Sports vs nature for Rosalind Park

UPDATE 2.30PM: Rosalind Park Reference Group chair and steering committee member councillor James Williams says the park has been "let go a little bit" and has called on the community to drive the future direction. 

His comments follow the release of two Rosalind Park Recreation Reserve Precinct Masterplan concept plans, which detail different options for the future of the park. 

Councillor Williams said there remained a few issues at the park, and encouraged everyone to have their say to determine the best solution. 

He said he would personally like to see the removal of the asphalt and harsh barbed wire at the entrance on Barnard Street, more car parking, as well as making use of the pool in the park. 

"We are keen to re-populate Bendigo and in doing that we need more open spaces and to develop the park," he said. 

"Options will arise in the future and we need to get the management and vision brought together so we can have a clear driving force.

"The community really need to own this plan and we need to make decisions on the long-term interest of the whole community, not just the user groups involved."

He said the final masterplan might not look anything like the concept plans released today, but a balance needed to be struck with the help of the community. 

UPDATE: BENDIGO Senior Secondary principal Dale Pearce remains adamant the school will stay put, despite the possibility of removing the campus to make way for parkland.

Concept plans for the Rosalind Park Recreation Reserve Precinct Masterplan state that if the school was to move, the area would be cleared for parkland. 

But the decision to relocate the secondary school remains with Department of Education. 

Mr Pearce said the department would not force the school to move. 

"We continue to grow but if we need more space we will build a second campus. The department wouldn't seek to move us," he said. 

"I can't say what will happen in 20 to 30 years but I know there is no prospect of it now."

He said the decision to move the tennis courts at Rosalind Park also rested with the club. 

"Any major change to land use will be dependent on them wanting to move," he said. 

The reference group member threw his support behind further car parking while opening up other areas to car parking. 

Camp Hill Primary School principal and reference group member Leonie Roberts said all stakeholders were proud and protective of the park. 

"There are a lot of groups with vested interest and we want to see the people's needs built into the plan," she said. 

"At the school, we value the green space of our surroundings but we understand the needs of the sporting groups. We just want a balance to be met."

EARLIER: Residents could sway whether nature reserves in Rosalind Park are enhanced or sporting facilities form more of a focus. 

The City of Greater Bendigo is seeking community feedback on two Rosalind Park Recreation Reserve Precinct Masterplan concept plans, released this morning.

Concept A aims to preserve the passive parkland, retain and creatively re-use the historic buildings as well as limit car parking and vehicle access on site. 

It also includes a sunken garden on the site of the Barnard Street tennis courts and a sensory garden within part of the Tom Flood Sports Centre and the QEO cottage, as part of an integrated cottage garden.

Concept B proposes increased car parking, further enhancing the sporting uses of the park and finding appropriate uses for all buildings.


There is also the possibility of a tree-top walk above the park, opening up space around the wetland and limiting the fencing at the Barnard Street entrance. 

Strategy Manager Trevor Budge said there was currently fragmentation of the park, with a lack of multi-use areas. 

He said decisions needed to be made whether to renew, reassign or develop certain areas of the park. 

Council planning director Prue Mansfield said with further city growth came further pressure for a long-term vision. 

"We have no preference for a particular plan at this stage. We are waiting to hear what the public think," she said. 

The concept plans consider two timeframes: short to medium-term initiatives to be implemented over the next five to 25 years and a long-term vision spanning future generations. 

Camp Hill Primary School principal and reference group member Leonie Roberts said all stakeholders were proud and protective of the park. 

"There are a lot of groups with vested interest and we want to see the people's needs built into the plan," she said. 

"At the school, we value the green space of our surroundings but we understand the needs of the sporting groups. We just want a balance to be met."

Bendigo District Cricket Association president Wayne Walsh said while the club would like to see the park used as more of a sporting facility, the board was yet to discuss its official position. 

The Bendigo Advertiser has contacted several others stakeholders. 

Council's strategy unit will be consulting residents from late January to mid-February.

Residents can give their input by:

• Filling out an online survey at www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/rosalindpark or requesting a printed version.

• Sending an email with your comments to strategyunit@bendigo.vic.gov.au

The findings from the community consultation and survey will help to guide the preparation of a Draft Masterplan in the coming months.

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