Master Plan for Forrest Common revamp enters final stage
September 27, 2018
Plans for almost $500,000 of upgrades to the Forrest Common over the next 10 years are a step closer after Councillors endorsed a draft master plan for the parkland and released it for public comment last night.
The Draft Forrest Common Master Plan details a range of proposed infrastructure improvements identified in collaboration with community members through a number of engagement opportunities this year.
Plans include upgrades to existing bollards, a basketball area, seating, improved play space, an informal amphitheatre, interpretive signs and a concrete shared pathway circuit around the 1.5 hectare site.
Mayor Joe McCracken said the draft plan included a staged, prioritised and costed 10-year action plan - the delivery of which would be subject to future budget considerations, government grant applications and contributions from the Forrest community.
“The plan is an important piece of work that will guide future development, upgrades and renewal within the Common based on how the community would like to see the area used in the future,” he said.
“I’d like to commend community members and stakeholders who have already been involved in shaping the draft master plan and would urge as many people as possible to take this final opportunity to have their say before the plan comes back to Councillors for a final decision at a future meeting.”
Cr McCracken said the draft plan would be on public exhibition from Monday, October 1 to Friday, November 9.
“The Common is a much loved space that is used by locals, visitors, caravan park patrons, tourists, people using the mountain bike trails and for community events,” he said.
“We had 28 community members participate in drop in sessions during February this year. Key stakeholders and user groups were also engaged in separate meetings. An initial plan was prepared and presented to invited key stakeholders and user groups who had previously participated in the process.
“From there, feedback received was incorporated into this draft master plan to reflect, as best as possible, the expectations and requirements of the community based on the consultation completed.
“The plan is realistic and achievable and helps demonstrate an important need for investment in this highly valued community asset.”
Cr McCracken said the draft would be available on the Council website and the Forrest community website, would be promoted via Facebook and copies would be circulated through a host of existing community networks. Hard copies will be available at Council’s Customer Assist in Colac and Apollo Bay, and the Colac Community Library and Learning Centre.
“We’re reaching the end of this process to develop a master plan for the Common, so it’s important that community members who want to have a say take this opportunity to lodge a submission,” he said.