About the Site

Q: I’ve heard this site is a park, is it?

No, it is not a park and has never been a park. For 82 years up until 2018, it was a private golf course with access only to people who paid thousands of dollars in membership fees to the Golf Club. Some people refer to it as the ‘Central Park’ of Dingley Village but sadly only very few people have been able to access any part of it.

Q: How can I ‘enjoy’ the site?

Unfortunately, unless you live in one of the neighbouring residences on the boundary, you can’t. A new development will seek to open the site with houses, parks, bike tracks, walking paths, wetlands and playgrounds available to the entire Dingley community.

Q: I’ve heard the site needs to be preserved as ‘open space’?

The site has never been designated as ‘open space’. Up until 2018 it was a private golf course not ‘open’ to anyone who didn’t pay an annual membership fee.

Q: Is the site the ‘lungs of Dingley’?

There has never been any indication that the former golf course was vital to provide oxygen to Dingley Village. Any future masterplan will seek to retain a high proportion of trees designated with a high to moderate retention value and plant even more.

Maintenance

Q: How are you maintaining the site?

All maintenance is undertaken in close consultation with City of Kingston, and all permits and approvals for tree maintenance and other activities are in place prior to works commencing.

All maintenance activities occur with a full Health and Safety Management Plan in place.

We keep neighbours informed and the local community and other interested parties can find regular updates on this website.

Trees, Grass & Shrubs

Q: How are you managing the trees?

The tree management program includes an annual assessment of the health and structural integrity of all trees on the site. Qualified, independent arborists assess which trees are at risk of dropping limbs over the next 12 months. This assessment is important for the safety of neighbours and their properties as well as for staff and any contractors who are maintaining the site. These trees are recorded, and a risk rating applied. If lopping or removal of potential dangers is necessary approval is sought from Kingston Council.

Q: Are you removing trees?

Sometimes we have to remove trees for safety reasons. If this is required approval is sought from Kingston City Council and all work is undertaken in accordance with the permit it provides.

Q: Do you replace the trees you have to remove?

A tree replacement program is in place where replacement trees, for those that have had to be removed, are planted around the property in accordance with Council permit conditions.

All replacement trees are native and suited to the local climate conditions. Species include the Rough-barked Manna Gums, Saw Banksias, Narrow-leaf Peppermints, Messmate Stringybarks, River Red Gums, Swamp Gums, and Coast Manna Gums.

Q: What are you doing to manage grasses, shrubs and weeds?

Grass, weeds and shrubs are also monitored carefully to prevent unwanted spread particularly along the site boundary where it can affect neighbouring properties.

Spring is the peak growing season for grass and weeds. An approved and regulated herbicide treatment will be applied by spraying boundaries and former rough areas to ensure grasses (and particularly noxious weeds) do not seed and spread.

Q: Do you kill the grass? Sometimes it looks burnt.

The herbicide treatment process is typically applied to the former fairways, roughs and along boundary lines. Grass and weeds will die off and flatten out; however, its growth is restored within 6-8 weeks and the herbicide treatment process is repeated during peak growing seasons.

Development Plans

Q: What is going to happen to the site?

The state government released Planning Guidelines for the Conversion of Golf Course Land to Other Purposes in Victoria earlier this year. These guidelines will help determine the future of the former Kingswood golf course in Centre Dandenong Road, Dingley Village.

The guidelines were developed by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in 2019; they set out clear expectations for all stakeholders, including the community, about how golf course land should be redeveloped.

The guidelines and full report of the Standing Advisory Committee can be read here.

After considering a range of options, AustralianSuper has decided to develop a new proposal for the site in line with the government’s Planning Guidelines for the Conversion of Golf Course Land to Other Purposes.

The proposal will be informed by the extensive community and stakeholder engagement feedback gained over many years and will aim to balance the needs of the many stakeholders (including the local community, government and statutory authorities).

Q: Didn’t Kingston Council offer to lease the land and re-open the golf course to the public?

AustralianSuper received a letter from Council in October 2020 asking about our interest in such a proposal.

The Project Team provided an indication of the potential base level costs for Council’s information and advised that after considering the leasing, as well as other options, had decided to proceed with developing a new proposal for the site.

Flora & Fauna

Q: Is there any ‘unique’ or native flora?

As a result of historical land uses, the site is very different to its native state. The former fairways and greens of the golf course are dominated by exotic grass species and only scattered remnants of native vegetation remain (totalling about 1.3 hectares or just 2 per cent of the overall site’s area).

Ecological assessments of the property’s flora have recorded no nationally significant or state significant flora species on the site.

Q: Is there any ‘unique’ or protected fauna on the site?

Ecological assessments of the property’s fauna identified only one migratory fauna species of national significance that may occasionally forage in and around the property.

Despite this we know that the trees on the site provide habitat for local birds and animals and we’ll continue to manage and maintain them, so the site is safe for neighbours and staff whilst decisions regarding the site’s future are being considered.