Masterplan Process

    Why is this project happening?

    The Town understands the importance and benefits of formal and informal recreational spaces to community life, both locally and at a district level. Use by various sporting clubs, as well as future population growth, will increase pressure on this amenity. Given the large land size of Higgins Park and Playfield Reserve, and its key role as a home for formal sport and informal recreation in the Town, consideration needs to be given to its future direction. The Masterplan process will explore options as to how to best accommodate this future direction, making best use of the space available. 

    What is the masterplan trying to achieve?

    The masterplan will explore the opportunity for the site to form an important sporting and public open space node for the immediate community as well as at a district level. This will include masterplanning of the landscape needs, massing of required built form, community aspirations for the site and club facilities of the various stakeholders.

    The Masterplan will seek to achieve the following project aims:

    • Optimise regional active recreation opportunities on the Site;
    • Maximise and modernise the recreational offering of the Site;
    • Enhance and provide passive recreation amenity to the local community;
    • Make public open space and Town assets work for the community;
    • Align with and deliver on objectives of the Public Open Space strategy.

    The process will include the development of masterplan options. These options will be developed through a co-design workshop process with the Design Reference Group, which will include members of the community and representatives from the stakeholder groups. The options developed through this process will be presented to Council, with the final preferred option selected by the Town’s Elected Members.

    What area is included in the masterplan?

    The site for this masterplan includes Higgins Park, Fred Bell Parade and Playfield Reserve, as well as all amenities and clubs within these locations. 

    What has the process been to get to this point?

    The consultant and Town project team have undertaken the following three stages of the project:

    Stage 1 – Analysis and Opportunity Identification, February to March 2020, including: 

    • Broad community engagement through a community survey;
    • EOI nominations for the Design Reference Group, made up of community and stakeholder representatives;
    • Public Life Study by the consultant;
    • Stakeholder engagement;
    • Workshop 1 in person with Design Reference Group, investigating opportunity identification, site analysis, theme and objective setting exercises;
    • Creation of Stakeholder Engagement, Site Analysis and Workshop 1 Summary documents. 

    Stage 2 – Exploration of Concept Options, April to May 2020, including:

    • Workshop 2 on Your Thoughts and Zoom due to social distancing requirements, exploring objectives in more detail, investigating community elements and sporting configuration scenarios;
    • Ongoing stakeholder and community liaison;
    • Creation of Co-located Facility and Workshop 2 Summary documents.

    Stage 3 – Refinement of Concept Options, June to August 2020, including:

    • Workshop 3 in person with Design Reference Group, interactive workshop to place community and landscape elements;
    • Workshop 4 in person with Design Reference Group, presentation of draft masterplan, questions, activity to review options against objectives, individual submission process;
    • Ongoing stakeholder and community liaison;
    • Creation of Draft Masterplan Report, Workshop 3 Summary and DRG Submission Report. 

    The intention is now to advertise the Draft Masterplan Report for public comment to understand the wider community level of support for the masterplan options. 

Masterplan Design

    What are the masterplan options?

    • Option 1: Investigation of the development of a synthetic hockey turf on the Hillview Terrace side of Higgins Park (in addition to an Australian Rules Football Oval);
    • Option 2: Consideration of adding two grass hockey pitches on the Hillview Terrace side of Higgins Park, in addition to the synthetic pitch.
    • Option 3: The development of a second oval for a complete football focus should the synthetic hockey turf be considered unfeasible*.

    *unfeasible means that it is prohibitive spatially, financially or the impact on the community is considered unacceptable. 

    Is there an option to do nothing?

    Upgrades are required to the site to support the ongoing existing uses. The option that is most closely aligned to this is Option 3. If you do not support any of the options, please complete a survey with this response.

    What are the community (free to use) elements of the masterplan?

