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What consultation process was undertaken for the development of the J.L. Murphy Reserve master plan?

Thank you to those who participated in the series of consultations to develop a new master plan and concept design for J.L. Murphy Reserve. Council conducted a series of community consultation sessions from March to July 2010. A Community Reference Group was formed in February 2010 to provide input to the project and Council held regular meetings with them till February 2011. The community reference group was made up of user groups of the reserve, residents and community members as well as Council representatives and staff.


Feb 17 Reference Group Meeting 1
March 11 Questionnaire mailed to residents and user groups with an invitation to respond by April 30th

Have Your Say page with questionnaire made live

April 1 Public consultation session at Murphy Reserve from 10:00am- 12:00pm

Public consultation at Sandridge Trugo Club from 6:30-8:30pm

April 3 Public consultation at Murphy Reserve from 9:30am-12:30pm
May 12 Reference Group meeting 2
June 22 Reference Group meeting 3
July 14 Public consultation at Murphy Reserve from 4:00-8:00pm
Sept 6 Reference Group meeting 4
Sept 15 Reference Group meeting 5
Oct 25 Ordinary meeting of Council to adopt master plan for community feedback.
Nov 1 Report made available to the community to provide feedback on the draft master plan till Nov 29th


Feb 15 Reference Group Meeting 6
March 28 Ordinary meeting of Council to adopt the master plan


What is going on with the Hobson's Bay Obedience Dog Club relocation?

Who are Hobson's Bay Dog Obedience Club?

Hobson's Bay Obedience Dog Club (HBODC) is a not-for-profit club staffed and administered by volunteers. HBODC have been providing dog obedience training services to the Port Melbourne local community at Murphy Reserve since 1961.

Responsible dog ownership is a high priority for Council and Council recognises the valuable service that the club provides to the community in promoting and facilitating responsible dog ownership.

More information on HBODC can be fount at:

Why are they moving to Garden City Reserve?

Due to an increase in the use of the Council Depot for the Council's Parks Maintenance Contractors mid to late 2011 and future plans for the development of a wetland system in Murphy Reserve, Council needs to relocate HBODC's clubrooms and training grounds.

Why Garden City Reserve?

Garden City Reserve is one of the few sites that focuses on passive recreation and is a dog friendly reserve. A number of relocation options were investigated for HBODC and the best option was found to be Garden City Reserve taking into consideration the needs of the dog club, other park users and existing facilities. Council will provide the club with facilities at the Sandridge Community Centre and they will have designated areas within Garden City Reserve to conduct training. The designated areas will ensure that other dog walkers and park users will be able to use sections of the park at the same time as training.

When will they be using the park?

The relocation of the club is scheduled to occur in mid/late 2011. The club undertakes dog obedience training every Sunday morning for one hour and have from 3 to 6 classes ranging from beginners to advanced training. The classes are predominantly undertaken with dogs on leads, apart from the advanced class for dogs who are already well trained.

What is Council doing to prepare for the move?

Council is working closely with HBODC, the Sandridge Trugo Club, Port People and Beacon Cove Neighbourhood Association to ensure the best possible outcome for the Dog Club, current users of Garden City Reserve and local residents.

Specific activities being undertaken by Council to address questions raised about the relocation and more generally regarding the increased use of the Sandridge Community Centre for functions include:

  • Community Engagement
  • Regular meetings with stakeholders including, HBODC, Port People, Beacon Cove Neighbourhood Association, Sandridge Trugo Club and Council representatives.
  • Continual updates of the Council website and HBODC relocation project page.
  • Mail outs and updates to local residents.
  • Signs erected on site to provide information to park users and local residents.
  • Demonstration days will be held to allow the general public to see the dog club in action and gain a better understanding of what is involved.
  • Feedback from the community will be addressed by Council as it is received.
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  • Consultation will be undertaken in late April with the local community regarding parking management in Tucker Avenue.
  • Formalising parking through line work on Beacon Road and Howe Parade is being considered.
  • Parking audits of the area will be undertaken to identify areas of high parking pressure.

Park condition:

  • The management of Garden City Reserve has recently been upgraded to respond to increased use by the community. This has included new play facilities, pathways, tree planting and lighting. The condition of the grounds will be monitored as part of the regular maintenance regime.
  • Turf upgrade works where the gas pipeline recently went into Garden City Reserve will take place in the warmer months.
  • A part time parks gardener will be on site to maintain the conditions of the grounds.

