Library in the mix for Wachter Reserve

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

A library and cafe could be part of the mix of an upgraded Frederick Wachter Reserve in Keysborough.

The facilities were the most popular request during public consultation, yet a council officers’ report disregarded them as “outside the scope” of the reserve’s $11-million-plus masterplan.

At a council meeting on 29 January, councillors voted for a library and cafe hub to be considered as part of the 13.5-hectare parkland and sports grounds’ future.

The plan also includes revitalised wetlands, improved sports ground irrigation and drainage, and better pavilions, canopy coverage and playground.

Cr Matthew Kirwan said land needed to be reserved for a library and cafe before the opportunity was lost in the future.

“It is not surprising that Keysborough residents want a library. It is the fastest growing suburb in Greater Dandenong.

“Having a library there would also serve those residents of Noble Park and Springvale South and even parts of other suburbs like Dandenong and Springvale who treat Parkmore as their key shopping centre.”

Cr Tim Dark said the aim was for “the best facilities possible” at the reserve.

Currently locals were diverting to modern playgrounds in the newer parts of Keysborough, he said.

“It’s something I’m passionate about getting off the ground.”

Keysborough resident Nina Kelly welcomed the move.

Residents had lobbied for the need of a nearby library for the most disadvantaged in Keysborough and Noble Park, she said.

“Depending on the location it could improve the State Government aim to create walkable 20-min city for our area.

“A new library would serve those residents who have limited access to cars and public transport. In turn improve literacy, provide a study place, access to technology and employment tools for those most disadvantaged in our community.”

The reserve is home to tennis, cricket and junior football clubs as well as community events such as Autumn Fest.

Councillors also endorsed a masterplan that would improve the woodlands, playgrounds, sports facilities and trails in Warner Reserve, Springvale.

 

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