Newstead ‘getting it done’

Newstead residents are set to receive most of what they’d hoped for when they petitioned Mount Alexander Shire Council for an upgrade of the town’s leafy Newstead Community Park last year.
Back in October the residents presented the council with a petition bearing 378 signatures and calling for upgrades to the park, which they said was sorely in need of attention.
With the local park serving as a particularly popular spot for visitors and tourists passing through – and for public events like Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and Australia Day – the town’s locals were keen to get toilets built for those using the park, and a serviceable rubbish bin.
Their petition called for a toilet block as well as a barbecue and seating upgrade, with informative signage also being sought.
At last week’s council meeting, councillors unanimously voted to advise the lead petitioner of an allocation of $10,000 in the new council budget to provide upgrades that will enable park users to access public toilets already available at the nearby Newstead Railway Arts Hub building, which is directly adjacent to the park.
The allocation will go toward works to facilitate public access to the toilet block, with the council to pursue consultation, lease and governance arrangements with VicTrack and the Newstead Arts Hub.
The budget allocation will also go toward ongoing cleaning of the toilets and provision of a new bin and seat at the park.
“This is a community driven thing,” Loddon River ward councillor John Nieman said at Tuesday evening’s council meeting.
“It’s an excellent example of communities going ahead and just doing it – getting it done.”
Addressing the council meeting during public question time Newstead resident Audrey Mancor said the allocation of funding for the upgrade would benefit the town.
“We feel the funding will help to unify both sides of the river because there has been this divide,” Ms Mancor said.
“The park will be significant for the people of Newstead as well as people passing through.”

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