Premier Daniel Andrews today joined City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle to officially open new parkland on the site of the former Royal Children’s Hospital in Parkville.
The new $5.5 million park marks the end of the $1 billion new Royal Children’s Hospital Project, which commenced in 2005 under the Bracks Labor Government.
The new park features more than 1,100 trees and 17,500 plants, shrubs and grasses. It includes open lawns, play equipment, walking paths and amenities such as seating, drink fountains, picnic tables and BBQs.
Nature-based play spaces include a climbing forest, a rocky wall with slides, swings and water, and sand play elements – all designed to encourage children to interact with nature.
The new Royal Children’s Hospital has six levels of world-class clinical, research and education facilities across more than 200,000 square metres, as well as unique features to delight children and families, including a two-storey coral reef aquarium and the fun meerkat enclosure.
Most of the old Royal Children’s Hospital has been demolished and replaced with additional underground car parking, a hotel, childcare facilities and medical consulting suites.
The parkland, which creates a new gateway to Royal Park, has been jointly funded by the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne.
The previous Labor Government promised that the new Royal Children’s Hospital would not use more than 4.1 hectares of Royal Park and this commitment has been met.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
”Patients and their families will use the lawns, play areas and paths for generations to come.”
“We all reserve a special place in our hearts for the young heroes at the Royal Children’s Hospital.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy
“Play spaces that encourage children to explore and interact with the natural environment are essential for healthy development.”
“It is so important to be able to provide patients with a break from the hospital environment, especially for sick children recovering at the Royal Children’s.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville
“We spoke to and listened to the local community, and delivered on their vision for a park that reflects the broader landscape of Royal Park, with its gullies, grasslands and woodlands.”
“The landscape is very special and pays tribute to Melbourne’s indigenous heritage with the design representing the seven Wurundjeri seasons.”
Source: News Release, Victorian Government, 04 March, 2015