GARY Van Wynen looks at a wide expanse of unused land behind Axedale Primary School and has one thing in mind: a football-netball club for the growing town.
The Axedale Tavern publican says the land would make the ideal place for a new oval, with a large housing development being constructed right across the road.
“A footy oval is one thing I would really want to get going in the town,” he said.
“We want to see a club that might be struggling to consider coming here.”
Like other small towns near Bendigo, Axedale has seen a relative explosion in rezoning and subdivisions leading to the construction of new houses, and hundreds of new residents.
And, like other towns, community facilities are struggling to keep pace.
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The Van Wynens have done what they can to bring commerce to the town, continually finding new ways to improve the services offered to patrons at the Axedale Tavern.
Yet poor internet reception, a lack of footpaths and limited space for community groups are among the issues that need addressing.
Tara Coffin-Harrold moved to Axedale from Eagehawk with her family on New Year’s Day to run the Rotary Youth Camp on the banks of the Campaspe River.
She said they were fortunate to be able to manage the 25-acre property, giving them the chance to meet people from all over the world.
But Ms Coffin-Harrold said without their extensive land, their children would probably get bored.
“Axedale is great for its old-time feel, but it is lacking some community assets,” she said.
“There’s not a huge amount for kids to do. There’s the park, and that’s pretty much it. Thankfully we have this place for our family.”
An ageing population has allowed community groups to flourish, such as the CWA, Axedale in Harmony, the quilters, scrap booking, craft groups and LandCare.
There is now a push for the Uniting Church to become a shared community space.
Further speed limit reductions could also be brought in to ease pedestrian safety concerns.
Despite the need for more infrastructure, Ms Coffin-Harrold said she could see why more people were moving to Axedale.
“A job came up at the camp and ever since we moved, we have loved it,” she said.
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