Thursday, June 20, 2024

Wait over for Whait Reserve design

concept design has been released for Port Lincoln’s Whait Reserve, that Council hopes will create a space for active recreation, play and connection for people of all ages in the municipality.

City of Port Lincoln Council has already committed $325,000 towards the project, and is looking to gain matched funding from the State Government in 2021 for the proposed plan.

The new design elements include a range of sporting facilities – including two small ovals, soccer nets and a basketball court, plus a nature playground, walking trails and paths, new toilets, fencing and lighting upgrades, barbecues, public art, landscaping, and more.

Mayor, Brad Flaherty says while Council is responsible for the reserve and will lead the project, it wants to ensure the Port Lincoln community has the opportunity to help shape the future improvements.

“We want people to get their hands dirty, particularly young people, to build community pride and ownership of what will be a fantastic reserve,” Mayor Flaherty says.

Phase 1 includes constructing new infrastructure, while phase 2 will provide opportunities for the community and schools to deliver smaller elements, such as tree plantings, art and mural projects, and minor equipment installations.

Phase 1 proposed improvements:

  • Accessible public toilets
  • Timber boardwalk path
  • Nature / Adventure Play area
  • Internal accessible footpaths
  • Security lighting (solar)
  • New northern boundary fence.

Phase 2 proposed improvements:

  • Shade structures over existing play equipment
  • Informal ‘mini oval’ with footy and soccer goals
  • Raised platform seating
  • Relocation and refurbishment of historic entry arch
  • Compacted rubble walking trail
  • Community murals along fence lines
  • New fence (western and southern boundaries)
  • Various plantings, landscaping and ground covers
  • Covered BBQ and seating
  • Additional security lighting (solar).

The reserve, purchased by Council in 1948 from the Whait family, has only had incremental improvements over the past 10 years. It was identified in Council’s Draft Open Space Strategy 2021–2026 as a priority, to enhance the playground to at least ‘neighbourhood level’, similar to Wellington Square.

Council engaged local husband and wife team, Damien McQuillan and Uta Enneking McQuillan, of E+MQ DESIGN to develop a plan that will build on existing improvements and can be delivered over coming years.

Local architect Damien McQuillan said he grew up two blocks from Whait Reserve and used to play there as a child.

It is hoped that phase 1 improvements will be delivered this financial year, if Council can secure matching funding from the Open Spaces and Places for People Grants program, which would provide for total funds of $650,000.

Council has allocated $125,000 in its 2021/2022 Annual Business Plan and Budget for the reserve infrastructure (such as toilets) and up to another $200,000 for footpaths and is hoping to leverage this $325,000 to secure matching State Government funding.

Although the concept plan has been submitted for funding consideration, Council says it will use the time between September to December to seek feedback from the local community on the concept plans before they are finalised.

“If Council isn’t successful in securing funding, it will still seek to deliver part of the project, specifically a toilet, security lighting and footpaths,” it said in a statement.

Council is now seeking community feedback on the concept design via its YourSay website yoursay.portlincoln.sa.gov.au. Submissions close at 5pm on Thursday 23 September 2021.

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