Fact sheet April 2019

Keeping local sports clubs thriving while we build North East Link

North East Link will connect the M80 Ring Road to an upgraded Eastern Freeway – finally fixing the missing link in Melbourne’s road network. It's Victoria’s priority road project and our state’s largest ever.

The project includes Victoria’s longest twin road tunnels, a massive overhaul of the Eastern Freeway, Melbourne’s first dedicated high-speed busway and more than 25km of new and upgraded walking and cycling paths.

While disruptions to get this massive project built are unavoidable, including temporary or permanent occupation of sports fields and facilities, we know that through careful planning and consultation with communities we can manage this well.

We’ve started early and are already working with local councils, sports clubs and community groups to look at how to best keep local clubs running and thriving during construction and beyond.

We know that strong sports clubs help make strong communities. We've committed to minimise impact on sporting and recreation facilities and are working in collaboration with councils, clubs and communities to find suitable replacement facilities for affected clubs during construction, and, where needed options for permanent relocation.

Consultation so far

Over the last year we’ve been working hard to understand how North East Link could affect sports clubs, groups and facilities.

While the project design for North East Link is still not yet final, we’ve met with club committees, facility managers, local councils, state sporting associations, schools and other land owners to explore potential options for temporary or permanent relocation where they could be needed.

Our planning is considering how to best support clubs while North East Link is being built as well as how to set them up for success well into the future. Temporary options may involve upgrading existing facilities to support relocation. Permanent options may involve building new facilities.

The options we’ve developed so far for each affected club are not final.

There are still lots of opportunities to get involved including by commenting on an Environment Effects Statement (EES) as part of planning approvals for the project.

Our guiding principles

We’ve used the following guiding principles to help develop and assess potential replacement and relocation options for clubs.

  • provide a suitable replacement facility that meets current standards
  • be located reasonably close to the existing site
  • be available in a timely manner to minimise disruptions and support ongoing participation in the club or activity.

How we’re working with clubs, councils and other stakeholders

Understanding the impacts

  • Meeting with sports clubs and facilities affected by North East Link and local councils to understand their needs and concerns.
  • Studying how people and clubs use sports facilities now and how this may change over time, including by looking at strategic plans for the local area and population growth.

Exploring and assessing options

Developing options for each sports club and facility including looking at where upgrades to existing facilities or new facilities may be needed and getting input from land owners such as local councils, and other interested groups such as state sporting associations.

Refining the options

  • Meeting with club committees, councils and other key stakeholders to discuss proposed options.
  • Considering feedback and refining the options.

Presenting the options (we are here)

  • Options are now on display for public comment as part of an Environment Effects Statement (EES). There are opportunities for you to make a submission and have your views considered as part of planning approvals decisions for North East Link.

Refining the options further

  • We’ll use what we hear through the EES process, and further consultation with councils, communities and interested groups to refine relocation options further.

Developing a more detailed project design and plan

  • Once the detailed project design and construction timeline for North East Link are finalised, and we know which clubs and facilities need to be relocated and have agreed plans in place, we’ll work to make sure their transition to temporary or permanent facilities is smooth and disruptions are minimised.

Relocation options so far

Bulleen Park Area

Some community sports fields and facilities would need to be permanently relocated to build and operate the North East Link tunnels, an interchange between North East Link and the Eastern Freeway and a new Busway Park and Ride.

Permanent acquisition of community sports fields and facilities in the area would include:

  • Boroondara Tennis Centre
  • Bulleen Park Oval 1
  • part of the Freeway Golf course along Bulleen Road (four golf holes).

We’ve been working with Boroondara and Manningham councils, clubs, facility managers and other landowners to discuss and investigate options for existing users of the area including:

  • reconfiguring Bulleen Park to better use available space
  • creating new spaces nearby, including a possible option on Templestowe Road.

Three of the seven options for the area discussed so far, including benefits and challenges for each, are shown in the table below.

These options represent ideas and opportunities developed with input from councils, North East Link, affected clubs and facilities. They are not final and will continue to be refined and discussed as work on planning and designing North East Link continues.

Additional opportunities have also been identified to improve the Bulleen Park area as part of the project, including:

  • safer and easier access by car, on foot, by bike and public transport
  • improved walking and cycling links to nearby trails and the Yarra River
  • upgrades to landscaping and parkland areas
  • more sustainable water management
  • better quality habitat for native plants and animals.

More information about engagement so far, the options shown in the table below as well as other options considered and put aside, is available in the EES.

Construction of the Eastern Freeway interchange is expected to start in 2021. As part of ongoing design work, consultation with clubs, facilities and councils and technical studies a staging plan would be developed to coordinate land acquisition and the construction of new facilities to minimise disruption and keep clubs running.

