In early 2022, consultation was undertaken to ask the community how they use the area, and what they see as key opportunities to enhance this popular location.
The consultation found that many people enjoy Eastern Hill for walking, and to a lesser extent bike riding. The scenic views, walking trails, bushland setting, and lookout were identified as great features of the area.
Many people also remarked that trails are uneven, poorly marked and overgrown, which created barriers to access. Public amenities and revegetation in areas were also identified as needing attention.
The Draft Eastern Hill Activation Master Plan was developed to activate the space for the entire community to enjoy, and includes:
- Improvements to traffic safety on East Street
- Enhancements to the entry experience
- Upgrades to the track surface, drainage and access including boardwalks, steps and handrails
- Improvements to the Rotary and Trig Point Lookouts including new public amenities, seating, shelters and BBQ areas
- Creation of a small network of Mountain Bike Trails
- Track realignment and development of additional pathways
- Creation of a tank art trail
- Interpretive and wayfinding signage
- Revegetation... and more.
The draft plan was put back out to the community for feedback in August 2022, which attracted significant community interest and a diverse range of opinions. This level of feedback resulted in Council engaging an independent consultant to review and evaluate all submissions.
Due to the broad support and opposition for many elements within the draft plan, Council have now endorsed its review by a Community Advisory Panel, bringing together community members from each of the key stakeholder interest groups including Albury Rotary Club, Friends of Eastern Hill Community Group, Albury Wodonga Mountain Bikers, AlburyCity Youth Council, the Access and Inclusion Committee, the Mungabareena Aboriginal Place Management Group, the Sustainability Advisory Committee and two AlburyCity Councillors.
Representatives will meet fortnightly for a period of up to three months where they will review key elements in the draft plan, discuss differing views, share opinions, and identify potential solutions.
The resulting recommendations will then be presented to Council for further consideration, acknowledging technical expertise will be required to refine the designs.
AlburyCity Mayor Kylie King said this is an opportunity for key stakeholders to collaborate to ensure this popular area can be enjoyed and valued by everyone in our community.
"We are looking forward to the Panel taking the opportunity to listen to all differing opinions, and working together to ensure we create a space that we can all be proud of," said Mayor King.
"It’s clear from the submissions we received that Eastern Hill is a precious, valuable community asset. Councillors look forward to further considering how the area can be maintained and enhanced for many generations to come."
Find out more about the project on the AlburyCity website.