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Forest Park in Orbost gets $1.82M funding upgrade after the community consultation

Council seeking for community feedback on Forest Park in Orbost project.

By news@gippsland - 20th May 2022 - Back to News

East Gippsland Shire Council is moving ahead with a $1.82 million upgrade of Forest Park in Orbost, after surveying community members and making design changes. Key alterations include:

  • Expanding the play area past its current footprint
  • The addition of long-vehicle parking adjacent to toilet block and along Forest Road
  • Hardstand changes and floodplain measures
  • A changed position of the trail head
  • Toilet block upgrades to better reflect rural character
  • An accessible path between Forest Park and the Orbost Exhibition Centre and Slab Hut
  • Ensuring that the design allows for integration with any future precinct-wide works or upgrades

A central boardwalk was removed from the design, and a viewing platform overlooking the river has been added as a future stage.

Council is keen to provide as many opportunities for the community to provide input and share ideas on projects, services and places thats why community feedback is vital

Council is keen to provide as many opportunities for the community to provide input and share ideas on projects, services and places thats why community feedback is vital

Community session

Community sessions will be held to discuss the new design on:

Orbost Service Centre

  • Tuesday 24 May
  • 10.00 am - 12.00 pm

Nicholson Street at the end of Lawson Street

  • Thursday 26 May
  • 1.00 pm - 3.00 pm

The upgrade will revitalise and enhance the park by providing a place for all ages to gather and connect, as well as creating a destination point for people visiting or passing through Orbost.

Community engaged project

Mayor Cr Mark Reeves said community feedback has been valuable in refining the design. "I'm pleased that locals have been keen to shape the way Forest Park will look in the future and shared their thoughts with council," Cr Reeves said. "And it was, of course, pleasing to learn that 89 percent of the community support the redevelopment."

An initial concept for Forest Park was developed in collaboration with community groups and individuals and was issued to the public in June 2021. This was followed by a consultation program, which included four information sessions, an online survey and engagement with Orbost students on the play space. Council received 67 online responses and 20 locals attended the sessions, resulting in 752 feedback items.

Support for the project

Support for the plan included:
  • The redevelopment overall (89%)
  • The location of the toilet block
  • Improving the connection between Forest Park and the Snowy River
  • Integrating with the East Gippsland Rail Trail

Concerns included:

  • Proximity of the play area to Nicholson Street
  • Having to cross the access road from the playground to the toilets
  • Removing any open space
  • Developing within the floodplain area
  • Removing the mosaic sculpture

Suggestions included:

  • Ensuring the aesthetic of the toilet block reflects the rural character of Orbost
  • Developing a location adjacent to Nicholson Street, which saw 30 per cent support (developing the existing location received 54 per cent support)
  • Expanding into the gas-distribution area
  • Providing an undercover area separate from the toilet block

This project is made possible with funding from the Australian Government's Community Development Grants Program. For more information, visit 'Your say East Gippsland' web page.

Pictures from East Gippsland Shire Council Facebook page.


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