Banks Reserve Pavilion to make way for Plaza

Published on Thursday, 29 July 2021 at 1:36:24 PM

Banks Reserve Pavilion will soon be replaced with green open space in preparation for a community plaza which will open up views to the Swan River and give locals and visitors a contemporary place to gather and enjoy new facilities.

Vincent’s only waterfront reserve spans 3.5 hectares and is a place of natural beauty and Aboriginal significance.

The removal of the reserve’s 50 year old pavilion was integral to the Banks Reserve Masterplan and is to be replaced with a new Plaza area.

The Banks Reserve Masterplan was extensively consulted on through 2018 and early 2019 and adopted by Council in March 2019.
Community feedback at the time highlighted that the Pavilion was unsuitable for many activities due to its location, design and dated infrastructure.

Consultation responses included a desire for a shared community space that allowed for multi-purpose use and better activation, and took advantage of its prime river front location.

There was also significant interest in adding a coffee and food offering to the amenity of the Reserve.

Some locals also expressed concern over the removal of the pavilion. This was considered in Council’s deliberatons in 2018, taking into account low community use, condition and presentation of the building and costs to meet compliance requirements, remove asbestos, and bring the building up to a more attractive, modern community standard.

In May this year, residents were invited to a Q&A session onsite to discuss the planned demolition of the the Pavilion and for an opportunity to ask any questions they had about the building’s removal and future plaza vision.

Following the meeting, and in response to community’s desire for an indoor meeting place, Council Members sought additional information from the City’s Administration on three options – retain the Pavilion for longer, partial retention of the Pavilion or include an indoor meeting place within the design of the Plaza.

A community petition received this month delayed the demolition further, and was considered at the Ordinary Council Meeting last Tuesday night.

On considering all options, costs and future sustainability, Vincent Council backed the Banks Reserve Masterplan vision, with the inclusion of an indoor meeting space within the Plaza.

Mayor Emma Cole said community concerns were taken very seriously, with the demolition being halted twice and a range of solutions being examined.

“This was a tough decision to revisit and we very much respect the passion and views of the community members who wanted a different outcome.

“Unfortunately the 1960s pavilion, which started as a Sea Scouts hall many years ago, is no longer fit for purpose. It is poorly located, unappealing and expensive to refurbish, make compliant and maintain.”

“We also couldn’t consider the Pavlion in isolation of the Banks Reserve Masterplan vision and the replacement Plaza area.

“The Plaza will be a contemporary meeting place, taking in the beautiful surrounds and providing inviting and readily accessible new facilities.

“We will consult on the detailed design, with the concept including a kiosk, toilet and kayak storage facilities, carpark upgrades, improved lighting and a bridge over Walters Brook connecting the new nature play area to the plaza. We will also now include the indoor meeting space based on community feedback.

“Banks Reserve is a riverside jewel and it has become even more popular and well loved since the launch of the new nature playground and active zone last year. This was also part of the Banks Reserve Masterplan vision and the response from the community has been absolutely fantastic,” she said.

This financial year, the City of Vincent will seek approval under the Aboriginal Heritage Act for the Plaza concept.

A timeframe on the Plaza’s detailed design, community consultation and allocation of funding in the City’s forward capital works program will become clearer at next month’s Council meeting when the City’s Long Term Financial Plan and Corporate Business Plan are considered.

In the meantime, the area will be landscaped and seating will be provided.

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