By Tricia Mifsud
Long-time Kilmore residents Ray and Jennifer Wilkie have donated land as part of a residential development to be used for a new sporting and community hub.
The former farming land at the corner of Butlers Road and Kilmore-Lancefield Road, Kilmore, was rezoned to residential land.
About 12 of the total 46 acres set aside for the Parkview Estate development will be used for the construction of sporting and community facilitates – the first time in more than 50 years that Kilmore will gain a new sports complex.
Mitchell Shire Coucil approached the Wilkies soon after they purchasing the land from the May family in 2005. The Wilkies agreed to make the substantial donation to support Kilmore residents.
“After being approached by the council back into 2005 we thought this was the perfect opportunity to give back to our community that we had grown up in ourselves and gone on to raise our own families in,” the Wilkies said in a statement.
“It’s an exciting time for the residents of our shire and we hope once the council determines how this land will be developed that we have a fantastic sport facility that goes on to serve our community for many generations to come.”
After a 14-year wait, the property at Butlers Road was rezoned from farming to general residential when Mitchell Shire Council unanimously adopted a planning amendment to rezone the land.
As part of the development, there will be 118 residential housing lots, helping to accommodate a forecasted population growth of 333 per cent in Kilmore in the next 20 years.
Kilmore civil construction company Allequip Pty Ltd won a contract to complete the development works alongside the Wilkies, with both parties’ main priority being to provide the best opportunities for future Kilmore residents.
“Both parties have grown up and gone on to raise their own families in the area and are excited to be a part of the future growth of Kilmore,” an Allequip spokesperson said.
“Having both been involved in many other subdivisions within the local area and also within other shires, [we] bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to [our] latest and first venture together.
“This is an exciting time for not only the locals of Kilmore but for our future residents and to any of the visitors who will use the sporting facilities in the years to come.”
Mitchell Shire Council chief executive Brett Luxford said the land acquisition was important to provide more active spaces for a rapidly growing Kilmore community.
“Active open space is an important part of providing for the current Mitchell Shire community and preparing for the expected population growth,” he said.
“Sport and recreation are a big part of daily life in Mitchell and more open space is needed in Kilmore to support the town’s growth.
“Council acknowledges the developer of the land has gone above and beyond their open space requirements and worked productively with council to help provide a community asset. This asset is in the form of a five-hectare sports reserve located along Butlers Road.
“Council is still determining how this open space will be used to meet the needs of the community now and in the future.”
It is anticipated the land will be transferred to Mitchell Shire Council in 2023. The land will need to be developed for the purposes of a sports and community facility from that point.