A balanced plan

Darebin Council has decided on the future of the Northcote Public Golf Course following a Council meeting on Monday 23 May 2022.

The endorsed option will see golf continue on-site with a full nine holes, while unlocking 5.72 hectares of open space for the wider community to enjoy.

Council also decided to call for a briefing on the terms and conditions of a new golf course management contract for the course, including options that might activate the course for golf prior to 3pm, with non-golf options after 3pm. Following this briefing, at Council meeting on Monday 25 July 2022, it was resolved that the 3pm option would not be investigated further.

Funding for the first stage of the project has been confirmed in Darebin’s 2022/23 budget. The decision follows extensive engagement with the community in late 2021, when over 7,000 people had their say on the project. Read the full engagement report.

Read more about the decision in our media statement.

About the project

The Northcote Public Golf Course site is on approximately 25 hectares of Council land next to the Merri Creek, Mayer Park and Normanby Avenue. The site is currently leased as a public golf course with a contract in place until 31 December 2022. During COVID-19, the site became a popular location for the wider community to use for walking and picnicking.

At the Council meeting on 7 December 2020, Council decided investigate consulting the community on shared use of the Northcote Public Golf Course site. At its 22 March 2021 meeting, Council resolved to start community engagement to develop a vision and plan for the future shared use of the site.

What’s happened so far?

At its meeting held on 25 October 2021, Council resolved:

That Council:

  1. Commences community consultation and invite community feedback regarding the future shared use of the Northcote Golf Course.
  2. Notes that community consultation will occur for 5 weeks starting in late October 2021.
  3. Invites those who have provided feedback as part of the consultation to be heard in support of their response at a meeting of councillors at a date to be determined in early 2022. (4) Notes that in parallel, Council officers will progress discussions with Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation regarding any options relating to future co-management options of the site.
  4. Receives a report making recommendations on the future shared use of the Northcote Public Golf Course in March 2022.’

Between the 4 November and 12 December 2021, we invited the community to complete a survey on the Northcote Public Golf Course site. The survey has now closed.

Council was pleased to receive a high level of responses for this project including 6,975 completed survey responses, a collection of drawings and letters from almost 700 local students in Darebin and a collection of independent submissions from interested community groups.

In addition, Council heard from over 70 participants at two meetings of Councillors about the future shared use of the site. These sessions were an opportunity for the community to share their views live via a virtual Council meeting or video submission.

You can re-watch the recording of these sessions on this page under the view the recordings tab.

We analysed your responses to understand the community’s priorities for the golf course, and used this feedback to create potential options for shared use.

The community’s feedback and potential options were presented at a Council meeting on 23 May 2022.

What principles were considered?

Council is committed to equity and wellbeing for our community. When using your feedback, Council also considered important principles for public spaces, including the following:

As Traditional Custodians of the land, the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung peoples have never ceded sovereignty and have a unique role to care for and manage the land we now call Darebin. Council is seeking feedback from, and exploring options for future use and joint management with the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation. Council wants to ensure that the knowledge, living culture and practices of Traditional Owners are recognised, supported and promoted in the use and management of land as per Council’s Statement of Commitment to Traditional Owners and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.(External link)

Changes to the Northcote Public Golf Course will also be considered with attention to cultural heritage. Consultation with Heritage Victoria and potential archaeological investigations may be required before any decisions are finalised.

Council will consider how feedback aligns with Breathing Space: Open Space Strategy and make recommendations that align with those principals, in particular:

  • Activating open spaces through making them multi-use, and increasing opportunities for social connections and physical activity.

You can read more about Council’s vision and objectives for open space in the Breathing Space Strategy.

Council must consider perceptions of safety. Recommendations to Council will prioritise the safety of all users.

Council is committed to providing accessible, safe, welcoming and inclusive sites. We want our parks and open spaces to be places where all community members feel safe and included regardless of age, gender, culture, and abilities.

Council will consider the importance of healthy and active communities, and accessibility for diverse communities to recreational activity.

Council is bound by the Council budget and will consider all recommendations through this lens. Council will consider multi-year phased improvements and will consider grant applications to fund further improvements in future years.

Would you like to learn more?

You can view Frequently Asked Questions about the Northcote Public Golf Course below.

You can also view the recordings from the Question and Answer Sessions on this project via the links below;

Thursday 2 December 2021 - 6:00pm-7:00pm - View recording

Tuesday 7 December 2021 - 10:00am-11:00am - View recording

Hearing of community feedback recording

Monday 14th February 2022 3.30-6pm – View recording

Wednesday 16th February 2022 6-8.30pm – View recording

If you would like to speak to someone in your preferred language, please contact us on 8470 8470 to be connected to a Language Aid or an interpreter.

To receive updates please "Follow" the project from the button at the top of the page.

View the recordings