Shire works focus on Western Port, Hastings

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A DOZEN or so Mornington Peninsula Shire projects are complete, under way or about to start in the Western Port area.

Infrastructure director Alison Leighton told the council meeting held at Hastings Hub on 22 June that the works include major upgrades to Hastings and important environmental and sporting works.

In Hastings itself, the High St streetscape design is anticipated to go on public exhibition in August after being reviewed by the shire’s design advisory panel and Western Port Chamber of Commerce in April.

The aim is to enhance the township’s identity and assert High St as its “spine and vibrant heart”, councillors and the large gallery were told. The plan ties in with the laneway strategy, which aims to make “safe, enjoyable and ‘laid-back’ spaces” connecting pedestrians to Main St.

The stabbing death murder of jeweller Dermot O’Toole will be commemorated at 11am on 12 July in O’Toole Way, Hastings. It is being organised by the Hastings Chamber of Commerce, which is encouraging traders to deck their shops in green and wear green in the week leading up to the Sunday event.

Stage Two of the Alfred St streetscape works – stage one was finished last December – will soon transform the area with outdoor seating, bollards, sculptures, a drinking fountain and shady trees to create a pleasant community space within the Hastings “activity centre”, linking High St and the Alfred St Plaza.

Planning continues with the Hastings south coastal plan, with preparations about to start on preparing a boating precinct proposal from the pier south, possibly including a roundabout at the corner of Skinner and Herring streets and extensive landscaping.

Hastings itself will get “gateway” signs if money can be found. The chamber of commerce will seek backing from BlueScope and plans to engage the local community to develop signs to welcome people to their town. Pelicans are likely to feature.

Two portable buildings are to be installed for Hastings sports clubs under a deal involving BlueScope, the Hastings Reserve Sports club and the shire. They will be used by the junior football players as a meeting room and for storage. The juniors struggled to survive last year for lack of facilities. Volunteer tradies will pitch in with the work required.

After a post-bushfire barbecue in February the shire has moved fast to replace the 712-metre Warringine Park boardwalk, destroyed by the summer blaze south of Hastings. The $305,000 project, awarded to Jmac Constructions, is expected to be finished in August. Settlement of the shire’s insurance claim is also expected soon.

Also being rejuvenated is the Wallaroo Reserve, with work so far including improved path lighting, “rebadging” the former West Park housing estate to Wallaroo, as well as table tennis equipment for loan, a half-court basketball facility, a barbecue, and much more. Additional play equipment, a BMX track upgrade and a barbecue shelter are planned, with most funding coming from Melbourne Water.

One of Hastings’ most popular sports destinations, Pelican Park, is due for improvements, including new signs to conform with Australian standards, a new access method to the gymnasium, resurfacing of wet change room floors, two picnic tables in the lawn area and new pool plant filters to ensure top quality water for swimmers.

Detailed design work has been completed for the Boes Rd-Graydens Rd roundabout, to be built with Black Spot funding. Land is being acquired for the $1.5 million works, which are expected to start early next year.

Another Black Spot, Loders Rd, is being reconstructed and widened between Graydens Rd and Peninsula Link. More than half finished, the $1 million construction work is anticipated to be completed by early August.

Work in Bittern on a pedestrian-operated crossing in Frankston-Flinders Rd near the station is close to finished. The signals are due to be switched on by the end of July.

First published in the Western Port News – 7 July 2015

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