    All three masterplan options include the following key features:

    • Centrally located shared sports building to accommodate all clubs in each options, including multi directional viewing areas;
    • Improved connection to the tennis club from the new shared sports building, including a spectators viewing area;
    • Traffic calming measures to Playfield Street to improve the safety and connection to Millen Primary School. Interchangeable options for this treatment exist, including the potential to close the street to traffic between Etwell Street and Ramsden Avenue, and are detailed in the Masterplan;
    • Universal access path network around perimeter and through key routes within the park, including connection to the Hill View Terrace bus stop;
    • All ages community facilities including fitness equipment and spectator seating around perimeter of oval;
    • All ages, multi ability community playground on Higgins Park with shade structure, picnic and BBQ facilities, bike racks, drink fountain and way finding signage. Interchangeable options for this exist and are detailed in the Masterplan;
    • Removal of the existing tennis club building and replacement with a youth zone including mixed sports courts, graphic surface treatment, terraced embankment, lighting, drink fountain, planting and bike racks;
    • Improved access and use of the embankment between Higgins Park and Playfield Reserve, including universal access and sloped play areas. Interchangeable options for this exist and are detailed in the Masterplan;
    • Upgrades to Playfield Reserve including seating terraces, picnic setting, drink fountain and small nature play space;
    • Upgrades to surrounds of RSL including expansion of forecourt for outdoor events, additional tree planting, universal access footpaths and reconfiguration of car parking;
    • Re-vegetation and expansion of existing Kokoda trails network including wayfinding, signage and the possible closure of Fred Bell Parade from Hill View Terrace. Interchangeable options for this exist and are detailed in the Masterplan;
    • Removal of turf from the sloped boundary areas and from under trees, replaced with locally native vegetation and garden beds;
    • Increased canopy coverage, noting that options 1 and 2 require some tree removal as identified in the Masterplan;
    • Increased lighting to informal and formal recreation areas;
    • Formalised parking configurations.

    Why is the Town only looking at three options?

    The three options of the masterplan were determined through the Council resolution from the November 2019 Ordinary Council Meeting. 

    What are the “kit of parts” (interchangeable elements)?

    The masterplan identifies community recreation features and landscape improvements that can be viewed as a “kit of parts” and have been applied to the site in different arrangements. While these arrangements have been influenced by spatial layout of the sporting uses, there has also been exploration of different ways the “kit-of-parts” can be applied to the site. There is some interchangeability between options of many of the community recreation elements shown in the three options, as detailed in the masterplan.

    This 'kit of parts' includes approaches to:

    • Playfield Street,
    • Fred Bell Parade,
    • Embankment Zone, and
    • Higgins Park Playground.

    Has there been discussion with the RSL regarding the potential closure to Fred Bell Parade from Hill View Terrace?

    Yes, the Town has had discussions with the RSL on this. The RSL have stated that they support this closure with the requirement that sufficient parking be provided nearby and accessible linkages connect the building to Hill View Terrace. 

    Has there been discussion with Millen Primary School regarding the potential closure to Playfield Street between Etwell Street and Ramsden Avenue?

    Yes, the Town has had discussions with the school on this. The school have stated that they support this closure, as this will improve the safety and connection between the school and the park, as well as providing additional public open space. 

Sporting Clubs

    Why are there so many sporting clubs included in the masterplan?

    The Town’s recently adopted Public Open Space Strategy identifies Higgins Park as an active reserve, with a need to ensure the ongoing use of this facility for Public Open Space for sporting use. Therefore, the Town is looking to ensure the sporting use of the site is optimised. However it is also noted that the masterplan is looking to enhance and provide passive recreation amenity to the local community, so the masterplan looks to balance the formal and informal use. 

    What are the infrastructure requirements of the sporting clubs?

    The facilities preferred by the various sporting clubs are included as ‘Attachment A - Stakeholder Engagement’, included in the document list.

    Do all of the sporting clubs have access to the multi-sport building?

    Yes, the intention in each of the options is to collocate the sporting clubs from that option in one multi-sport building. This provides an efficient building that looks to minimise duplication while still providing all facility needs for the clubs. 

    What will happen to the existing football club if Option 2 is selected?

