More people than ever are using our open spaces for sport and recreation.
There is now greater participation in football and soccer by women and girls. While that is positive for our community, the additional change facilities and playing fields required are placing considerable pressure on our assets.
Retention of open land which can be used in the future to meet these demands is vital.
During the development of the North East Link (NEL) project, we advocated to save the Boroondara Tennis Centre (BTC) and an 18-hole Freeway Golf Course (FGC).
This was our position at the Inquiry and Advisory Committee panel hearing in 2019. It was not supported by the panel nor the North East Link Project (NELP).
We were left with a difficult decision and sought to keep the open space that the FGC provides, although in a reduced footprint as an impact of the NEL. At no stage did we support NELP’s proposal to relocate the BTC to the golf course.
We know that Boroondara does not have any tracts of land equivalent in area to the 3.68 hectares occupied by the BTC, let alone the 6-7 hectares being acquired for the NEL in Koonung Creek Reserve.
The BTC has provided a regional competition and coaching venue for many in the east of Melbourne. The Victorian Government has advised us that it will be developing another regional tennis centre outside Boroondara to replace this facility.
The state has recognised the facility plays a role well beyond that which a council would typically provide in meeting local community needs. However at this stage we have not been advised of the location.
NELP has advised the BTC can remain operational at its current location until at least the end of 2022. The current lease on the BTC expires in 2021 and we will continue to lease the site to maintain access to it for as long as possible.