What do you think Wonthaggi should look like in the future?

THE draft Wonthaggi Activity Centre Plan is out.
And if you want to know something about how the town might look in the future, you should take a look… or not.
It’s a big document, prepared for the shire by consultants Mesh Urban Planning and Design, and extends to 82 pages with a 12-page implementation strategy.
There’s a lot of reading but thankfully some nice pictures and maps to keep you interested.
“It has been prepared to establish a vision for Wonthaggi and to identify ways for this vision to be achieved. It seeks to define key characteristics of the town in relation to land use and activity, access and movement, built form and public realm, and to provide design guidance for four key strategic sites; Apex Park, McBride Avenue, Graham Street and the Wonthaggi Secondary school site.”
That’s a quote from the plan.
Sounds complicated but there’s a lot of ground to cover.
Community engagement has been a strong focus but very few Wonthaggi business people, for example, have been represented at the many sessions held so far.
But, even before the final report is in, the shire plans to set about making changes to Apex Park and you’ll see some of those starting to take effect this year.
There’ll also an Access and Movement Study looking at how pedestrians, cyclists and cars move around the area to ensure all this is taken into account when the overall study is completed.

Short-term projects Apex Park
• Establish missing connections from Apex Park to the Nyora-Wonthaggi Rail Trail. Establish an avenue of native canopy trees along new connections. Implement the Rail Trail Illumination project.
• Coordinate the expansion of the Railway Museum to ensure it contributes to the vision of the park.
• Install wayfinding tools such as direction signs and maps.
• Prepare an arboricultural assessment for existing trees inside Apex Park.
• Prepare a drainage plan
• Prepare a detailed landscape masterplan.
• Facilitate sculpture/play circuit and provide small play area utilising the existing rail trail path and looping around the Railway Museum.
• Install high-quality pedestrian promenade directly connecting McBride Avenue to the Railway Museum under the Mining Whistle.
• Install footpath connection along east side of park to connect to the small play area.
• Relocate or install table, bench seating and drinking fountains to align with new pathways and planting.
If you want to know more, check out the complete draft of the Wonthaggi Centre Activity Plan on the Bass Coast Shire Council’s website or look at the attachments to the December 11, 2019 council agenda.
At the recent council meeting where the implementation plan was adopted, Cr Les Larke acknowledged the enormous amount of work undertaken to date but insisted the council needed to understand access and movement
issues before the plan was completed.
Cr Geoff Ellis also claimed problems with the town’s bus stop had to be attended to as a “matter of urgency”.
As well as going ahead with the Apex Park work, council will commence design options for improving pedestrian safety at the Biggs Drive and Murray Street Intersection.