Separation of the playground from the off lead area of the park:

  • A hedge will be planted close to the olive path, near the playground to define the off and on lead area of Garden City. No dogs are permitted within 5 metres of a playground within the City of Port Phillip.

Regular monitoring

  • There will be monitoring of the HBODC relocation at 3, 6 and 12 month intervals to ensure a smooth transition for both local residents and the HBDOC.


  • HBODC will use the toilet facilities in the Sandridge Community Centre.
  • A Council wide Toilet Strategy is being developed in mid/late 2011, this will underpin the future amenity provisions in the Reserve.


  • Training will be conducted within the EPA guidelines of sound limits
  • Continual monitoring and feedback to ensure there is minimum impact during training sessions.

Why a wetland at Murphy Reserve?

Wetlands at Murphy Reserve

Parks and open spaces consumes 62% of the water supply in the City of Port Phillip, Murphy Reserve uses almost 20% of this. Using potable water to maintain the grounds is not seen as an adequate long term solution and Council is committed to securing a sustainable water future for the Reserve.

A detailed water assessment of Murphy Reserve was conducted by Aecom in 2009 and a key finding from this was to capture the storm water from nearby drains and maximise rainwater capture for irrigation use. Creating a wetland system will help to filter the harvested water and will improve reserve amenity while allowing natural processes to clean the storm water for irrigation.

What is a wetland and how does it work?

  • A wetland is natural ecosystem that is permanently or temporarily covered by water.
  • Wetlands remove the two main types of pollution from storm water: suspended solids and high nutrient loads.
  • The wetland slows the flow of water allowing suspended solids to drop out of the water.
  • Water then flows through the ecosystem and plants, animals, insects and micro-organisms filter and digest high nutrient loads in storm water.
  • The cleaned water can then be stored, returned to the waterways or used for irrigation of open space.

What will a wetland do for Murphy Reserve?

A wetland in Murphy Reserve will provide a range of important functions. These include:

  • Provision of up to 70% of irrigation water required to maintain sports ovals in optimum condition, reducing the reliance on potable water in the long term.
  • Processing of storm water for irrigation of the ovals.
  • More opportunity for developing and maintaining green spaces within the reserve using the wetland as a water source.
  • Provision of attractively landscaped spaces near open water to sit, have picnics, walk the dog, have bbq's, etc.
  • Open water provides a cooling effect to the local environment, which will be increasingly important as temperatures rise over time.
  • The wetland will act as a gateway to the site and enhance the overall appearance and amenity of the park, attracting more passive users.

Examples of successful wetlands in Melbourne

To view several case studies relating to successful wetlands in Melbourne, please visit:

Can the council depot be used for parking?

Council requires the space in the depot for infrastructure, parking of trucks and storage of equipment.  Parking of private vehicles is not being considered at this time.

Can the sporting grounds be irrigated with bore water?

While bore water may be suitable for use in small quantities by private dwellings it becomes too saline (salty) for use in the large quantities required to water water trees and grass in JL Murphy Reserve. Council has explored this option through a series of independant water quality tests.

Council is investigating the option of harvesting and reusing storm water to service up to 70% of Murphy Reserve's water needs.

When will council perform the works suggested by the master plan?

The JL Murphy Reserve Master Plan will be completed in November 2010. The master plan will contain a document  outlining strategies, principles and actions for the reserve as a whole and a design drawing showing a plan for the future upgrades to the reserve.

Parks and Open Space will prepare business case documents outlining projects within JL Murphy Reserve and requesting funding from council to proceed with upgrades. It will be up to council to decide which projects are funded.

Will any of the current user groups be pushed out of JL Murphy Reserve?

No. The vision for JL Murphy Reserve is that it is a park for all uses and all users. This means that it will keep its function as a sporting groung as well as being a park for community and neighbourhood use.

The trees in JL Murphy Reserve are looking shabby. What is being done about this?

Because most of the trees in the reserve were planted around the same time (approximately 40-50 years ago) many are reaching the end of their useful life expectancy around the same time as well. Further, the life expectancy of a tree in times of drought is significantly less than one in periods with normal rainfall.

As part of hte master plan process council is planning on increasing the number of trees in the reserve.

What happens next?

Council will take the information from the first phase of community consultation and use it to inform a draft master plan and concept design. These documents will be available to the public in August of 2010.

You will be given the opportunity to feedback your thoughts on the proposed design and document in the online forum, onsite meetings or emails to interested parties.

How can I find out more?

Provide council with your email or mailing address so that we can send out information to you at all stages of this consultaion.