Construction set to begin

James Merlino turned the sod on the nature based play space - part the Olinda Precint Plan.

Contracts have been awarded for the construction of the Olinda playspace and dog off-lead area as part of Stage Two works of the Olinda Precinct Project.

James Merlino turned the sod on the nature based play space on October 26.

The Andrews Government has provided $7.67million in total towards the Olinda Precinct Project, including $1.25million for the playspace.

The Olinda Playspace will be the first regional-scale nature based playspace on Mount Dandenong, designed by award-winning Fitzgerald Frisby Landscape Architecture (FFLA).

The design has responded directly to the community’s vision for the playspace after the Olinda Community Open Day in November 2018, where over 50 children and adults contributed their ideas for the area.

That open day revealed a strong desire for nature-play, use of timber, water features and terraced rock structures.

The play space forms part of the broader Olinda Precinct Project recently came under fire from residents who were concerned about the over development of the location.

In a post on Facebook Mr Merlino conceded that there was opposition to the project but hoped everyone’s needs can be accommodated.

“Whilst I know there is a small group of people who are opposed to a new oval as part of the Olinda Precinct Project and want nothing at all to happen, I think it’s important to highlight that the oval equates to only 4.9% of the 34 hectare former golf course – we can accommodate everyone’s needs in the precinct!,” it stated

“We will turn the old golf course into public parklands with something for everyone – active and passive recreation, an incredible regional playground, sports oval, netball court, dog off lead area, walking trails, community BBQ’s, shelter, seating, landscaping and picnic facilities.”

“The boys and girls who run around and kick a footy, bowl a cricket ball or throw a netball have just as much a right to enjoy this precinct as people who enjoy walking or taking their dog for a run.”