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Domain Park vision endorsed

05 Mar 2019

Domain Park vision endorsed Image

By Kevin Jingga

New pedestrian and cycle paths, increased accessibility, enhanced ecology and a new “treetop walk” highlight a new 20-year master plan for our iconic Domain parklands.

At their February 19 Future Melbourne Committee (FMC) meeting, City of Melbourne councillors unanimously endorsed the master plan, which seeks to improve accessibility, tackle population growth and address climate change.

The master plan focuses on nurturing ecology and land diversity, acknowledging historical and cultural heritage, supporting visitor experience, improving pedestrian access and building resilience.

The Domain parklands are more than 150 years old and nearly 123 hectares. They include Royal Botanic Gardens, Shrine of Remembrance, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Government House, Alexandra Park, Alexandra Gardens, the Queen Victoria Gardens and Kings Domain.

The plan seeks to improve connection to the city and offers opportunities to collaborate among the park’s many attractions in order to enhance broader destination management.

The master plan also aims to repurpose the existing road spaces. It includes creating a drop off/pick up zone at the Yarra boathouses, reviewing parking restrictions, improving signage and preparing pedestrian access in response to the new Anzac Station.

“The Domain parklands are the lungs of our city, our answer to New York’s Central Park or London’s Hyde Park. Many people will fondly recall attending concerts in the Domain, picnicking by the Yarra or running around the Tan as a daily ritual,” Councillor Cathy Oke said.

“Working with traditional owners to better acknowledge the significant Aboriginal cultural heritage of the parklands is also of upmost importance to us.”

Cr Oke said the master plan sought to continue the trial of resilient tree species to expand the city arboretum in partnership with Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria (RBGV).

“Our aging urban forest within Domain parklands faces new climate and population growth challenges. As trees reach their end of life, we can make strategic decisions about suitable replacement species that will thrive into the future,” she said.

Cr Oke also said that a new “treetop walk” could be considered to build forest accessibility to everyone.

The master plan also aims to repurpose the existing road spaces. It includes creating a drop off/pick up zone at the Yarra boathouses, reviewing parking restrictions, improving signage and preparing pedestrian access in response to the Metro Tunnel project’s completion of Anzac Station.

There will be no road closures taking place in these long-term plans before Anzac Station is opened at the doorstep of the parklands.

Speaking at the FMC meeting on February 19, Southbank Residents’ Association (SRA) president Tony Penna praised the plan and thanked council officers for their extensive consultation with SRA during the master planning.

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