Golf club members at a course just north of Melbourne’s CBD could soon face far more dangerous hazards than bunkers once a controversial infrastructure project gets under way.
A major thoroughfare and bridge are set to take over a large part of the 18-hole Medway Golf Club as the council looks to ease traffic congestion on busy surrounding roads.
The news comes three years after former ALP state deputy opposition leader and Niddrie MP Rob Hulls declared that ”no one would now or in 20 years expect the carve-up of a golf course to build a highway.”
What will happen to the remainder of the riverside golf course, established in 1935, is as yet unknown. There is speculation that land surrounding the new road could be used for the creation of a mixed-use village similar to riverside-based projects proposed in the nearby areas of Alphington, Footscray and Kew.
Members of the neighbouring City of Moonee Valley Council are opposed to the bridge, arguing that it will bring increased traffic to its suburbs, including Essendon and Keilor East, with a major through road already expected to be used more intensely after a nearby 128-hectare Department of Defence explosives factory makes way for a high-density mixed-use village.
Medway manager Philip Carlton admitted the proposed road would have a dramatic impact on the club but would not comment about whether it could or would merge, move or be reconfigured around a new road.
Victorian developers have been capitalising in recent years on the redevelopment potential of golf courses, while the course owners have been happy to accept lucrative offers which locate them further from Melbourne’s CBD but on far more affordable land.
Former golf courses at Croydon and Sunshine have already made way for new housing estates, while across town in Doncaster, developer Mirvac recently paid $100 million for the 47-hectare outgoing Eastern Golf Course site, earmarked in the medium term to become a $1 billion-plus mixed-use village with high-density housing, offices and shops.