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Plans for pocket park outside ACCA on the horizon

Plans for pocket park outside ACCA on the horizon
Brendan Rees

Next steps to turn a vacant site outside the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) building into a green space is expected to be revealed later this year.

Last October, Albert Park MP Nina Taylor Minister joined Environment and Climate Action Minister Lily D’Ambrosio and Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece in announcing a pocket park would transform a “desolate wasteland of granitic sand” at the corner of Grant and Sturt streets into a new green space and dog park.

The proposal was part of a Labor government commitment leading into last November’s state election, in which it pledged to provide a $1.5 million grant to the City of Melbourne to deliver the project.

When asked by Southbank News in February when the project was expected to begin, Ms Taylor said, “We hope to have more details later this year, and I’ll be keeping people up to date with any news as soon as I have it”.

“The plans to develop a new green space at Southbank will help make the area more connected and accessible to visitors,” she said.

A Victorian Government spokesperson said ACCA would develop a concept plan for the new green space in conjunction with the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, as well as the City of Melbourne.

 

“This project will build on the shared open space network across Melbourne and deliver an area that reflects the contemporary Arts Precinct,” the spokesperson said, adding “we expect to have more detail to share in late 2023”.

 

Last year the Southbank residents’ group Southbank3006 pitched a proposal to create a dog park and green space for the ACCA forecourt area.

The ACCA green space would be in addition to an off-leash dog park being considered by the City of Melbourne as part of stage six of the Southbank Boulevard project.

Concept plans show a proposed fenced, off-lead dog park would be situated on the north-eastern corner of the City Rd intersection, with scoping and feasibility work on the project beginning this year.

Southbank3006’s president David Hamilton said they were looking forward to the ACCA project coming to fruition, maintaining the solution to open space in Southbank was thinking creatively and not be locked into “expensive land acquisition schemes”.

He said, “hopefully it’s the first of many that we identify” for green spaces, which “also yet again highlights we need a traffic management plan for all of Southbank deals with converting on street parking to some sort of more open space”.

In February, Lord Mayor Sally Capp acknowledged Southbank was one of Melbourne’s most densely populated suburbs, and that the City of Melbourne was “in the market” in looking for “appropriate places at affordable prices” to bring more open spaces to Southbank.

ACCA’s CEO Max Delaney last October said the proposal was part of a “wider series of developments taking place across the Melbourne Arts Precinct, to improve the amenity of our cultural infrastructure and public realm, and to enhance the precinct as a destination for residents and wider community”.

 

Caption: A space next to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art building will be transformed into a pocket park.

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