Baromi Park Masterplan Meeting Update
The Baromi Centre was filled with aerial maps of Baromi Park last Wednesday evening, as members of our community attended a public meeting hosted by South Gippsland Shire Council and Mirboo Country Development Inc, to help inform the Baromi Park Masterplan process. This Masterplan process has arisen in order to ensure that the $300,000 of capital works funding which was allocated by the community to the Baromi Park, are spent on complementary projects, and are not wasted in an ad hoc approach to developing the park. Here is an update from Mirboo North’s Community Project Officer, Thomasin Bales, on how it went.
Ned Dennis and Paul Challis represented Council on the night, kicking things off with a discussion about the primary function of Baromi Park as a public open space that is available for use by all people at all times. They explored the history of the park’s development, and detailed the various planning exercises that have focussed on the park over the past twenty years. The most recent of these exercises was last October’s community workshop, at which it was agreed that the $300,000 should be allocated to the Baromi Park and the following principal projects:
- An extension to the skate park.
- Construction of a basketball half court.
- Installation of a sound shell / stage amphitheatre with AV equipment.
- Building a new toilet block in the eastern end of the park.
Ned and Paul then presented the community with an opportunity to raise anything else that we would like considered in the upcoming masterplanning process, which might not have been picked up through the process thus far. Extra suggestions that were made on the night included:
- Better landscaping through a review of vegetation, removing obstructions to vistas, utilising extra plantings of indigenous and exotic trees, and possibly reinstating areas of natural meadow.
- Footpaths in northern parts of the park to create better linkages and more complete circuits.
- Exercise stations along footpaths.
- Upgrades to the BBQs and their shelter structure.
- Extra seating and shelter for the playground, and potentially fencing around it.
- A natural materials sculpture playground, incorporating water play and potentially also a flying fox.
- Welcoming features at key entrance points, particularly the laneway to the east of the nursery, such as decorative archways, signs, and interactive play structures.
- Uniform widening of the informal road in front of playgroup, and rezoning it to a formal roadway (to be called Station Street?), potentially to extend the township’s parking capacity.
- Consideration of the need for a good mix of intergenerational facilities, and for use by pet owners.
Various people who made comments at the public meeting were asked to formalise their suggestions by making written submissions to Council over the month of August, after which time, Council will finalise a masterplan brief. This brief will be used to engage an appropriately experienced consultant to draft the Baromi Park Masterplan, taking on board all of the elements raised by the Community.
Council expect that the Masterplan should be completed by the end of the year, at which point it will be brought back to our community for a final consultation and reality check. Components of the plan will then be sent out for detailed design and costing, and it is hoped that elements of the plan can thus be shovel-ready by about autumn next year. It is likely that the $300,000 allocated to the Baromi Park will not cover all of the components of the plan, but by having all of them designed and costed, this will allow for supplementary funding to be sought where necessary, including in-kind community support, philanthropic support and other state or federal funding sources. Once costed, the projects will also be prioritised and scheduled with community consultation.
All in all, it is an involved process, but the end result should be a Masterplan that our community feels ownership of, and the progressive development of Baromi Park in a direction that our community is broadly happy with.
If you have any other ideas or suggestions other than those listed above (as these are now included), there is still a window of opportunity to add those to the process. Please email your written submission to Ned Dennis, Coordinator of Community Strengthening at email@example.com before the end of August.