Council proposes changes and delays in $1.9b spend by 2045

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Fairbairn Park pavilion built in 2018

Moonee Valley Council officers have proposed changes to the ambitious $1.9b program for spending on parks, pavilions, and playgrounds over the next 25 years.

More than 30 projects have been added to last year’s MV2040 long-term capital works plan, and the delivery of 30 projects pushed back in the new draft program.

Most of the new projects are scheduled to be delivered immediately suggesting a burst of pre-election spending by the current Council.

There are about 350 individual projects in the long-term capital works plan to be voted on by councillors this coming Tuesday 11 June as part of the 2019/20 Budget.

Officers are recommending changes to the delivery times for approximately 30 projects – pushing some out by up to two decades – including a new public toilet at Canning St Reserve* and the proposed Highball Stadium in East Keilor.

(*A reader has suggested the Canning St toilet is in fact only a few years old, so perhaps the plan to upgrade it in 2022 was a bit eager!)

Over 30 new projects have been added to the long-term program, now extended to 2045, with about the same number of projects completed over the past 12 months.

New projects include lighting and grounds upgrades at five of Council’s public reserves, IT upgrades and an Artist Studio at Settlers Cottage.

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Flemington Community Centre

Council officers have also included more than $20m to pay for Debneys Park upgrades, after 2031, in addition to the $40m proposed for the Flemington Community Hub, while continuing to seek external funding for this proposal.

Only indicative costs are revealed in the publicly available documents with several projects attracting costs of more than $20m, including community hubs at Airport West, Ascot Vale, Windy Hill, Flemington, Niddrie, the Highball and Leisure Centres in East Keilor, and Civic Triangle in Moonee Ponds.

Council officers had previously recommended Council borrow $60m over the next three years to fund the expensive program of works. Officers are now recommending $30m of the proposed borrowings be replaced with cash.

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From MVCC’s proposed 2019/20 Budget showing years from 2020

It’s no easy task to plan almost $2 billion worth of spending over 25 years. Annual adjustments to the capital works plan are inevitable, and necessary.

The addition of 30 new projects this year, and the time extensions to projects already planned demonstrates the challenge in sticking with long-term plans.

And I note there’s no funding proposed for landscaping or ‘activation’ of 177A Mt Alexander Rd, and no purpose-built facilities for the Arts 😦

Here are some changes to last year’s plan that are worth noting ahead of Council’s vote on Tuesday. Councillors may, or may not, support the officers’ recommended changes.

Projects recommended for delay until 2031-2040+

These projects were scheduled to begin between 2022-2025

  • Highball Stadium in Keilor East
  • Canning Street – new public toilet* (see note above)
  • Cycling and walking connections between Moonee Ponds Junction and MVRC
  • Boeing Reserve carpark upgrade
  • Queens Park wetland and stormwater harvesting

These projects were scheduled to begin between 2026-2030

  • Ascot Vale – new community hub
  • Revitilising and activating the Maribyrnong River
  • Cycling and walking connections in Keilor East
  • Fletcher Street streetscape improvement
  • Beautifying the public realm of Milleara Shopping Centre
  • Montgomery Park – integrated early-years-service hub

 

Projects recommended for delay until 2026-2030

These projects were scheduled to begin between 2018-2021

  • Cycling and walking safety around Strathmore Secondary College
  • Fairbairn Park carpark expansion
  • Aberfeldie Park playground upgrade
  • Overland Reserve playspace upgrade

These projects were scheduled to begin between 2022-2025

  • Clifton Park and Ascot Chase water harvesting
  • Moonee Ponds Creek revitilisation
  • Carparks at Aberfeldie, Afton St, Buckley Park, Overland Reserve
  • Revitilisation of economic activity at Centreway
  • Boeing Reserve Youth Park upgrade

 

Projects brought forward to be completed by 2021

  • Water efficiency works in Strathmore Heights
  • Boeing Reserve shared path upgrade
  • Clifton Park traffic management works
  • AJ Davis Reserve carpark
  • Boathouse Café surrounds upgrade
  • Racecourse Rd streetscape improvements
  • Flemington Community Hub (design)

Projects brought forward to be completed by 2025

  • Clifton Park signage upgrade
  • Ascot Vale all access playground
  • Lloyd St public toilet 

Projects brought forward to be completed by 2030

  • Debneys Park water harvesting project
  • Walter Street Reserve Pavilion
  • Queens Park new public toilet

 

Projects added:

To be delivered immediately (before 2021)

  • Activation of 625 Mt Alexander Rd
  • Afton Street Footbridge Rehabilitation
  • Moonee Ponds Court House Activation Project
  • Ascot Vale Library upgrade
  • Creating welcoming environments for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within Council owned leisure facilities
  • Leisure facilities style guide implementation
  • Reciprocal memberships for Council leisure facilities
  • Passive Irrigation for street trees
  • Quinn Grove Precinct Implementation
  • Boeing Reserve Biodiversity project
  • Settlers Cottage – Artist Studio
  • Essendon Traffic School Learning Centre
  • Hansen Reserve Lighting
  • Aberfeldie Park JA Fullarton Temporary Facilities
  • Lebanon Reserve Lighting Project
  • Woodlands Cottage Veranda Extension
  • Communication Platform replacement
  • Homer St/Eddy St Intersection
  • Maribyrnong Park (Monk Oval) Sports Field upgrade
  • Clifton Park – Sports Field Upgrade
  • Keilor Rd and Hoffmans Rd ROW, Niddrie
  • Hockey Lane Lighting upgrade
  • Chris Lane Memorial Baseball Field
  • Client Management System Replacement
  • Community safety initiatives 
  • Indigenous and cultural signage

To be completed before 2025

  • Matthews Avenue, Airport West – Road reconstruction
  • Lebanon Reserve Sports field update
  • Strathnaver Reserve Sports field upgrade
  • Doyle Street Sports Field upgrade

To be completed after 2031 and up to 2045

  • Reinvigourate the Airport West Industrial Area
  • Strategic Property Investments
  • Debneys Park Precinct Development
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Debneys Park

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