Project update

Since the previous update following a September 2023 Council meeting, the Head Design Consultant in collaboration with Council officers have been working to progress the design documentation for tender.

Through the design process further site constraints have emerged requiring additional investigation works, coordination with external asset owners and design amendments. This has resulted in a protracted design process; however, work is progressing and we hope to provide further updates regarding the facility design and next steps in the near future.

The next steps for the project:

  • Design finalisation: Mid 2024
  • Construction procurement: Late 2024
  • Construction commence: Early 2025
  • Construction complete: Late 2025

Note, timelines shown are indicative.

September 2023: Council undertook community engagement over February and March 2023.

Your feedback helped shape the Elder Smith Netball Courts and Pavilion. You can read the Elder Smith Reserve Netball Facility Community Engagement Summary Report here.

Councils passed the following at the 6 September Council Meeting:

  • Endorses progressing the project with the proposed design for Elder Smith Netball Courts and Pavilion.
  • Approves additional funding of $1.7m (excluding GST) for project costs to deliver Courts and Pavilion.
  • Approves additional funding for discretionary items;
    • Notes the funding of the additional request will be mainly from a drawdown on the open space contribution reserve.
    • Solar panels and battery. Cost $180,000. To be considered further, subject to costing and available budget, with a final report to be presented to Council.
    • Scoreboards. Cost: $80,000.
    • Seating outside the courts (on-court seating is included). Cost: $20,000.

Please see here the full Council Report and the final design.

In November 2018, State Government announced Election Commitment funding for $2M for new netball facilities for Port Melbourne, which would support the Port Melbourne Netball Club (PMNC). Comprising 450 members, the PMNC has outgrown its current facilities at RF Julier Reserve which consist of two (2) netball courts and an ageing pavilion.

An assessment of JL Murphy Reserve was initially undertaken, however, this site was not deemed viable due to a number of constraints including potential impacts to Fisherman’s Bend water retention, the limited passive open space at the reserve and the development of the new neighbouring state secondary school.

RF Julier Reserve was subsequently assessed as the potential site due to it being the existing home for the Port Melbourne Netball Club. Further investigations outlined constraints of this site including lack of available space for additional courts and larger pavilion, along with potential impacts to neighbourhood character and amenity.