Next step of Ballarat’s Open Space Strategy

Generic image of Kensington Creek, Winter Valley

Kensington Creek walking trails in Winter Valley

The City of Ballarat is calling for specific user groups to register to join a collaborative design workshop that will help shape the development of the Open Space Strategy.  

The community’s voice will play a pivotal role in the new strategy that will influence how open space is improved and managed into the future.

From the initial round of engagement that ran from November 2023 until January 2024, the consultation received more than 900 responses via surveys, submissions and map pins – highlighting just how important open space is to the Ballarat community.  

Emerging themes from the first round of engagement included passive recreation, amenity and infrastructure, feeling safe, biodiversity, diversity and connection.  

From those findings focus groups have now been developed:  

  • Appropriate infrastructure: how fences, lights, toilets and bins should be used/available in open spaces.  
  • Diverse play: how to make play areas engaging, fair and safe and how to encourage development through play
  • Dogs in open space: how we manage dogs in open spaces to make everyone feel safe and welcome.  
  • Universal design: how accessibility, equity and design principles are used in open spaces.  
  • First Nations: Traditional Owners will provide input into connection to Country, acknowledgment and reflecting tradition in design.  
  • Equity and priority: how do the City of Ballarat prioritise where to invest in open space
  • Biodiversity and nature: how to manage biodiversity in an urban context and how to roll out across Ballarat.  
  • Priority connections: where paths and trails should be connected  
  • Better development: how should open spaces be delivered in new growth areas.  

Places are limited, so to register for a focus group please visit MySay to submit your interest.  

City of Ballarat Councillor Belinda Coates said it was evident that the Ballarat community values open spaces.  

“Our community’s voice is playing a key role in developing this long-term strategy for Ballarat’s spaces. It will be great to see how their influence can shape our open spaces into the future,” she said.  

“The next stage of collaboration with the community will include a deep dive into some of the key themes that our respondents identified, such as diverse play and biodiversity.”  

The Open Space Strategy 2024 will replace and supersede the current Open Space Strategy which has been in place since 2008.

The strategy will set out principles, priorities and actions that will help inform the decision-making processes, future investment and development contributions.