Option Relocation options Key opportunities Key challenges
2
  • Boroondara Tennis Centre relocated to Aeromodellers Field.
  • Freeway Golf Course extended to the Archery Field.
  • Bulleen Park Oval 1 relocated relocated within Bulleen Park.
  • Archery Field and soccer facilities on Bulleen Park fields 4 and 5 relocated to a new site, potentially on Templestowe Road.
  • Boroondara Tennis Centre and Freeway Golf Course kept within Bulleen Park area.
  • Freeway Golf Course maintained as an 18 hole par 69 course.
  • New archery and soccer facilities built on Templestowe Road.
  • Loss of public open space on Manningham Council land.
  • No option to relocate the Aeromodellers facility nearby and further investigation required.
  • Temporary options to access clubs during construction are being explored.
3
  • Boroondara Tennis Centre relocated north on Koonung Creek and land acquired from Bulleen Swim Centre and Manningham Hotel to construct North East Link.
  • Freeway Golf Course extended to Archery Field.
  • Bulleen Park Oval 1 relocated within Bulleen Park.
  • Archery Field and soccer facilities on Bulleen Park fields 4 and 5 relocated to a new site, potentially on Templestowe Road.
  • Boroondara Tennis Centre and Freeway Golf Course kept within Bulleen Park area.
  • Freeway Golf Course maintained as an 18 hole par 69 course.
  • New archery and soccer facilities built on Templestowe Road.
  • Relocation options available for all existing users.
  • Further technical studies and design work are needed to investigate timing around rebuilding Boroondara Tennis Centre on land also required to construct North East Link with minimal disruptions to the tennis centre.
  • Temporary options to access clubs during construction are being explored.
4
  • Boroondara Tennis Centre relocated on Freeway Golf Course. The golf course would be redesigned to include a nine hole course and other golf activities including mini golf and virtual golf.
  • Bulleen Park Oval 1 relocated within Bulleen Park.
  • Soccer facilities on Bulleen Park fields 4 and 5 relocated to a new site, potentially on Templestowe Road.
  • Boroondara Tennis Centre and Freeway Golf Course kept within Bulleen Park area.
  • Diversified golf offering for Freeway Golf Course.
  • New soccer facilities built on Templestowe Road.
  • Freeway Golf Club not maintained as 18 hole par 69 course.
  • Temporary options to access clubs during construction are being explored.

Bulleen Park area – existing sport facilities and proposed North East Link

The Bulleen Park area is home to a wide range of community sports clubs and facilities, each with different needs. We’re committed to keep working with sports clubs and facilities, councils and land owners affected by the project to discuss options, explore ideas and opportunities and provide suitable replacement facilities.

Sport and recreation groups that use facilities at Bulleen Park

Veneto Club Bulleen Lions Football Club
Bulleen Park Oval 1

Yarra Junior Football League

Bulleen Lions Football Club

Bulleen Park Oval 2 and 3

Yarraleen Cricket Club

Bulleen Templestowe Junior Football Club

Marcellin Old Collegians Football Club

Yarra Junior Football League

Bulleen Park soccer fields 4 and 5 Templestowe United Football Club (soccer)
Aeromodellers field Doncaster Aeromodellers Club
Archery field Yarra Bowman Archery Club
Freeway Golf Course

Harp Golf Club

Camberwell Golf Club

Casual users

Boroondara Tennis Centre Lessons, competition and casual users

M80 Ring Road to Lower Plenty Road

Three sports reserves could be temporarily occupied during construction (AK Lines, Gabonia Avenue and Winsor Reserves) and 6 sporting clubs relocated to nearby facilities from 2021 onwards.

We won’t know if all three reserves would be needed for construction until we have project builders on board and a detailed design ready. But we’re putting the planning work in now in collaboration with Banyule Council to make sure there are relocation options nearby for all potentially affected clubs.

Once construction for North East Link is complete, we will reinstate sports reserves affected by construction including looking at opportunities for upgrades where required in consultation with Banyule Council, clubs and communities.

Club

Relocation options being investigated

AK Lines Reserve, Watsonia

Plenty Valley Cricket Club

Temporarily relocate training and games to an upgraded Binnak Park Oval, Watsonia North.

St Mary’s Junior Football Club

Temporarily relocate training and games to a new shared facility at Greensborough College.

Watsonia Football Club

Temporarily relocate to one of Barling Reserve, Reservoir, Redleap Reserve, Mill Park or La Trobe University, Bundoora. Facility upgrades would be needed.

Watsonia Scouts

Relocation is not required. The Scout Hall and play space will remain accessible during construction and vehicle access would be maintained.

Gabonia Reserve, Watsonia

Watsonia Heights Football Club

Temporarily relocate training and games to a new shared facility including FIFA-certified synthetic turf soccer field at Greensborough College.

Winsor Reserve, Watsonia

Macleod Junior Football Club

Temporarily relocate competition to De Winton Reserve, Heidelberg and bring senior and junior clubs together on one site.

Temporarily relocate training to a new shared facility at Greensborough College.

Macleod Cricket Club

Temporarily relocate competition to a new shared facility at Greensborough College.

Playground

The playground would not be occupied during construction and pedestrian and bicycle access would remain available for use.

Eastern Freeway

Two ovals at Elgar Park could be temporarily required to build North East Link.

The North East Oval has been identified as a potential construction compound to support works to upgrade the Eastern Freeway.

The oval is used as a junior competition venue by Mont Albert Cricket Club.

We’re working with the club and Whitehorse Council to explore nearby reserves that could be used as a temporary replacement. These include the Elgar Park South West Oval and reserves in Burwood, Vermont and Forest Hill. Other options are also being considered.

Elgar Park North West Oval could potentially be upgraded to improve flood water management. This is still to be confirmed through further design work, technical studies and consultation with Mont Albert Cricket Club, council and other interested groups.

About the Environment Effects Statement

An Environment Effects Statement (EES) is Victoria’s most robust and transparent impact assessment process. It gives decision makers such as the Minister for Planning the information they need to determine whether approvals should be granted and what conditions should apply.

The EES for North East Link has taken around one year to prepare. It assesses impacts during construction and operation across 18 study areas including social impacts and recommends ways to manage adverse effects.

You can find information about likely impacts on community facilities and how we are proposing to manage these in EES Chapter 17 Social and in a more detailed Technical Report I - Social.

The technical report also includes more information about the relocation options in this fact sheet in an appendix called Sport and Recreation Preliminary Options Assessment (Appendix F).

The EES, including the Sport and Recreation Preliminary Options Assessment is on display for public comment from 10 April to 7 June 2019.

Commenting on the EES gives you a chance to have your views considered in planning approvals decisions for North East Link.

You can read the EES on our website.

For more information about possible plans for your sports club, please contact North East Link at community@northeastlink.vic.gov.au or 1800 105 105