In 2020 Merri-bek Council put out to tender conversion of the Hosken Reserve football oval to a fenced synthetic soccer pitch. Over the previous decade there had been zero engagement with local residents over this conversion. The masterplan had not been made publicly available on Council’s website. There followed a campaign both highlighting Council’s lack of public consultation and transparency as well as raising the environmental and health impacts of Synthetic Turf. The tender did not go ahead. Council was forced to conduct community engagement process over develoment of Hosken Reserve.
The engagement process did not consider use and upgrade of nearby sports fields such as at Richards Reserve, nor future pending major residential development bordering Hosken Reserve to the east. There was no discussion and engagement process for upgrading the tennis surface at Hosken Reserve.
When the engagement process fed back to Council, a decision was made not to proceed with a synthetic surface, but the oval would be made into a fenced soccer pitch at the large end of the range specified by Soccer Victoria (when the community preferred the a small end of the standard range)
The existing natural turf soccer putch at Hosken south which is exclusively used by Pascoe Vale Soccer Club, would be upgraded to include some hybrid surfaces. A shared oval is being turned into a space with reduced community use more dedicated for soccer use. While a full synthetic conversion was stopped, hybrid synthetic will still go ahead on the Hosken South soccer pitch. After the major residential development application was approved , a subsequent decision of Council allocated the East Field for Community use.
In total, the local community saw this as a very mixed bag win.
The Campaign website, Save Hosken Reserve, is no longer available. Posts on the Save Hosken Reserve Facebook group indicate the campaign concluded in May 2022.
For more information on related campaigns, click here