Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve Master Plan
Current status: The first round of community engagement for the project has now closed. We are currently reviewing feedback received during the engagement to help inform a draft Master Plan for the reserve.
Last updated: December 2023
This project is being delivered on Bunurong Country in partnership with Traditional Owners.
Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve is a 499-hectare reserve located in Melbourne’s south-east. The peaceful parkland is home to over 90 plants species and an array of native animals including Wedged-tailed Eagles and Eastern Grey Kangaroos. Community activities are also hosted at the reserve, with Churchill Park Golf Course located in the east, and a council-managed sports preninct used for soccer, softball, cricket and baseball.
The reserve is a culturally significant site for the Traditional Owners of the land, the Bunurong people. It has a long history, and was once the headquarters for the Native Police Corps and a base for many of their Aboriginal trackers. The site was also used as a base for the Westernport District of the Port Phillip Aboriginal Protectorate Station.
Later on, Victoria Police took over the land as a horse stud and stables. To protect the heritage values associated with the early uses of the reserve, a large area surrounding the former historic buildings is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, recognising the importance of the reserve to the people of Victoria. The reserve was also the site of the Seventh Australian Boy Scout Jamboree which once hosted some 15,000 scouts.
We’re leading the development of a Master Plan to guide the park into the future. While this is underway, we’ll also be delivering some immediate works to improve the reserve’s safety, access, and connection for visitors as a priority. This includes trail maintenance, new wayfinding signage and installing access control barriers at the entry of the park to discourage rubbish dumping and illegal vehicle access.
Environmental and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultural heritage assessments will inform the development of the Master Plan, as well as where, when and how any associated works are delivered.
To make sure we get the Master Plan right, we’re consulting with visitors, the local community, Traditional Owners and key stakeholders. To have your say, visit: https://engage.vic.gov.au/project/dandenong-police-paddocks-masterplan
Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve
Explore the different landscapes of the reserve.
The Master Plan will outline a blueprint for Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve, providing a range of opportunities for the community to get active and connect with nature in this peaceful suburban reserve. Early works will also deliver projects to improve the reserve and ensure visitors feel safe across the park.
The reserve has a rich environment brimming with regionally significant plants and animals. The Master Plan will help to preserve this environment, while also exploring opportunities to do things differently to adapt to climate change and protect the natural riches of the reserve.
The Master Plan will align with Parks Victoria’s Land Management Strategy, ensuring the reserve’s special environment is protected and preserved for many years to come.
The reserve is steeped in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cultural heritage values which the Master Plan will also help to preserve and interpret in consultation with local Traditional Owners and others with connections to the layered history of this reserve.
The Victorian Government has invested a total of $5.5 million to reinvigorate Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve:
- $1 million will be used to deliver immediate works to improve safety and accessibility across the reserve.
- $0.5 million will develop the Master Plan
- $4 million will go towards implementing early initiatives set out in the Master Plan.
Environment and cultural heritage management
We are working with the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation to develop and implement a Cultural Heritage Management Plan to ensure the Aboriginal cultural values of the site are protected. We will also ensure the non-Aboriginal cultural heritage values of the site are protected.
Environmental impacts will be minimised wherever possible for this project.
Who are we working with?Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and other Traditional Owners
Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve tenants
Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action
Local Councils (City of Greater Dandenong, City of Casey and Knox City Council)
Before visiting any park you should check the relevant park page for any Change of Conditions.
No access changes are currently planned for Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve. This page will be updated with any access changes as the project progresses.
You can also stay up to date by subscribing for community updates on this project.
- News September 2023: Shape the future of Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve
- News May 2022: New lease of life on way for Dandenong Police Paddocks
How can I participate in the Master Plan engagement?
Provide your thoughts and ideas on the future of Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve by visiting the Engage Victoria page: https://engage.vic.gov.au/project/dandenong-police-paddocks-masterplan or emailing email@example.com.