Shaping Stanhope

By Liz Mellino

People are encouraged to have their say on the master plan process for the redevelopment of the Stanhope Community Recreation Precinct.

The precinct, which covers the recreation reserve’s football, netball and cricket club facilities, the adjoining school oval, nearby tennis club court and rooms, as well as the community hall, is set for a major upgrade.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Department of Education own the land covered in the precinct.

Recreation precinct working party chairman Andrew Hipwell said discussions began almost a year ago with Campaspe Shire Council and AFL Goulburn Murray on the back of the increasingly dilapidated community facilities.

Following a meeting to discuss small oval upgrades and lighting for junior football, a larger review occurred of the other recreation facilities in the town.

This meeting was initiated about the same time an AFL Goulburn Murray assets review rated the Stanhope facilities as poor.

‘‘From the discussions, we came to the conclusion we should look at all the facilities and build state-of-the-art ones to keep our sporting clubs and organisations going in the future,’’ Mr Hipwell said.

‘‘We want to have facilities that our kids can make the most of in the future.’’

Representatives from the town’s sporting and community groups came together to form a working group to bring the idea to fruition.

With a shared vision, the working party raised the $25000 needed to secure a consultant to work with the broader community and sporting groups to develop a master plan.

It is anticipated the redevelopment may take up to 10 years to complete, which Mr Hipwell said was looking at costing about $2million or $3million.

‘‘We have employed Jayson Moran from Insight Leisure Planning as a consultant who will start work on the master plan,’’ Mr Hipwell said.

‘‘Local sport and community groups chipped in to raise the money needed to take this next step of fully formalising the master plan and that’s a huge sign of local buy-in.’’

A survey has been released to gather community input on the final draft plan, which is expected to be completed by August.

Mr Hipwell said the initiative proved the strength and determination of the Stanhope community.

‘‘Stanhope is renowned for being a community that pulls together when needed,’’ Mr Hipwell said.

‘‘We are hoping to provide the best facilities we can to keep our town, clubs and organisations going for the next 100 years.’’

The survey can be accessed online at or in paper format from the Stanhope Post Office. Submissions close on Sunday, June 10.