    If Option 2 is selected, the spatial restrictions at the site mean that there is no remaining space for the existing Victoria Park Raider Junior Football Club. This would not be supported by the Town unless a suitable, alternative location for the football club that provided their needs was determined.

    What will happen to the hockey club if Option 3 is selected?

    If Option 3 is selected, the Town will continue to work with the Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club and hockey institutions to assist them in finding an appropriate location.

    What are the membership numbers for each of the sporting clubs?

    For information on the membership of sporting clubs, please refer to the individual clubs themselves. 

Victoria Park Raiders Junior Football Club

    What are the requirements for the football club today?

    The facilities preferred by the various sporting clubs are included as ‘Attachment A - Stakeholder Engagement’, included in the document list.

    Is the football club looking to expand in the future?

    The football club have notified the Town that they are currently investigating a Family, Lifestyle and Sports Hub (FLASH) Concept Paper, which looks to widen the community offering of the club. 

    The club have stated that “the intention is to explore a wide spectrum of similar community-based organisations that are successfully operating in Perth and elsewhere”. Further information on the clubs intentions can be found here -

    If option 2 is selected as the preferred option and the football club need to relocate, where would they go?

    Should option 2 be selected as the preferred option, the next step for the Town would be to determine a suitable, alternative location for the football club that provided their needs. 

    There are two locations within the Town that could potentially spatially accommodate the club however these are currently being used by other clubs or would need significant upgrades to accommodate football use prior to relocation. Both sites would need to go through a significant planning and engagement process.

    The club have released a position statement that states their preferred option is option 3. The clubs position statement can be found here -

Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club

    Why do the hockey club need a turf?

    The club have stated that “while once most hockey games were played on grass fields, most high-level Junior and Senior Hockey is now played on synthetic turf. Only two Premier 1 Clubs do not have direct access to their own turf facility – we are one of them. Currently our members are required to train and play at multiple venues across the metropolitan area – even for “home” fixtures. Not only is this expensive, it prevents our club from maintaining the strong, family-oriented club we want to be. We want all our players – from pre-primary aged children through to seniors - to be able to play together, watch each other and interact, creating a strong and inclusive atmosphere.”

    More information is available here: 

    Would a fenced synthetic turf still be counted as public open space?

    Liveable Neighbourhoods identifies facilities such as a hockey turf as public open space under the category of ‘Sport Spaces’. A hockey turf, just the same as a tennis court, is considered Public Open Space. 

    What is the size of the fenced synthetic turf?

    The dimensions of the fenced synthetic turf area shown in options 1 and 2 is 97.4m x 69m, which aligns with the dimensions specified by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries dimensions -

    Will there be tiered spectator seating near the synthetic turf?

    No tiered spectator seating is proposed. A spectating viewing area is provided at the slightly elevated multi-sport building and on the contours of the adjacent grass area. 

    How can the synthetic turf be used?

    In addition to hockey use, a synthetic turf can accommodate other users who are able to ensure the surface of the turf is not damaged. These potential users include: 

    • Tee ball; 
    • Tennis; 
    • Walking hockey with local aged care residents encouraged to participate, as has been established at other synthetic turf locations; 
    • Area 5; 
    • Schools (various schools including Kent Street Senior High School, Ursula Frayne Catholic College, Trinity College, Millen Primary School).

    Are there images of what a synthetic hockey turf will look like?

    Visualisations of the three options have been provided as an attachment to the draft Masterplan Report. This includes masterplan level visualisations of a synthetic hockey turf in options 1 and 2. Should either of these options be selected as preferred, greater detail of the synthetic hockey turf will be developed through the following stages of the project. The Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club have noted that the Southern River hockey facility is a relevant example of the scale of synthetic hockey turf they are hoping for. 

    How would a synthetic turf facility be managed?

