We know that strong sports clubs help to build a strong sense of community. We’re investing millions of dollars into upgrading sports grounds and facilities in Melbourne’s northern and eastern suburbs to keep local clubs playing and thriving during construction and beyond.
Thousands of Victorians will benefit from a $68 million investment to help upgrade sporting facilities while North East Link gets built.
Upgrades to 19 sports grounds, new sports field lighting along with other investments including new sports pavilions, and female-friendly change rooms will be happening to support over 20,000 players of various sports.
We’re committed to minimising the impact on sporting and recreation facilities and we’ve been working closely with clubs, that will need to temporarily or permanently move to new grounds. We’ve also been working in collaboration with councils, sports leagues and state sporting associations, schools and landowners, to find the best places to deliver these upgrades with the most community benefit and set them up for success well into the future.
The outcomes of the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process helped to determine where the investments should be made. You can find out more about the process here.
Works to upgrade sports grounds are planned to start mid-year before major construction begins from 2021, so clubs can make a smooth transition to their temporary or permanent homes.
Eighteen sports clubs will move to upgraded grounds that are located reasonably close to their current facilities and meet their usage requirements and other sporting activity needs.
We will continue to support each individual club to ensure they are given ample time to settle into their new facilities and avoid project construction impacts at their current grounds.
Greensborough College has been identified as a temporary alternative for clubs that currently use AK Lines Reserve, Gabonia Reserve or Winsor Reserve for some training and games including Watsonia Heights Football Club, Macleod Junior Football Club, Macleod Cricket Club, St Marys Greensborough Junior Football Club and St Marys Football Club. As part of developing this option we’ve been working closely with Banyule City Council and Greensborough College to develop plans for major upgrades to sporting facilities at the school, including new playing fields and a new pavilion.
Greensborough College will remain fully operational during regular school times and Banyule Council will manage the allocation and maintenance of the grounds outside school times.
We’ve been working closely with the owners of Binnak Park, Banyule City Council to find a temporary home for Watsonia Football Club and Plenty Valley Cricket Club. As part of this relocation, new facilities will be built at Binnak Park including a refurbished sports oval, score board, cricket practice nets, sports field lighting and a new pavilion.
Ford Park has been identified as a relocation site for the Yarra Junior Football League (YJFL). The Ford Park design and works are consistent with Banyule City Council endorsed Master Plan developed in 2016 and will include refurbishing the southern oval and upgrading sports field lighting as well as building a new pavilion, new synthetic turf cricket nets and more car parking. Banyule City Council will continue ownership and management of the upgraded facilities for use by YJFL and the park’s current users Ivanhoe Junior Football Club and Bellfield Cricket Club.
To build the North East Link tunnels and connection to the Eastern Freeway, some community sports fields and facilities in the Bulleen Park area would be permanently relocated due to land acquisition. These include Boroondara Tennis Centre and Bulleen Park Oval 1. Part of the Freeway Golf course along Bulleen Road will also be permanently acquired. A portion along the frontage of Trinity Marles Playing Fields and Marcellin College sports fields may also be temporarily acquired.
We’ve been working with Boroondara and Manningham councils, private schools, clubs, leagues and associations, facility managers and other landowners to investigate options for clubs and facilities that use the area.
We’re progressing plans for Bulleen Park, which includes:
- A new three-oval AFL and cricket precinct at Bulleen Park
- A new three-field soccer precinct on Templestowe Road, Bulleen
- Upgrades to a soccer field at Veneto Club
- Relocation of some school sports facilities at Trinity Marles Playing Fields
- Realignment and upgrade of Marcellin College sports fields
Changes to local planning schemes are needed to support some of the planned moves. There will be opportunities to view and comment on a draft Planning Scheme Amendment soon.
Two ovals at Elgar Park could be temporarily required to build North East Link.
North East Oval
The North East Oval is used as a junior competition venue by Mont Albert Cricket Club. We’re working with Whitehorse Council to create a temporary replacement venue at Bennetswood Reserve in Burwood.
North West Oval
The North West Oval could potentially be upgraded to improve flood water management for an upgraded Eastern Freeway. This is still to be confirmed through further design work, technical studies and the final project design. If this oval is required, the impact will be short term up to approximately 18 months. A number of relocation options have been identified if required including Springfield Reserve in Box Hill North and Wilsons Road Reserve in Doncaster.
We have been working closely with the Veneto Club to develop a masterplan for upgrades to their sports facilities to accommodate more capacity for FC Bulleen Lions, whose secondary training ground at Bulleen Park Oval One will be impacted by North East Link.
Upgrades at the Veneto Club will include a new synthetic soccer pitch, field lighting and an upgrade to the existing club change rooms.