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Preston Open Space Advisory Panel (POSAP)

17 Aug 2020

About the Preston Open Space Advisory Panel

The Preston Open Space Advisory Panel (POSAP) is made up of the local community members who will provide input into how Preston’s newest community open spaces will be developed. They will share their perspective to help us design a space that will be used by locals for generations to come.

Members will:

  • provide feedback on designs of newly created open spaces
  • make sure a broad range of community perspectives are considered
  • share project information and updates with the local community.

For more information about POSAP read our Terms of Reference.

Panel members

  • Rowena Archer, Community Member
  • Shez Bakhuri, Bell Residents Group
  • Esme Bamblett, Aborigines Advancement League
  • Ainsley Bedggood, Community Member
  • Neil Boland, Community Member
  • Lucinda Hartley, Community Member
  • Chris Lombardo, Bridge Darebin
  • Jennifer Loulie, Darebin City Council
  • Michael Webb, Community Member

Executive summaries

Meeting Three – 21 July 2020

Due to ever-changing circumstances in Victoria at the moment, it was necessary for us to postpone the third POSAP meeting for one week.

Open Space – Presentations and Activities

Reporting back on what they heard in meeting two, the Place Agency provided a summary of place-making opportunities for all three areas. They provided considerations based on how the panel described Preston’s unique characteristics.

Tract designers presented the open space draft concept designs for POSAP area one, Bell Street to Cramer Street, and explained how feedback from key stakeholders, community and POSAP have been incorporated into the design. They also provided an overview of the constraints and challenges of the area and proposed project design and provided opportunities for consideration.

Panel members were asked the following questions:

  • What resonates with you about the proposed open space design?
  • Have we interpreted the panel’s feedback appropriately into the design?  
  • What do you think would enhance the usability of the space?
  • Is there anything missing from the proposed open space designs?

Overall, the Panel members’ comments of the open space concept designs were positive and encouraging.


The Place Agency and Project team responded to final questions from the panel.

A number of members have expressed concerns about the meeting proceeding during stage four restrictions. We’ve postponed meeting four to a later date.

Meeting Two – 16 June 2020

After welcomes and meeting formalities, the open space for consultation was presented to the group.

Open Space – Presentations and Activities

This open space is equivalent to the size of Preston City Oval. The key opportunities identified by the LXRP design team within the open space were creating new east-west connections and shared cycling and pedestrian paths throughout the project.

The Place Agency presented to the panel on place-making principles and the role of place-making for the project. As part of this, the group participated in two activities with questions on ‘What makes Preston special?’ and on ‘How would you describe the character of Preston?’

Following these activities, the types of opportunities in Preston and how different place-making elements can influence the look and feel of a place were presented.

The Place Agency then ended on an activity asking the panel:

  • What could the future place experience be?
  • How could we make this place more characterful?
  • How could we make this a place that locals love?

This allowed a range of design suggestions to be considered for the open spaces being co-designed by POSAP.


The Place Agency and Project team responded to final questions from the panel.

Next meeting will be held 14 July 2020.

Meeting One – 19 May 2020

After introductions and meeting formalities, the group was given information about the panel and its purpose.

The key objectives of the meeting were to introduce and build understanding of the project, the panel and its process.

Members of the Preston Level Crossing Removal Project spoke to the panel about the project overview, its objectives, project considerations and the open space areas the panel will provide input on. Project members also presented on the of community and stakeholder engagement for the project so far and how this feedback has influenced the project’s development.

Project members answered questions confirming that

  • Metro Trains Melbourne Depot is being relocated
  • Substation is remaining with some aesthetic improvements
  • Rail bridge height will vary throughout corridor
  • Open spaces for station precinct and functional elements are not open for POSAP consultation due to operational requirements and constraints in these locations.
  • Project plans will be provided as designs progress

Traffic at Bell Street, Preston level crossing

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