Tag Archives: Angelo Kourambas

Lions Park budget revealed as works commence

FOLLOWING our coverage last month of the Lions Park development, the Diary has now received detailed explanation from Angelo Kourambas, Director City Planning and Community, Manningham Council, on our requests for clarification.



Stage One of the Lions Park upgrade in the Warrandyte River Reserve includes construction of a new car park and new pedestrian paths, along with ramps and stairs, an upgrade of the existing shelter area and construction of a new picnic shelter area with a barbecue, drinking fountain and picnic table.

This stage will also include water sensitive urban design treatment garden beds, new open picnic and grassed areas, an animal rope crossing bridge over the road and the installation of new exercise equipment.


Budget and timing 

During 2019/20, Manningham Council has completed the detailed design, soil and geotechnical testing and a cultural heritage management plan for Stage One of the upgrade to Lions Park.

While Council initially hoped works would commence earlier in April 2020, this was delayed to June following an extended tender process.

As part of Council’s planning for this project and following initial works estimates, $410,000 was allocated in Council’s 2019/20 budget for the construction of Stage One with remaining funding to be allocated in 2020/21.

Following the detailed design and tender process, it was determined that the initial estimates for the construction of Stage One were under-priced according to current market values and the construction costs for this project were revalued.

Funding of $625,000 has been allocated in Council’s draft 2020/21 Annual Budget for the completion of Stage One, bringing the total funding allocated for Stage One to $1.035 million.

As we go to press, Council has finally released the minutes of the closed May meeting to decide the tender, and we can now see that JMAC Constructions Pty Ltd has now been awarded the contract for the Stage One works at a cost of $1.1M.

The minutes also reveal that the total cost of Stage One is $1.324M after including income from other sources.


Exercise equipment 

The Lions Club of Warrandyte initially approached Council to offer a contribution for exercise equipment in Warrandyte.

After careful review and consideration, Lions Park was chosen as the location and was approved as part of the endorsed masterplan.

Whilst an initial quotation for fitness equipment, in the region of $15,000, was obtained by the Lions Club, Council advise that it unfortunately did not meet or comply with safety standards; therefore alternative equipment has been sourced, as there are a range of safety standards and requirements for outdoor fitness equipment installed in open space areas.

The total cost of the exercise equipment including supply, installation and rubber surfacing is $52,000, of which $45,000 will be funded by the Lions Club and the remaining amount will be funded by Council.

Concern has been expressed in the community regarding the loss of the tennis courts, in that the static fitness equipment is not really a substitute for the courts in terms of provision for active facilities for the community.

It has been suggested that some sort of social sporting facility such as perhaps a bocce or petanque pitch is needed at this part of town.

Mr. Kourambas advises that the endorsed masterplan for Lions Park also includes open space areas suitable for outdoor exercise and has been designed following community consultation.

Whilst Council has not received any requests for bocce or petanque pitches or similar, this could be considered in the future.



The masterplan for Lions Park has a total of six barbecue burners across the space that are complemented by picnic facilities.

As part of Stage One of the upgrade, the existing shelter area will include a new accessible and Disability Discrimination Act compliant two burner barbecue and picnic facilities.

We are told that as well as retaining the existing shelter it is intended to repurpose parts of the existing four burner barbecue currently in this space.

We believe the intention is to reuse the surround bricks, which are engraved with the names of donors to the original bicentennial project, in the immediate area.


Stage Two budget and timing 

Stage Two of the Lions Park upgrade will include the playspace as well as an additional shelter, barbecue and picnic facilities.

Funded separately in 2021/22, Council has provisionally allocated $700,000 in its four-year capital works program for Stage Two of the Lions Park upgrade.

This allocation will be reviewed and reassessed once the final detailed design is developed.

Bike path plans put residents in a spin

PLANNING FOR THE final stages of the bicycle path to connect Warrandyte to the Main Yarra Trail is underway.

Manningham Council is currently planning for a new shared bicycle path to connect Pound Road to Taroona Avenue in Warrandyte, with a final leg taking the path from Warrandyte High School to the junction with the Main Yarra Trail at Beasley’s Nursery.

Angelo Kourambas, Director City Planning and Community told the Diary, the path would complete the Main Yarra Trail connection to Warrandyte.

“This was identified as one of the top 10 trail connections in the Eastern Regional Trails Strategy 2018, which Manningham is a partner Council,” Mr Kourambas said.

He said it is also Council’s commitment to deliver key objectives of the Manningham Bicycle Strategy 2013.

However, locals have safety concerns over the chosen route for the Pound Bend to Taroona Avenue.

The proposed alignment of the new shared path includes a new off-road shared path and an on-road trail connection along an existing service lane, located off Heidelberg-Warrandyte Road ending at West End Road.

Residents who reside along the Heidelberg Road service lane are unhappy that the path will bring large numbers of bicycles along their narrow service lane.

Dr Abdul Qader, contacted the Diary on behalf of the residents after they received a letter from Manningham City Council regarding the bike trail extension.

“The residents of the service road totally reject this plan, mainly on safety grounds.

In a letter, signed by all the residents along the service road, which was sent to the Manningham Council Planning Department, the residents outlined their objections.

“Our service road will be subject to accident/collisions if this goes ahead.

Our driveways are built in such a way that we have to reverse our cars to go out and with bikes it would definitely become too hazardous.

So our driveways would have to be redesigned if this plan stands, if so who would bear the cost?”

MP Ryan Smith spoke to Council on the residents’ behalf and received the following statement from Council:

“The roadway itself is a quiet Council owned service lane that currently facilitates vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.

Having said that, Council acknowledges that the service lane could be improved with such works potentially incorporated into the project scope.

Council will consider all submissions before confirming next steps with the community.

This is only a conceptual alignment at this stage.

Council will ensure resident concerns have been considered and where appropriate, changes can be made to strengthen the design.”

The group has suggested keeping the path on the main road, rather than on the service road, or to reroute the path along Pound Road to the riverside.

“The latter option would serve better as all bike riders would enjoy the Warrandyte scenic beauty rather than our residential houses,” the residents’ letter stated.

Dr Qader said the residents were not rejecting the whole plan.

“The overall scheme is plausible, but the diversion from the main road to our service road is absolutely unacceptable when there are a couple of alternatives available,” he said.

Mr Kourambas said Council is currently assessing feedback received from local residents on the proposed alignment of this section of the trail.

“The detailed design process for the proposed on-road trail connection would consider safety for all road users including cyclists, pedestrians and motorists along with resident feedback,” he said.

Mr Kourambas said a final detailed design for the trail connection is anticipated to be completed during 2020/21 and works on the path are planned for 2021/22.

The completed trail should eventually join into another proposed bike path to extend the Yarra River trail from Taroona Reserve, up Taroona Avenue.

The Taroona Avenue extension was originally planned in 2018, however this seems to have been shelved for the moment.