Council Budget 2023-24
The Boroondara Council Budget for 2023-24 was passed Monday 19 June, 2023. The following are updates on projects related to the Glenferrie Hawthorn area.
An upgrade for the Hawthorn Library earmarked to begin this year is now scheduled for 2025-26 at a price tag of $499,806. A 12% increase on the cost set out in last year's budget.
Expanded Cycling Infrastructure
Local bicycle users have been waiting a considerable amount of time to see any progress on the proposed Strategic Cycling Corridor, which would link Box Hill to Hawthorn. A feasibility study for this project, then under the name of Eastern Rail Trail, was completed in 1996. While Council stated in the current budget that community consultation resulted in the project being prioritised, they added that the project “is a state government initiative and requires state government funding for its implementation.” They explained that “consultation with key stakeholders (VicTrack, Metro Trains, Department of Transport) and the community is proposed, and then Council will formally consider the studies. Subject to Council approval, the studies would then be presented to the Victorian Government for funding consideration and approval.” The project is expected to expand off-road and on-road cycling links, creating a safer connection for bike users. Council explained that “feasibility studies for two sections of the Box Hill to Hawthorn Strategic Cycling Corridor have already commenced.” Council has pledged $160,000 for further investigations into its feasibility and the creation of concept designs.
Michael Tuck Stand
The refurbishment of the Michael Tuck Stand has been given a considerable boost, jumping from $17.2 million in the 2022-23 budget to $27.45 million in the 2023-24 budget. Council stated that “All capital projects have been reviewed by Council, given the escalation in construction costs, difficulty obtaining building materials and availability of contractors to complete the work. This results in a realignment of both priorities and scheduling of the program of work to match the availability of funds.” Completion of works has been extended from 2025 to 2026-27, with Council planning to “share a draft vision for the redevelopment of the Michael Tuck Stand with the community for their feedback” in “the coming months.”
Again absent from this year’s budget, the Hawthorn RSL redevelopment project has been put on ice across multiple budgets. Council reasoned that, “Hawthorn RSL is currently petitioning for grant funding to provide better welfare and support to veterans. In 2022-23, Council expended project funds by assisting the branch to update a master plan for the site and funding deed contribution with works to be delivered by the RSL.”