Update: 18 April 2023

Council will be proceeding with the implementation of a Master Plan to deliver multi-million dollar improvements, including an indoor sports facility, at McIvor Reserve in Yarraville - after a bid to overturn the original decision failed.

The motion was lost four-three. This means the decision made at the meeting on 29 March to endorse the document, stands.

The Master Plan includes additional actions and revisions addressing specific concerns raised during engagement. It was informed by more than ten months of engagement with the community, sporting clubs, and users of the Reserve, technical investigations, and specialist advice.

It also confirms the inclusion of an indoor sports facility as part of a balanced outcome that responds to a variety of community needs.

You can view the endorsed Master Plan here.

Community Engagement Journey

Explore the tabs below to look back on the two formal phases of engagement.

Community Engagement Summary

Community Engagement Feedback Summary

We’ve provided a snapshot of the last ten months of community engagement on the McIvor Reserve Master Plan.

Phase two

Phase two engagement occurred over a period of eight weeks from November 2022 to January 2023. This included a four week engagement period prior to Christmas and extended engagement over the holiday period to support those who may not have been able to provide feedback beforehand, to also share their comments.

Across all engagement activities a total of 4,017 comments were received from 753 respondents made up of:

  • 394 surveys (from 351 contributors)
  • 1,657 comments on the virtual post-it boards
  • eight hard copy surveys
  • 275 comments from 65 attendees at in-person sessions
  • 22 pieces of written correspondence (from a mix of individuals and representatives of sporting groups and organisations on behalf of their several thousand members)

Many aspects of the draft Master Plan were well received, particularly the need for public toilets, more activation spaces (such as the outdoor gym and linear path), more lighting, shade, seating, and improved drainage for the dog park and sports fields.

There were general themes to minimise impact on green space and protection of trees, and a desire to better understand any impacts to parking and traffic potentially generated by the proposed additional use.

Overall much of the feedback centred around the support or otherwise for the inclusion of an Indoor Sports Facility on the Reserve.

There was a general acknowledgement of the need for a new Indoor Sports Facility within the municipality - but there are ongoing concerns around impacts on the local environment if one was to be built at McIvor Reserve.

Green space and tree loss along with the impact on the existing dog park were the main issues raised, with traffic and other concerns associated with an increased use of the Reserve specifically flagged by close neighbours during face-to-face sessions.

Conversely there were also comments expressing gratitude, relief and excitement at the release of the draft Master Plan and the propsect of including a six-idnoor sports facility, given the existing shortfall and growing pressure this is placing on clubs.

Phase two also allowed community members to share their ideas on the proposed changes at McIvor Reserve via virtual post-it boards. Links to the virtual post-it boards are below:

The draft Master Plan identified more than two dozen proposed upgrades to enhance the Reserve, reflecting community priorities as requested in the initial feedback.

It also outlined the key improvements and enhancements including:

  • Improved access to public toilets
  • Improved lighting - for general and recreational use
  • More shade, seating, vegetation, and tree cover
  • Enhancements to the existing dog park
  • Improved and more accessible playspace and BBQ area
  • Surface upgrades to the sports fields
  • More parking to reduce overflow onto local roads
  • More spaces to relax and enjoy the outdoors

The draft also provided greater clarity around what an indoor sports facility could look like if it was located on the Reserve. This included positioning, size, and associated impacts on open space, traffic, and parking.

You can view a copy of the draft Master Plan here.

Phase one

Phase one engagement summary

Phase one engagement occurred over a period from late April to late June 2022. Feedback from phase one helped inform the draft Master Plan, which was shared with the community for feedback in November 2022.

You can view a summary of the phase one engagement findings here.

Questions and Answers - June 2022

In late June 2022, you provided 109 questions seeking additional information in relation to the need and potential siting of an indoor sports facility at McIvor Reserve. We answered these as best we could via the Q&A tool. We also collated the most common questions and answered received at the time in the tabs below.

Q: Why do we need an indoor sports facility?

A: In 2018, the Maribyrnong Indoor Sports Stadium Strategy highlighted the City of Maribyrnong was short between four and 12 indoor courts to meet growing demand for a range of sporting codes over the next 20 years. There are currently only two multi-court facilities providing unrestricted use to the broader community. With our population forecast to nearly double during this time, there is an immediate need for a four-six court facility to ensure indoor sporting clubs and associations are able to train and compete locally.

Q: How big would an indoor sports facility be?