    Should option 1 or 2 be selected as preferred, the Town will require from the Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club a business plan that details the proposed operations for a synthetic turf at Higgins Park. The club have investigated the feasibility of a turf and are confident in its viability, however this business plan will be specific for the preferred option and tested with the Town. This should include the proposed management model, operational plan, capital expenditure, turf demand, whole of life costings and partnership funding options. The management model will detail the management of the turf, bookings, and sinking fund to cover running costs, maintenance, utilities, income and funding for the replacement of the turf surface when required, approximately every 7-10 years.

    What about other turf projects in surrounding areas?

    The Town is aware of two other projects currently in the early stages of investigating a potential new synthetic turf in neighbouring suburbs. These are: 

    • the Wesley South Perth Hockey Club (WASPS) who have been investigating a synthetic turf in various locations in the City of South Perth for some time, and are currently testing the feasibility of a synthetic turf at Collier Reserve, and 
    • Hockey WA who are currently investigating the future use of the Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University.  

    As the sustainability of a synthetic turf is dependent on the demand for its use, consideration of these surrounding turfs will be factored in to the business plan, should option 1 or 2 be selected. 

    Why can’t the hockey club play at the Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University?

    The hockey club do currently train and play some home games at Perth Hockey Stadium, as well as at other synthetic turfs around the Perth metro area, depending on turf availability. 

    The Perth Hockey Stadium is a National and State centre for hockey that hosts world cups and international events. It is home to the Australian Men’s (Kookaburras) and Women’s (Hockeyroos) National teams and their development programs, Australian Institute of Sport and WA Institute of Sport. The Curtin University Hockey Club is also based here.

    The club have stated that this “means we can’t even always have our home games at PHS and we have even had teams travel as far as Rockingham for home games. In fact, 60% of our teams play across the metropolitan area for both home and away games due to not having our own synthetic turf. As well as the difficulty securing turf timeslots, we would prefer to play at a turf facility which would also be home to our club-house to build a strong sense of community.”

    Why can’t the hockey club collocate with the WASPs?

    The hockey club have stated that “based on our discussions with WASPS, this would be a jointly used facility with Wesley College and potentially Penhros College. Based on their Clubs usage together with the Schools usage, there is not capacity for our Club to use this facility. Additionally, this does not solve our dilemma of wanting/needing to house our club (Artificial and Grass teams) at one facility. Both WASPS and Vic Park are large Clubs who require their own facilities.”


    How has the masterplan been funded?

    This masterplan project is being funded by the Town. The masterplan will form a key strategic document to guide the short and long term revitalisation of the site, as well as assisting in securing funding.

    How will the implementation of the masterplan be funded?

    It is anticipated that the cost of implementing the masterplan will be a combination of Town funding, Long-Term Financial Plan funding, potential stakeholder contributions, and external funding sources. The split of these funding sources will inform a staged delivery approach.

Public Comment Period and Next Steps

    How long will the public comment period go for?

    It is proposed that this public comment period include broad consultation to all Town community members. Running for 4 weeks from 23 September 2020, this public comment period will include advertising to the wider community members through digital, print and in person methods.

    How will the public comment period be advertised?

    The public comment period will be advertised through a number of traditional and digital means, including the below methods:


    • Your Thoughts page update (news, main content and detailed FAQ’s) inclusive of online submission form
    • Your Thoughts eNews
    • Website update
    • Email to DRG and all previously engaged community members
    • TV sliders @ admin and out centres
    • Organic social media
    • Targeted digital advertising (including social media and Google)
    • eVibe


    • Letter drop 1km radius of the park
    • Signs on site, including Kedar edge banner sign on the corner of Creaton and Playfield Sts
    • Posters placed on site as well as the Administration building and out centres
    • Millen Primary School newsletter
    • Southern Gazette Ad
    • Printed submission form and masterplan @ Admin and Library

    In Person 

    • Pop up events on site, at markets and stakeholder organised events
    • Email, phone calls and meetings as needed

    What are the next steps of the project?

    Following the public comment period, all submissions received will be reviewed and addressed where needed. The Masterplan and outcome of the public comment period will then be submitted to Council for the selection of a preferred option.