No score for Green Gully upgrades

The existing cricket pitch at Green Gully Reserve. (Supplied)

Hannah Hammoud

The final buzzer has once again sounded on the future of long-awaited upgrades to Green Gully Reserve.

At a meeting on April 16, Brimbank council again deliberated on the ‘Green Gully reserve northern precinct enhancement plan’ and determined not to proceed with the planned sports facilities at the site.

Over the last four financial years, council has spent more than $2 million on the project. In 2022, council extended the project timeline by an additional 12 months, with a revised completion date of June, 2025.

Councillor Maria Kerr said she was “appalled” by the decision.

“Tonight the biggest losers are in the north of Brimbank. The residents of Keilor Downs, the residents of Kealba, the residents of Keilor, the residents of Sydenham … it seems to me we’re always being put last on this council, ” she said.

“I’m very disappointed because we have spent $2 million of ratepayers money and we haven’t been able to deliver anything for that money.”

Cr Bruce Lancashire said there was a growing need for sports facilities in Brimbank as the population continues to grow.

“We have seen sporting facility after sporting facility cancelled, and proposals that really we don’t expect to ever see, proposed which will not compensate for these losses,” he said.

“[This] is just a real step backwards from ‘community first’, and a real step backwards in terms of sporting facilities. This is a dreadful loss – a dreadful shame.”

Upgrades to the site were set to include a range of facilities that were recommended for inclusion to provide additional sporting and recreational opportunities for the Brimbank community.

Proposed facilities included a senior size oval to cater for numerous sports, a multi-purpose pavilion with two change rooms, sports lighting, coaches boxes, high ball protection fencing, 100 space car parking, a picnic and playground area, pathway network, as well as a road extension (McRae Boulevard).

Council said it has determined the project to be too costly and too complex after it discovered Aboriginal artefacts at the site which could potentially blow the cost estimate of the project from $16.15 million to $17.70 million

Council noted there may be some future community use of the site, which can be referred to council’s ‘creating better parks open space and playground policy and plan’ for consideration.