Media releases

Building better facilities closer to home  

13 May 2024

The City of Melbourne will design and deliver new grassroots sporting facilities to ensure more Melburnians can play the game they love.       

Council’s draft Budget 2024–25 is proposing to invest more than $30 million to upgrade key sporting infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing population.    

This funding will build on Council’s new draft Recreation Facility Provision Framework, which has found the municipality faces a shortfall in the number of indoor sports stadiums, playing fields, outdoor multi-purpose courts, and aquatic and recreation facilities to meet predicted future demand.  

The City of Melbourne’s population is set to increase by almost 80 per cent over the next 20 years – with the CBD, Southbank, North Melbourne and Carlton expected to see the biggest growth.   

The city is currently home to 54 sporting clubs across 11 different sporting codes, including more than 115 women’s and junior girl’s teams – with 14 women’s teams alone at Ryder Pavilion in Royal Park.  

The draft Budget proposes $4.2 million to redevelop Ryder Pavilion, expanding the facility to feature six gender neutral accessible change rooms, umpire change rooms, kitchen and social spaces.      

Set to open in 2025, the Ryder Pavilion redevelopment will be the third accessible sporting facility delivered in recent years – following the completion of the Western Pavilion and Brens Pavilion redevelopments. 

The City of Melbourne will open the doors to the brand-new Kensington Community Aquatic and Recreation Centre in early 2025 – with $23 million in the draft Budget to complete the project which includes a 25-metre pool, three full-sized multi-purpose courts and gym facilities.     

Across the municipality, Council will invest $750,000 to reconstruct Crawford Oval in Carlton and spend $250,000 on new community sporting equipment across recreation facilities.       

Early planning and community engagement will also begin on new recreation infrastructure projects, including $350,000 towards the potential future redevelopment of Melbourne City Baths and $150,000 for the Edmund Herring Oval precinct. 

The recreation infrastructure program is one of many ways Council is delivering affordable facilities and services through the draft Budget – which was identified as a priority by the 4400 community members who responded to our recent Neighbourhood Survey.  

The City of Melbourne will invest $1.7 million to begin planning and design works for a new North Melbourne Community Centre – which will provide North and West Melbourne residents with access to more maternal and child health, family, youth and ageing services closer to home. 

The draft Budget also includes funding for food relief including free fresh produce stalls at Federation Square, free seeds at Council libraries, and for children and family resources equipment.  

Access to free and low-cost services will continue, including immunisations, maternal and child health support, social programs for older people, subsidised community meals, and support for families to enrol in kindergarten and childcare.   

The draft Budget 2024–25 will be announced on Tuesday 14 May, with public consultation to follow until 5pm Monday 3 June.    

Quotes attributable to Lord Mayor Sally Capp   

“Council is still delivering what counts with more than $30 million to upgrade key sporting infrastructure – while making the prudent decisions to get us to surplus.” 

“We’re making sure our proud grassroots sports clubs have the strongest home advantage, while removing the barriers facing women and girls getting into community sport.”   

Quotes attributable to Health, Wellbeing and Belonging portfolio lead Councillor Dr Olivia Ball 

“We will deliver what North Melbourne locals have asked for – a modern and fit-for-purpose community centre that will build community and accommodate expanded youth, family and ageing services for a growing population.” 

Quote attributable to Health, Wellbeing and Belonging deputy portfolio lead Councillor Jamal Hakim 

“Sporting clubs are the lifeblood of communities – and Melbourne is no different. With participation rates on the rise, every player deserves equal access to facilities so they can thrive both on and off the field.”  

Quote attributable to Transport, Infrastructure and Operations deputy portfolio lead Councillor Davydd Griffiths   

“As our community grows and more kids take to the field, it’s vital our grassroots clubs have the facilities and resources they need to succeed.”   

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