A: At this stage, Council is exploring options for a six-court multi-use facility and associated amenities i.e. changing rooms and parking. The actual footprint would be dependent on a number of factors including site conditions, constraints and additional amenities that might be included such as a commercial café or flexible meeting rooms. The Maribyrnong Indoor Sports Stadium Strategy suggests such a facility could be anywhere from 5,000 – 10,000 square metres, but we won’t know this until a suitable site is identified and initial design work completed.

Q: What sites is Council looking at for an indoor sports facility?

A: The Maribyrnong Indoor Sports Stadium Strategy identified 11 possible locations for an indoor sports facility. For a variety of reasons, some are not possible and some are being investigated further – McIvor Reserve is one of them.

Q: Why can’t Council build an indoor sports facility on an old industrial site?

A: Council doesn’t own any industrial sites that could accommodate an indoor sports facility. We also don’t have large financial reserves to draw upon to fund such a purchase, if a suitable site was available.

Q: Why has Council budgeted to develop designs for an indoor facility if no site has been confirmed?

A: Council has allocated funding to support schematic design for a potential facility in the 2022-23 Budget. This will allow us to develop baseline costings to take advantage of any opportunities to apply for grants and external funding from the State or Federal Government.

Q: On what basis is McIvor Reserve being considered?

A: McIvor Reserve is a municipal reserve, on Council owned land, that attracts residents from across the City. It has been assessed against key selection criteria in the Indoor Sports Stadium Strategy as having the capacity to accommodate an indoor sports facility. This includes amongst other things; the size of the site, future expansion opportunity, topography, site services, access and traffic impacts and location to future population/catchments.

Q: Does this mean the fenced dog park is at risk?

A: There is no intention for the updated Master Plan not to include a dog park.

Q: What about land contamination – won’t this be an issue with a new building at the Reserve?

A: Contaminated land is an ongoing issue for Maribyrnong, given our significant history of heavy manufacturing and industry. Whatever site may be chosen for an indoor sports facility, a complete environmental assessment will be needed to ensure its suitability for use. Environmental management would also be required to manage any contamination that may be present

Q: What about increased traffic?

A: Whichever site is chosen for an indoor sports facility, traffic and parking issues will be a key consideration in the planning process. However, the proposed new road and cycling route connecting Fogarty Avenue and Francis St as part of the Bradmill site redevelopment could provide an opportunity to redirect traffic away from residential streets. Alternative access routes would also need to be considered in addition to Hawkhurst Street, Benbow Street and Wembley Avenue.

Q: How would an indoor sports facility on a Reserve align with Council’s commitment to open space?

A: Council recognises the value its community places on open space and is committed to maintaining and improving these spaces but it also has to balance the needs of its diverse community for a range of services. It will always seek, where it can, to ensure new developments do not infringe upon these spaces.

Q: But isn’t this just for show – haven’t you already made up your mind?

A: Not at all. Engagement is genuine and authentic and in line with best practice. We received more than 1100 responses via an online questionnaire, plus additional emails and letters, and have responded to more than 109 additional questions via the digital engagement portal after the engagement period closed. You can view these questions on right hand side of this page.

Council also directly engaged with approximately 70 recreational users and neighbours of the Reserve at face-to-face meetings on the Reserve, and sporting clubs who call the Reserve home as part of our engagement with the community, which has provided valuable information that will assist in informing master plan options and future developments at the site.

Q: Why didn’t you provide more details for us to consider?

A: We understand the idea of a proposed Indoor Sports Facility at McIvor Reserve has raised some questions we are unable to answer definitively given we are such an early stage of the Master Planning process. However please be assured should Council decide there is merit in exploring the idea further, we will provide further detailed information to the community.

Q: Will you share what you have heard?

A: Yes, we’ll be providing a comprehensive overview of the feedback received as a part of Phase 2 engagement but three findings from the survey we can share include:

What are the next steps?

A: Information and key findings gathered from the community as part of the Phase 1 engagement will inform development of the updated draft master plan which will be shared with the community for further feedback sometime in September/October this year. This engagement will be conducted in accordance with Council’s Community Engagement Policy.

After considering this additional feedback, Council will make further adjustments to the draft Master Plan as necessary, prior to considering the final Master Plan for adoption around December this year.

How can I stay involved?

A: To stay up to date and provide further feedback during the next engagement phase just hit the ‘follow’ button at the top of this page.

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