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Council welcomes Lewis Park funding pledge

Knox City Council has welcomed the Victorian Opposition’s commitment of $5 million towards the redevelopment of Lewis Park in Wantirna South.

Council has an exciting plan to turn the 40-hectare parkland in to Knox’s central park.

Some elements of stage 2 of the plan are contingent on external funding. The Opposition’s pledge of $5 million will enable us to deliver a new sports pavilion, revamped skate park and BMX area, multi-purpose courts, a mountain bike track, new nature playground, picnic and barbecue areas, and flexible car parking for potential future community events.

Community sports clubs to benefit from the major redevelopment include Fairpark Junior Football Club, Knox City Cricket Club, Wantirna South Cricket Club and Wantirna South Junior Football Club.

This follows the announcement of funding for stage one of the plan earlier this year. The work to restore a 1.6 kilometre stretch of Blind Creek from an underground concrete pipe into an aboveground natural waterway will begin next year. It includes creating wetlands with pedestrian bridges, waterway crossings and boardwalks.

Melbourne Water is delivering the first stage of works and contributing $11.1 million. Council is contributing $3.5 million and the Victorian Government is contributing $2.5 million from the Integrated Water Management program.

Knox Mayor, Cr Susan Laukens said it was pleasing that both the Government and Opposition have recognised the significance of Lewis Park for the community and future generations but more funding is needed to deliver the various stages of the plan.

“It takes all levels of government working together to respond to the changing needs of our community and I am grateful that we’re making progress in our advocacy efforts,” she said.

“We are investing in Lewis Park in a big way because it is one of the largest open spaces in Knox and in a critical location with a surrounding population expected to grow to 61,284 by 2041.

“As Melbourne continues to grow, fewer residents will have their own backyards and investment in public open space will be important for all levels of government to ensure the health and wellbeing of communities.

“The sports and play precinct, together with the wetlands and daylighted creek, will create a wonderful space for our community to come together and enjoy sport, recreation and nature.”

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