Mills Park upgrade underway

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson turns the first sod at the Mills Park redevelopment, with Gosnells Mayor Dave Griffiths.
Local Government Minister Tony Simpson turns the first sod at the Mills Park redevelopment, with Gosnells Mayor Dave Griffiths.

�I commend the council for its foresight and investment in community facilities,� Mr Simpson said.

The work will be completed in two stages � Stage 1 works, expected to be complete by March 2016, include a community centre, nature play space, piazza, tennis courts, installation of a land bridge and cricket nets.

All works should be completed in February 2017.

The whole project, as well as being a first for the City in scale and cost, boasts other firsts, such as its state-of-the-art skate plaza.

Designed to be Perth�s first dedicated street plaza, it will contrast with traditional skate parks� bowl-shaped construction.

This plaza, designed by local young people and Skateboarding Australia, will feature an integrated mini-ramp with terraced connections and gaps and will operate both as a series of long runs across the whole park, and as a collection of individual elements allowing beginners and more experienced users to skate simultaneously.

The synthetic soccer pitches are another first for WA � that is, if the City of Swan does not beat Gosnells to it.

It took 10 years, three formal workshops, 116 community submissions and countless surveys and meetings with sports clubs, community groups, schools and youth groups to get to the �turning of the sod�� at Mills Park.

City of Gosnells chief executive Ian Cowie said discussions at the City began more than a decade ago about how to improve the park�s �outdated infrastructure, poor-quality playing surfaces and uninviting public areas�.

Over time, he said the options became clear � refurbish, or demolish everything and start again from scratch.

Gosnells chose to start from scratch, and five years ago began consulting the community on every detail.

�Feedback provided from the community and clubs essentially drove the evolution of the initial concept plan into the redevelopment that is currently being delivered,� Mr Cowie said.

He said the shelters around the main football oval, nature play areas, orientation and layout of the main building, storeroom sizes, walking track, outdoor gym equipment and skate plaza were all ideas coming from the public�s input.

So were the two �satellite� changing facilities with showers, kiosk and storage for the junior football club and the cricket club, after members voiced concerns about the distance of the playing areas from the main multipurpose facility.