Shape the future of Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve
Sunday 3 September, 2023
Parks Victoria has started work on a master plan that will rejuvenate the historic Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve.
Located on Bunurong Country, the 500-hectare reserve sits between Dandenong Creek, Churchill National Park and Lysterfield Park – providing Melbourne’s south-east with sprawling native bushlands.
The master plan will review how the reserve is used and collect ideas about how it may evolve – creating a blueprint for strategic decision-making at the park for the next 20 to 30 years.
The Victorian Government is investing $5.5 million to help make this happen, including to preserve the landscape, historic heritage, cultural heritage and wildlife. The master plan will also improve safety and accessibility – revitalising the area into a welcoming green space where people can relax, play sport and connect with nature.
The reserve is a culturally significant area for the Bunurong people and its cultural heritage significance is also recognised by inclusion on the Victorian Heritage Register. It was once used as the headquarters for the Native Police Corps, a base for Aboriginal trackers, and the site for the Westernport District of the Port Phillip Aboriginal Protectorate. Later, the reserve became a resting place and stud for police horses.
The reserve is home to a variety of native plants and animals. Look closely and you can find rare swamp scrub, the jewel-like fruit of the Prickly Currant Bush and the spikey flowerheads of the Bidgee Widgee plant. Further afield, spot Kangaroos, Wedge-tailed Eagles and Black-shouldered Kites.
Community activities are also hosted at the reserve, with Churchill Park Golf Course located in the east, and a council-managed sports precinct used for soccer, softball, cricket and baseball.
To take the reserve into its next phase and unlock its potential, Parks Victoria is now seeking public input.
The first stage of community consultation is open from 31 August until 28 September. Early ideas and feedback will be gathered to shape a draft master plan which will be shared with the public later in the year. Have your say by:
- Joining us onsite. Visit the Engage Victoria page above for dates, times and location
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Calling 13 1963
While master plan development is underway, we’ll be delivering some immediate works to improve the safety, access and connectivity across the reserve in 2023 and 2024. This includes trail maintenance, new wayfinding signage and installing access control barriers at the entry of the reserve to prevent rubbish dumping and illegal vehicle access.
To learn more about the master plan project, visit: https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/projects/melbourne-region/dandenong-police-paddocks-reserve-master-plan