By Rowan Forster
BMX enthusiasts have emerged triumphant in a long-running saga to have a stunt track included in Cockatoo’s Alma Treloar Masterplan.
Councillors on Monday night opted to approve the recommended $1.6 million overhaul, which will feature the sought-after BMX facility, an off-leash dog area and new public toilets.
Upon completion, Alma Treloar Reserve will serve as the main open space area in the municipality’s Ranges Ward.
“This reserve is right in the heart of Cockatoo and it has a great number of uses,” Councillor Leticia Wilmot said.
“The BMX facility will be one of the first things that will happen on the site once we’ve adopted this plan.
The draft had it in a different position; however, the Master Plan listened to the public and relocated it.”
Approximately $350,000 has been allocated in Cardinia Shire’s current budget to facilitate the BMX facility development.
It is expected to commence within months.
The upgraded off-leash dog area, touted as the other big inclusion for the park, will commence shortly after.
It will feature an enclosed area with temporary agility equipment, which can be to moved to make way for circus tents and community events.
Other features of the revitalised park will include new fitness stations, a sealed car park, shade sails, barbecues and tennis court improvements.
The BMX track, however, remains the marquee attraction.
“They’ve been advocating for the BMX facility for many years,” Councillor Jeff Springfield said.
“This’ll give the kids – and the big kids out there – even more reason to be outdoors and enjoying life in Cockatoo.”
Cockatoo mother-of-two Kathy Phillips said the township’s BMX track sub-committee had lobbied for the facility since 2014.
The group even spearheaded a petition, urging Cardinia Shire to act.
It garnered more than 240 signatures – a respectable result for a population of about 4200.
“It’s important for Cockatoo and it needs to happen,” she had told the Gazette.
“There’s just nothing for kids to do around here.
“There are more than 1200 kids under 15 years old in Cockatoo, yet it’s really lacking in recreational facilities.
“We haven’t really got a decent park.”
The project is being joint funded through the State Government’s Growing Suburbs initiative.