Heyfield park overhaul

Heyfield’s Apex Park will receive a major overhaul following $275,000 of state and local government funding, with the redevelopment expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Wellington Shire Council built and natural environment general manager Chris Hastie said council had been awarded a $150,000 grant from Regional Development Victoria as part of the Putting Locals First Project, with council to also contribute $125,000.

Works are expected to begin in the new financial year.

“The redevelopment project will create a park which reflects the aspirations of the Heyfield community, with a truly sustainable and nature driven focus,” Mr Hastie said.

“Plans for the redevelopment project have been drafted following a period of extensive consultation with the Heyfield community and include a complete revitalisation of the children’s play space which will become a nature-inspired, bush-themed playground dotted with carvings of native animals.”

Improvements include a new play space catering for children aged from four to 16, landscape improvements using low water use indigenous plants, improved information signs and better connections to the Gippsland Plains Rail Trail.

Other proposed works include the development of a dry creek bed, revegetation planting, upgrades of the park furniture and litter bins, development of a natural amphitheatre enhanced with natural sandstone walls, addition of solar lighting along the central park pathway, development of an open space activity area and the construction of a multi-purpose shelter suitable for community activities, including a double barbecue.

Gippsland East MLA Tim Bull said the park was the main play area in town, but had not seen a significant investment for a number of years.

“Funding will allow Wellington Shire Council, which is also making a significant contribution of $125,000, to create an open space for the public which facilitates physical activity and social connectedness,” Mr Bull said.

“The project will greatly enhance the parkland, which contains infrastructure that is out of date and in some cases not compliant with current standards.”

Minister for Regional and Rural Development Peter Ryan said the funding was provided through the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund’s Putting Locals First program.

“Putting Locals First is a $100 million initiative that enables regional communities to devise and deliver service and infrastructure responses that reflect local priorities,” he said.