Wolstencroft Reserve funds good first step

CAMPAIGN: Wolstencroft Area Action Group members in the Wolstencroft Reserve. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY
CAMPAIGN: Wolstencroft Area Action Group members in the Wolstencroft Reserve. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

FLORA Hill residents have welcomed $50,000 of City of Greater Bendigo funding for the redevelopment of a local reserve, but say there are more questions to be answered.

The council has allocated $50,000 for land improvement works at Wolstencroft Reserve in this year's draft budget which is due to be voted on at tomorrow night's council meeting.

A master plan for the site was developed in 2008 and residents have been petitioning the City for it to be enacted.

The site once housed a brickworks and was later used as a dumping ground for building waste before being covered with grass for use as a community space.

City of Greater Bendigo presentation and assets director Darren Fuzzard said the proposed funding, if approved, would be used for temporary works while investigations into the site's rehabilitation continued.

Mr Fuzzard said council had received the result of soil testing at the reserve about two weeks ago but said more investigation was required before any permanent works could proceed.

Wolstencroft Area Action Group spokesman Ian McBurney said the funding would be a welcome first step to achieving the master plan.

"It's been a six-year process to get anywhere, we've been through three councils in that time so bringing each new council up to speed has been quite time consuming," Mr McBurney said.

"This is a small step towards what we hope will be a fantastic asset for Bendigo and to have it as a draw card for the local community will be wonderful." 

But Flora Hill resident Malcolm Randall said any permanent redevelopment was likely still years away.

"It does concern me when they say they need to do more investigation. They're talking about rehabilitation and that makes alarm bells go off in my head," Mr Randall said.

"Anything would be good and at least we'll get the feeling things are moving forward. We'll wait and see, but given their track record, I'm not holding my breath."