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Our Place – Development Update

Our Place – Development Update

Our Place is an iconic development that will further activate Swan Hill’s riverfront precinct for locals and visitors.

Our Place will be a new building in Swan Hill that will be home to our art gallery, visitor services, the Pioneer Settlement entrance and a new cultural experience. We are working to establish Our Place as a learning, interpretation and information hub for our region – a landmark central space for creativity, culture and tourism.

Our Place is part-funded by the Federal Government’s Regional Growth Fund and aims to stimulate further economic development in the Swan Hill region.

Swan Hill Rural City Councillors this week endorsed both preconstruction works plans and the Monash Drive Car Parking Upgrade design.

We are committed to keeping local residents informed and involved in the development process. This is the first of our update newsletters on the Our Place and Monash Drive Development.

As residents, we want you to share in the vision and we will continue to keep you updated throughout the development of the project. We are planning an opportunity in the near future for local residents and community members to tour the site.

Our Place will have a new name

The name Our Place is a temporary name to encompass all the uses of the building – art gallery, Pioneer Settlement, visitor services and a new cultural experience. Stay tuned for more information in future newsletters.

Monash Drive tree removal

A risk assessment by an arborist has recommended the removal of a number of trees along the eastern side of Monash Drive. These trees are past their safe life and will soon be removed for safety reasons.

Council worked with our landscape architect towards retaining the trees, but the arborist’s report made it clear the trees are a danger and must be removed. These concerns were underlined by the loss of a major limb from one of the trees in January.

It’s acknowledged that there will be widespread disappointment among the community to see these established trees go. However, the safety of pedestrians and visitors to the Pioneer Settlement and the surrounding precinct is Council’s number one priority and is at the forefront of this decision.

Council will ensure timber from the trees is repurposed throughout the new landscaping design wherever possible, likely to be incorporated into seating and landscape artwork installations. Remaining timber will be used at the Pioneer Settlement.

We are developing plans for extensive landscaping to beautify the area, and new tree plantings to establish a shaded canopy to the project’s entry lawn and garden area. This will be a place for all visitors and locals to enjoy in the future.

Monash Drive Parking update

As part of the development, there will be an upgrade to the road and parking in Monash Drive. The installation of angle parking will allow us to double the current parking capacity to 110 spaces. All-abilities car parking will be added, along with short-stay spaces and parking for long vehicles and buses.

Site preparation

Preconstruction works to prepare for the Our Place development will require the removal of some existing infrastructure and hard surfaces, as well as some established trees, fencing and gardens. We expect to start this work in the middle of this year to allow a seamless transition to construction later this year.

Heritage Victoria Update

Heritage Victoria officers visited the Pioneer Settlement on Friday, 26 February 2021, in response to a nomination to have the Pioneer Settlement included in the Victorian Heritage Register. Officers spent time with Pioneer Settlement staff and were given full access to electronic archives. The Heritage Council of Victoria will make the final decision on the application.

Further Information

Project information is regularly updated and available at www.swanhill.vic.gov.au/our-place or you can contact the Project Team 5036 2333.

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Our Place – Development Update
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