Taylor Park Master Plan
Taylor Park Master Plan
Taylor Park is situated in the heart of Torquay and provides the main public open space for the town centre other than the beach and foreshore. The park is Crown land managed by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978.
The draft master plan has been informed by community and stakeholder consultation conducted over summer 2018/19. The key themes highlighted included:
- retaining the natural bushland character of the park
- protection from development
- additional and upgraded facilities including a grassed area
- environmental and heritage educational signage.
The Wadawurrung name for Taylor Park is ‘djirnap’ – the place of the white cockatoo.
The Torquay Bowls Club site within Taylor Park is leased from GORCC under a 21-year Crown land lease. GORCC acknowledge the Bowls Club’s desire for lease expansion however consultation has identified strong mixed views. GORCC supports the Bowls Club in its current capacity and use. Without further consultation and investigation GORCC cannot support or commit to an extension to the lease area. GORCC will continue to work closely with the Bowls Club.
Priority works have been submitted for consideration in GORCC’s draft 2019/20 budget.
A new authority, Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA), is due to commence in December 2020, replacing GORCC and other land managers along the Great Ocean Road. GORCAPA will become the Crown land manager and therefore be responsible for the management of the park, and implementation of the plan moving forward. A clear delivery plan for staged works over the life of the plan will be presented to GORCAPA.
During April and May 2019, GORCC gathered community and stakeholder feedback on the Taylor Park Draft Master Plan.
Consultation attendance and feedback was strong, with over 100 individuals and groups contributing.
Feedback was sought through multiple channels, including two community consultation sessions, an online survey, meetings with community and agency groups, individual submissions, and significant digital and media promotion.
What we heard
The results highlighted some key themes:
Importance of natural environment and wildlife
Respondents support gradual replacement of existing exotic vegetation with local indigenous trees and shrubs to attract wildlife. They value the natural bushland character of the park and support the landscaping of the pond area. They would also like to see increased tree maintenance for safety reasons.
An information board at key entry points that includes a map of the park, information about the history of the gates, the native flora and fauna, and the cultural heritage of the park was recommended.
Respondents would like to see the following assets in the park improved:
- Paths: improve paths and use a medium on them that is more suitable during wet weather
- Lighting: additional lighting for safety, and improved lines of sight were recommended
- Picnic areas: respondents supported increasing the number of picnic facilities along Zeally Bay Road and recommend this be changed to a short term priority.
Integration with town and foreshore
Respondents would like to see improved integration of Taylor Park with the town centre and the foreshore. A suggestion was to create entrances, so the park seamlessly connects with both precincts.
This feedback will help inform the development and design of the final master plan.
Following consultation over Easter 2019, the key next steps are:
- Finalise master plan and obtain required statutory approvals
- Release final approved master plan
- Commence implementation.