Council decision: Footscray Park Masterplan

Published on 26 November 2019

Footscray Park - blog.jpg

Statement from the Mayor, Cr Sarah Carter

At tonight’s City Development Special Committee Meeting, Councillors voted to not proceed with the 2019 Footscray Park Masterplan update and to continue to implement the 2011 version of the Masterplan.

The decisions we make must provide the best possible outcome for our residents, and after hearing the feedback from the community, it is clear that a relevant portion of community members, including community sporting clubs, are opposed to the establishment of the academy at Footscray Park.

While there is some positive sentiment surrounding the community benefits in regard to the Melbourne Victory proposal, the role of Council is to listen to our community and deliver service and infrastructure outcomes that will not only benefit residents, but have community support. We are not convinced that the Footscray Park proposal now achieves these outcomes.

On top of this, had we proceeded with the Melbourne Victory proposal, a number of processes would be required including planning permit applications and hearings regarding the lease terms and conditions. Given that these would most likely result in a VCAT hearing, these processes would become extremely drawn out and costly to our ratepayers.

We work hard to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to improve their health and wellbeing, and as our population continues to grow, further pressure will be placed on our open space and sporting facilities. With that in mind, I believe that the community is best served by the Western Lawn being available for use by local sporting clubs and the broader community as a shared, mixed use space. We will actively seek external funding to support improvements to this space.

We would like to thank Melbourne Victory for their interest in our City. Council recognises the benefits of a youth academy, and we would welcome further dialogue that may investigate other potential sites for the establishment of the academy and the home of the Victory Women’s team within the municipality.

We would also like to thank the community for their input into the planning for Footscray Park, along with the Community Advisory Group for its consideration of the options.