The University owns the 18-hectare site, which is located north of its Melbourne campus in Bundoora and leased to the Strathallan Golf Club until January 2019. The University is now beginning the process of determining the next long-term use for the land once the lease expires and the land ceases to be a golf course.
Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the University recognised the potential benefits in releasing the land, with potential development in some areas, and wanted to hear the ideas of the wider community.
“As a University we embrace and welcome discussion and debate on important issues, and this is why we want to hear the community’s views on how to best utilise this piece of land,” Professor Dewar said.
He said there are many opportunities for the site to be used to enhance local community infrastructure and facilities. The site could become many things in the future, a home to innovative spaces to live and work, exciting new community and recreational facilities, walking paths, cycling trails or outdoor exercise equipment – all integrated with public parkland and bush reserves, interlinked with the University’s existing wildlife sanctuary.
“We are committed to listening to everyone, and developing a vision that celebrates the local community so we can make an informed decision on what comes next. Together with the local community, we will develop an exciting vision for the site that will best meet the future needs of the local and broader region,” Professor Dewar said.
He said over the coming weeks, the University will be running a program of interactive activities and forums that will provide an opportunity to offer input, which include:
- the establishment of a community reference panel
- information open days
- online surveys
- public displays, and
- community meetings.
Professor Dewar said the University’s strategic objectives of teaching, learning, research and student experience did not align with ownership of a golf course. He said land owned by La Trobe should contribute to the University’s objectives, either directly or indirectly.
La Trobe University is hosting an information session in mid-August so residents who live near the site can learn more about the project and provide ideas and input into the future vision for the site. The session will be facilitated by an independent listener from Capire, a company that specialises in designing and delivering tailored community engagement activities.
There will be further opportunities to provide input and ideas about the future of the site, including a community open day at La Trobe University’s campus at Bundoora from 10am to 2pm Saturday 26 August, along with an information stall at the Kingsbury Drive Community Market from 9am to 1pm on Sunday 3 September. For more information about these events, please visit www.strathallansfuture.com.au or contact one of the project team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0477588913.
A second phase of community consultation and an opportunity to discuss ideas and options for the site will occur in October 2017.
For more information about the project and to provide ideas and feedback, visit the website or attend one of the community events detailed above.
Picture: Google Maps