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Council adopts master plan for Camp Reserve

Football being played under lights at Camp Reserve, Castlemaine

Council has adopted a master plan for Camp Reserve that will drive improvements to the major sports and recreation venue over the next 10 years.

Wednesday 16 September 2020

Mount Alexander Shire Council has adopted a master plan for Camp Reserve that will drive improvements to the major sports and recreation venue over the next 10 years.

The reserve in Castlemaine is one of Mount Alexander Shire’s major recreation reserves and holds historical significance as a former government camp in the gold rush era.

The high profile reserve is home to events like the Castlemaine Agricultural Show and local sports clubs like Castlemaine Football Netball Club and Castlemaine United Cricket Club.

The 2020 Camp Reserve Master Plan was developed in consultation with the reserve’s Committee of Management, now known as the Camp Reserve Community Asset Committee, and the community. It was informed by technical advice from independent consultancies.

The adopted master plan seeks to respond to the environmental, cultural, sporting and community aspirations, and the needs and requirements for the site, which are constrained by its size, flooding overlay, topography and history.

According to Mount Alexander Shire Mayor Christine Henderson the plan aims to bring the major sporting and events facility up to modern day standards, while preserving historic features and traditions at the reserve.

The plan includes key features such as:

- A new community pavilion for club and community use with change rooms, social areas, meeting space, storage and kitchen facilities – the proposed pavilion will be located outside the flood zone on the western flank of the reserve.
- New public toilets and female-friendly change facilities in the pavilion.
- A fully compliant netball court and multi-use community court (netball and basketball) with training lights, coaches box, drinking fountain and spectator viewing shelter, located at the southern end of the reserve.
- An improved circular pathway around the reserve, including a link from Forest Street to Castlemaine Railway Station.

Other recommendations include replacement of cricket nets, an event lawn, interpretive signage and an additional 60 additional designated car parking spaces within the reserve at key locations.

Aging infrastructure like old club rooms, toilets, change facilities, the poultry pavilion and some fencing would be removed.

The Poplar and Elm trees that line the east side of the reserve will stay, along with elements with heritage significance such as the agricultural / table tennis pavilion and horse stables.

A number of trees will be need to be removed and a palm tree will be relocated to make way for the new courts when they are built.

"The master plan recognises the importance of the Camp Reserve as a major senior sports venue for football, netball and cricket, and much-loved community events like the Castlemaine Show,” said Mayor Henderson.

“We also heard the reserve is highly valued as an accessible green space for the community to walk, exercise and participate in informal activities throughout the week.

“The 2020 plan was developed based on further feedback from the committee of management, and nearly 90 submissions received during public consultation on the draft plan in mid-2019.

“It was informed by a number of independent reports which looked at impacts on traffic, heritage, trees, and flood in response to concerns we heard during community engagement.

“This included things like the location of the pavilion, car parks and pathways, and a strong desire to protect trees and heritage at the reserve,” said Mayor Henderson.

Further consultation will be undertaken on detailed designs for major elements such as the community pavilion and court design.

The upgrade to infrastructure is expected to cost around $6 to $7 million and will be delivered over a number of years. Council will use the plan to seek funding from state and federal funding programs to progress the proposed upgrades as opportunities arise.

The master plan was informed by strategic documents including Council’s Mount Alexander Reserves Improvement Plan (2010) and the Public Open Space Strategy (2016).

The document is undergoing some changes to the design of the plan and will be soon be available on Council’s website.

Image: Football being played under lights at Camp Reserve, Castlemaine.

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