Details of our plans to restore the health of Yarra Park and reduce our reliance on potable water have become clearer after several months of meticulous preparation and consultation with stakeholders and authorities.
As has been noted previously, management of the Yarra Park precinct outside the MCG was transferred to the MCG Trust and the club from March 15 this year, following legislation that passed through Victorian Parliament in December 2009.
As part of this legislation, the MCC has developed a Yarra Park Master Plan to greatly improve the parkland and protect it from the effects of drought.
The most significant element of this plan is the club’s investment of $16m to construct and operate a water recycling facility.
This facility will produce 180 million litres of non-potable water annually, adequate water for a revitalised Yarra Park and also to significantly reduce the MCG’s water usage. This is an important component of the club’s overall environmental management initiative.
Our plans for the park include the re-establishment of avenues of trees and the introduction of tree protection measures, selected tree planting and additional mulching, new garden beds, lawn upgrades, playground improvements and new pedestrian paths.
The club has spent the past few months finalising the details of several important documents that will steer this work.
These include a Cultural and Heritage Management Plan, a Landscape Master Plan and a Management and Improvement Plan, which will cover the first three to four years of planned activities.
The contract to design, construct and operate the water recycling facility has also been tendered and is expected to be awarded in August.
Permits and works approvals for various aspects of the project have also been sought from several organisations including Heritage Victoria, Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, City West Water, Department of Health, City of Melbourne, VicRoads and Environment Protection Authority.
This extensive consultation is necessary to ensure all legislative requirements are met, as well as providing an opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to this significant development in Yarra Park.
A Yarra Park Advisory Committee has been formed to provide input into the proposed works.
Committee members are chairman Pat McNamara (MCG Trust), Stephen Gough (MCC), Dr Michelle Gallan and Dr Greg Moore (Victorian Government appointees), Cr Cathy Oke, Francis Khoo and Stuart Hamilton (nominated by City of Melbourne as community representatives).
Construction work on the water facility (underneath the park outside the Gate 2 members’ entrance) is scheduled to commence in mid-November this year.
It is expected that recycled water will be supplied to Yarra Park and the MCG by November 2011.