10 August 2021

Public invited to have say on Yass's Victoria Park plan

| Sally Hopman
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Coloured map of Yass

The masterplan for Victoria Park in the Yass Valley. Photo: Yass Valley Council.

Residents of the Yass Valley are invited to have their say on the future of Victoria Park.

This follows approval by Yass Valley Council last week for expressions of interest to build and operate an indoor heated pool near the existing Yass Memorial Pool.

The successful leaseholder also has the option to operate Yass Memorial Pool, as long as they agree to maintain the services currently provided by the council, including six months minimum annual operation, swimming lessons, access for school carnivals and operation of the kiosk. Council has already been approached by one private company looking for a location to develop an indoor heated pool.

Yass Valley Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Assets, James Dugdell, said the Yass Memorial Pool operated at a loss and that there was no funding available to build a heated pool.

“The leasing of the pool area through an expression of interest to suitably qualified and experienced pool operators will provide the opportunity to deliver a service to the people of Yass Valley that is currently not within the resources of council,” Mr Dugdell said.

Yass Valley residents have been advocating for a heated pool and this will enable residents to swim all year and use the pool for recreational and health purposes.

The construction of the heated pool is part of Yass Council’s vision to develop the Victoria Park precinct which also includes the Yass Caravan Park, sporting ovals, tennis courts, dog park and skate park.

As Crown Land Manager of Victoria Park, the council recently received funding to create a masterplan that provides a framework for its future development and management.

Improvements or upgrades identified in the plan are likely to be eligible for funding under the annual Crown Reserves Improvement Fund.

Yass Valley Council Director of Planning and Environment Julie Rogers said the masterplan would have significant benefits for visitors and residents.

“Whether you’re into walking, rugby, basketball, skateboarding, tennis, swimming or using the dog park, our vision is to create a vibrant precinct in the heart of Yass,” Ms Rogers said.

“Council received funding from NSW Crown Lands and this work will form the basis for future planning and management of Victoria Park, as well as putting ourselves in a strong position to attract future funding.

“Although we have had preliminary input from sporting groups, we really want to hear from the wider community on the proposed upgrades for the whole park.”

The masterplan includes recommendations for improvements and upgrades to:

  • The main oval, including two full-sized rugby fields with a central wicket;
  • John Allen Oval, including resurfacing two junior rugby fields;
  • Tennis courts, including two additional courts;
  • Vehicle and pedestrian entry from Laidlaw Street;
  • Caravan Park office, amenity buildings, barbecues and signs;
  • Formalised car parking areas;
  • Teen play area, including two new basketball courts adjacent to the skate park; and
  • The overgrown riverbank area, including weed control, revegetation and walking/bike track.

Preliminary consultation sessions have been held with user groups including Yass Rams Rugby Union Club, Yass District Cricket Association, Hume Tennis and Community Centre, Spinifex Tennis, Yass High School and Yass Little Athletics Club.

The draft Victoria Park masterplan will be on public exhibition until the end of August. It will be adopted if no substantial objections are received.

Expressions of interest for the heated pool will come back to councillors for approval at a future meeting.

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