Strand Ward takes in Williamstown, Newport, Spotswood, South Kingsville and part of Altona North. It is a diverse ward, with plenty of great attributes. The following are just some of the achievements I have worked on over the past few years.
Jack Madigan Reserve
Jack Madigan Reserve was re-opened in August, 2015, after being closed off for a number of years to rehabilitate the subterranean area of the reserve. It was heavily contaminated from a previous use as a fuel depot about 60-70 years ago.
But now it is a great looking park. The reserve is named after the late Jack Madigan, who was a councillor and former Mayor of the former Williamstown Council.
Market Street bike path in Newport
In 2008, Newport residents and I came up with a plan to install a bike path along the rail reserve in Market Street, Newport. Then Hobsons Bay CEO Bill Jaboor met with former Transport Minister, the late Hon. Lynn Kosky, at Parliament House to support the project as there was some resistance from companies and government authorities concerned about underground fuel pipelines in the reserve.
Ms Kosky supported the project and we got moving with the pathway in 2009. In the three years to 2011-12, the bike path was installed. I took the view we needed to start building a network of off-road bike paths through the centre of the municipality, rather than just concentrate on the high profile recreational bike paths around the foreshore and along Kororoit Creek.
The Market Street bike path was designed mostly for commuters but providing a safe means of getting around Newport for young cyclists to get to and from Newport Railway Station. The plan was to eventually link it up with the Bay Trail through Williamstown North and the Bayfit swimming centre in Newport West. Cycle paths have already been planned for Paisley Park to eventually link up with the Market Street bike path. All that is needed now is the link from Champion Road along the railway line to Maddox Road, then from Maddox Road to Blenheim Road.
Maddox Road bike path
Local resident Brendan Dowling successfully lobbied Hobsons Bay City Council in 2015 to have another stage of the Newport bike path completed, this time along Maddox Road in Williamstown North. Now, Newport residents can safely cycle down the pathway next to Maddox Road to join up with the Bay Trail near JT Gray Reserve. The traffic lights at the Maddox Road and Kororoit Creek Road intersection have now made it much easier to cross into the Bay Trail.
Newport Athletics Clubroom extension
March, 2016. Updated, July, 2020.
In late 2015, HBCC completed an extension to the existing building at the Newport Athletics Track. The Williamstown Athletics Club had long argued for this extension to hold functions and provide some respite from hot summer heat. The extension covers an area of about 200 sq.m and includes a gym.
As a parent with three kids who came through this athletics facility a number of years ago, I enthusiastically supported the building of the new extension. I am pleased the council has been able to deliver on this much needed facility for Newport.
The council plans to build a shelter for viewing in the front straight in 2020-21 as a further development of the athletics centre. I have also been approached for floodlight upgrades for training over the winter period. This is a very well used track and there is merit in the floodlights for year-round use.
Newport Gardens Early Years Centre
About 2007, I was approached by committee members of the Hobsons Bay Kindergarten on the corner of Woods Street and Laurie Street about renewing the kindergarten. But it seemed a much better option to move to the Newport Gardens School. A proposal was put forward to locate the centre on the Woods Street section of the school site.
But over time, an early years centre was proposed on the Maddox Road side of the school grounds. Through local MP Wade Noonan, the State Go
vernment contributed about $1.5 million to this project. I understand it was one of the first in the state where an early years centre was co-located on a primary school site — something more common in England.
The fantastic new $5.4 million centre was opened in early 2014. It consolidated the services provided by the Williamstown Childcare Co-operative and the Hobsons Bay Toy Library in the same building.
Williamstown Town Hall redevelopment
October, 2017. Updated May, 2020
The refurbishment of the Williamstown Town Hall has now been completed after a number of years of painstaking and costly work. But it has all been worth it, the with the town hall now the premier historic building in the municipality. For quite some time, the refurbishment has meant a number of events could not be held in the ballroom. The new internal makeover is complete. About two years ago, the car park and the front lawn area were also completed. The Town Hall is now back to its former glory.