintain the facilities that they use. Council will continue to maintain the rest of the park.

Is Council providing any funding to the soccer academy?

No, Council is not funding the academy. The academy is funded by MVFC with support from Sport and Recreation Victoria.

Is Council funding the Masterplan?

Yes, Council is funding the Masterplan and the general park improvements.

Contact details

City Design
9688 0200


40 Maribyrnong Boulevard, Footscray 3011  View Map

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