Last Tuesday night saw a packed building at Montrose Town Hall for the Council meeting to discuss the Mt Evelyn Recreation Reserve Master Plan. Only a small group of those who turned up were able to fit in to hear the debate, a large group, mainly members of the Mt Evelyn Football Netball Club, had to wait outside but were able to watch through the full length windows.
The debate took roughly 90 minutes, with Clare Worsnop, President of Mt Evelyn Protection and Progress Association (MEEPPA), speaking against the development of the lower oval, and Mal Darke, President of the Mt Evelyn Junior Football Club, speaking in support of the entirety of the Master Plan.
After much discussion between Councillors, and the concern made by Cr Clarke that the updates to the lower oval in particular would not be able to host the ongoing growth of the Mt Evelyn Football Netball Club into the future, the motion was passed to endorse the Mt Evelyn Recreation Reserve Master Plan with the following amendments:
(a) Council expediting opportunities to develop partnerships with land owners such as the Department of Education and facilitate access to alternative sporting grounds to serve the long term training needs of Mt Evelyn Junior and Senior Football Clubs.
(b) Further investigation to occur to minimise light spill.
(c) Extra tree planting along the north and north-eastern side of the netball courts to add density which will reduce floodlight spill.
(d) Council Officers to investigate the estabishment of a Recreation Reserve Committee of Management to incorporate all key stakeholders, including sporting clubs and MEEPPA, to facilitate collaboraton in future conversations regarding the management of Mount Evelyn Recreation Reserve.
(e) The lower oval needs to be formed so that there is no additional runoff into the creek, in consultation with Melbourne Water
(f) On the lower oval, any new grass type will be determined in consultation with Melbourne Water, Councils environment team and a sports turf specialist
(g) The level of noise produced by the sirens to be further investigated by Council Officers and AFL Yarra Ranges