As well as external investment in the region, East Gippsland Shire Council invests heavily in infrastructure and services for the region. Current investment includes the upgrade of Bairnsdale Library, a major drainage project at Eastern Creek Lakes Entrance and the establishment of a new works depot in Lakes Entrance to name but a few.
East Gippsland All Abilities Playground
First initiated by the East Gippsland All Abilities Playground Association Inc, Bairnsdale’s All Abilities Playground is a themed play space that reflects the East Gippsland landscape and major regional activities.
The play space includes “mountains” with play structures based on an old sawmill. A “riverbed” connects the mountains to the “sea” with a large shipwreck-themed play space. The playground also includes play equipment designed for use by all ages and all ability levels, and sheltered picnic and BBQ facilities.
Council has committed $450,000 to the project, which will be spent developing an access road from Macleod Street, car and bus parking, and a new accessible public toilet. The East Gippsland All Abilities Playground Association has received around $100,000 in donations and commitments towards the playground development and the State Government has committed $500,000.
While the project has been delayed due to unforeseen issues with the existing power lines, Telstra service pit and East Gippsland Water underground infrastructure, these issues have now been resolved and it will be put out to tender soon. The project is due for completion in late 2012 or early 2013.
Bairnsdale businesses are encouraged to participate in “Re-imagine Bairnsdale”, a major project that aims to revitalise the Bairnsdale central business district. The Council has engaged a team comprising urban designers, engineers and landscape architects to work with the CBD Reference Group to prepare streetscape and public space plans that build on the centre’s strengths to better meet the needs of local residents, businesses and visitors.
Over the next three years, the Council will work towards creating more inviting and functional public spaces by investing in improved pedestrian environments, safer traffic and pedestrian interfaces, new signage, public art, landscaping and opportunities for social, cultural and commercial activity. This aims to boost local businesses by attracting more visitors and events to the city centre.
Draft concept plans released for public comment show preliminary ideas for a revamp of the Nicholson Street Mall, enhancing the “grand boulevard” of the Main Street Gardens and improving pedestrian crossings and linkages throughout the city centre.
A new CBD business-planning group is working with the CBD Reference Group to raise the profile of the CBD through marketing, business development and events. For further information, visit the interactive online blog.
VicRoads is also beginning work to improve road safety on Main Street. For further information, please visit the VicRoads website.
Bairnsdale City Oval
Work is well underway on upgrading facilities at Bairnsdale City Oval, including new lighting, sealed roads and car parks and improvements to drainage, power supply and landscaping.
Lighting on the main oval has been upgraded to 200 lux competition level lighting, which means that semi-professional night games can now be held at the oval. The same level of lighting has been installed on both netball courts to allow high-level training and competition netball to be played at night. The Council has spent around $400,000 on the lighting improvements.
The Bairnsdale City Oval upgrade, which is due for completion around April 2013, will also include a new turf cricket wicket for the main oval, at a cost of around $30,000 and a new netball clubroom, costing around $60,000.
Bancroft Bay (Metung) Marina Redevelopment – Phase 1
The Council is contributing $5.5million towards the redevelopment of Bancroft Bay Marina in Metung.
Designed to improve transient boating accommodation and generate tourism in the Gippsland Lakes, the Bancroft Bay Marina Redevelopment includes a new five-hectare marina with 161 fully serviced berths (144 for exclusive use and 17 for public access) and accommodation for approximately 45 public moorings. It also includes a loading jetty to improve access to Mosquito Point Island.
The Bancroft Bay Marina redevelopment will meet increasing demands for boating infrastructure in the Gippsland Lakes and will significantly improve connectivity throughout the lakes, linking major touring routes from the Port of Sale through Paynesville to Lakes Entrance. It will help attract and accommodate significant regional sailing events.
The project is part of an integrated foreshore development in Metung, linking into the existing 850 metres of public boardwalk infrastructure.
Jetty Number 5, Slip Bight Marina, Paynesville
The Council has opened 50 new jetty berths at Slip Bight Marina in Paynesville as part of an ongoing investment of $1.2 million in asset improvements at the marina.
Jetty Number 5 was completed in December and 23 berths of various sizes available have already been taken up.
The Slip Bight Marina dates back to the former Shire of Bairnsdale, which instigated the facility to meet public demand.
The jetty upgrade is the result of a successful community project and has helped to boost the local economy by attracting boat owners and their families into the region.
Future improvements at the site will include a sealed car park, landscaping, footpath and lighting.
Bairnsdale Library upgrade
The Council will spend $2.81 million on a major extension and upgrade of the Bairnsdale Library to add a variety of spaces including lounges, casual seating areas, balconies, a junior library with play courtyard, and meeting rooms. The upgrade also includes an extension to the Hal Porter study, which houses the local history collection.
Designed by NOWarchitecture following extensive public consultation, the upgrade includes a second-storey addition that is designed to respect and integrate with the existing heritage building while providing for the needs of a busy contemporary library.
The upgraded library will improve community access to a broad spectrum of information such as that provided by local government: information about whether or not a planning permit is required, grant opportunities and where to take your waste.
The Council is seeking external government funding to cover the cost of additional features included in the fit-out concept.
Paynesville Town Centre Infrastructure Improvements
The Council has funded a range of infrastructure improvements to support the expansion and growth of the Paynesville town centre, including improvements to traffic flow, car parking and open space.
The project supports commercial growth and will improve public amenity and pedestrian accessibility, traffic circulation and parking for the Paynesville town centre. It includes a major upgrade of Gilsenan Reserve in the town centre to create a quality town park.
The Gilsenan Reserve improvements include new walking paths, landscaping, seating and recreation spaces, and an upgrade to the children’s playground. Pedestrian access will be improved with new walking paths through the reserve connecting the town centre to the residential areas of Paynesville, and Fleischer Street will be extended from The Esplanade to Victoria Street to improve traffic flow in the town centre.
Bairnsdale Aerodrome upgrade
A $1.8 million upgrade is underway at Bairnsdale Aerodrome, including improved refuelling and taxiways and stage-one hangar development. Work on the refuelling station will be completed soon. Council contributed $200,000 to the upgrade.
Outdoor Pool replacement
Repair works are underway to improve water efficiency and extend the operating life of the Orbost Outdoor Pool. Originally planned to begin last year, the works were delayed due to heavy rains throughout Victoria and the demand it placed on specialised pool contractors.The project is due for completion late this year before the busy summer season.
Council has awarded a tender for the Aquatic Feasibility Study to ‘InSync’ consultants. Council officers are now finalising the draft report of the feasibility study and business case options for design,in conjunction with preferred land envelope for the pool expansion at the BARC.
For further information about what East Gippsland Shire Council has planned for the future, please see Plans and Projects.