Council approves Memorial Square masterplan
January 30, 2018
Colac Otway Shire Council has approved a masterplan for Colac’s Memorial Square which will include installation of a new irrigation system, construction of a new toilet block, increasing the size of the play space area and establishing a physical barrier around the play space in the form of long curved seating to enhance safety.
Extensive community consultation shaped the final version of the master plan which incorporates feedback and comments received by the community during the public exhibition period.
These changes include the design and installation of a new irrigation system and replacement of current turf with a more drought resistant grass, the addition of more picnic tables within the square along Murray and Gellibrand streets and re-positioning some existing seats.
Mayor Joe McCracken said community consultation and engagement indicated there was strong support for maintaining and upgrading what is already in the square, and ensuring the war memorial continues to be the main focus.
“There is no doubt that the War Memorial is the most significant aspect of the square, this has been reflected in the community’s suggested improvements to the square.
“We received a very clear message Memorial Square remains a much-loved and much-used space for its location, ambience and cultural and historical significance, enjoyed by locals and also visitors to Colac,” he said.
“Our community knows the square has good features and wants Council to enhance and improve facilities and features to make the space more attractive and functional,” Cr McCracken said.
“We also received a lot of feedback from the community about the play space. Council has incorporated additional seating for parents and caregivers which will provide a physical barrier to enhance safety of the play area. Strategically-placed plantings will also create a physical barrier.”
Detailed design of key pieces of infrastructure such as public toilets and the play space will be developed after further engagement with the community.
“Council already has an idea of the target age groups of children who use the play space. Further community consultation will be undertaken in the development and design of the play equipment and the area as a key piece of infrastructure in the square.”
The Memorial Square masterplan also identified the community’s interest to promote and enhance the existing events program to better utilise Memorial Square as an event space.
“Council will work to improve the square as a location for events. We will explore how to support event organisers toward better use of this important community space,” Cr McCracken said.
Cr McCracken said the masterplan was a long term plan to be implemented as funds become available, either through Council’s annual budget process or by seeking external funding opportunities.
“The Memorial Square master plan will provide guidance in seeking potential funding opportunities to implement improvements the community have told us they want,” Cr McCracken said.