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Squeeze on space

Friday, February 9, 2018

Bayside is not alone in facing a shortage of available open space for organised sport.

Mayor Cr Laurence Evans said as the population of Melbourne has grown so too has competition for open space.

“This is a problem that has been in our sights for a number of years,” said Cr Laurence Evans.

“We've got an aggressive strategy to try and deal with it which includes a record investment in upgrading grounds and facilities to cope with the increase in numbers.

“Across the term of this Council we will spend another $68 million on improving sporting infrastructure.

“This means the grounds we do have are better positioned to cope with more teams. But space is finite, and there are very few opportunities to create new grounds.

“This is not just a problem for sport. This is a whole of community problem. We're open to solutions for how we can manage the problem but it's not a simple equation. We have strong demand for open space available for passive recreation as well as organised sport.

“This is a problem right across Melbourne. Councils and the state government need to work together to plan for and respond to the rapid population growth and competition for open space.

“There are statewide strategies which direct development intensification in the inner suburbs to house the growing population and these are putting increased pressure on open space.

“The growth in female sport is something to be celebrated and encouraged. We’ve led a campaign for more investment by all levels of government to accommodate the growth in female participation.

“The last thing we want to see is players missing out. We will keep working with sporting associations and clubs on solutions for managing the problem while we continue to upgrade our infrastructure,” said Cr Evans.