Each year, Parks Victoria delivers projects in parks and waterways to improve how people connect with nature.
These projects can range from upgrades to playgrounds, park facilities, tracks and campgrounds, to major, multi-year projects like building new sporting facilities, piers and accommodation, establishing new parks, and creating new tracks and trails to offer visitors access to more of Victoria’s natural places.
Victoria’s parks, reserves and waterways hold special natural and cultural heritage values that we’re committed to protecting while helping people to enjoy being in nature in a sustainable way.
Stages of a project
Delivering projects involves careful consideration of feasibility, planning, consultation and assessments. These steps make sure the finished product suits the needs of visitors and local communities, while preserving environmental and cultural heritage of the site. Every project progresses through a series of steps as it develops from an idea to a completed project ready to be enjoyed by visitors.
Depending on the size and complexity of the project it will include some or all of these steps:
Projects are initiated to meet a range of strategic objectives. These include improving safety and accessibility, addressing ageing infrastructure and providing new ways for people to experience nature. Some projects are conceived as part of a broader Government investment program such as the Victorian Great Outdoors Program and the Urban Parks Active Wellbeing Program.
We conduct feasibility studies to consider all relevant factors involved in delivering a project. These factors can include business or operational requirements, site constraints, permit requirements, cultural heritage requirements, stakeholder analysis and initial costings. The stage is important to understand if a project can be delivered successfully.
Scoping and planning
All projects are put through a comprehensive planning and due diligence process to assess their viability, sustainability and cost-effectiveness. During this phase we seek technical advice such as geotechnical, engineering and environmental reports to ensure the site is appropriate for the project. We also carry out cultural heritage and planning assessments to ensure works can be carried out without negatively impacting the site. We work in partnership with Parks Victoria’s Managing Country Together teams and with organisations such as Heritage Victoria, Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and local councils to obtain planning permits and cultural heritage management plans.
Consultation, engagement and partnerships
We regularly hold in-person or online engagement sessions to inform visitors and communities about projects. Where appropriate, we seek community input on designs and other aspects of projects. We also consult with government and non-government organisations, community groups, catchment management authorities, private landowners, friends groups, volunteers, licensed tour operators, lessees, research institutes and the broader community.
At strategic points during the works we hold onsite engagement activities, publish newsletters, install signage and provide information on the Parks Victoria website to ensure stakeholders are kept informed.
Funding is secured for projects from a range of sources depending on the type of project, including the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions, Regional Development Victoria, and Sports and Recreation Victoria.
We develop artist’s impressions and concept designs to assist stakeholders, visitors and communities to envisage how the finished project will be delivered.
Call for tenders and expressions of interest
We invite suitably qualified providers to submit tenders to carry out works and we seek expressions of interest from businesses to provide services, such as operating a café within a park. Tenders and expressions of interest are comprehensively assessed and evaluated by a panel of experts from Parks Victoria, as well as by Traditional Owners and partner agencies where appropriate.
When works commence onsite by contractors, depending on the scope of the works, sections of the site may be closed to visitors to ensure safety and efficiency. Closures are advised via the Parks Victoria website, newsletters and through onsite signage.
Completion and launch
When works are complete, a launch event is held as a chance for the local community and visitors to get a first glimpse of the new asset. At completion, we review and evaluate projects to ensure they are completed as they were scoped and funded. We also undertake post-construction environmental assessments and visitation monitoring. If the project is an accommodation initiative, it will now be available for booking on the Parks Victoria website.
Stay up to date
Are you interested in a project near you? Stay informed by visiting Projects and subscribing to the projects mailing list.