Australian club relocation criticised


Sean Dudley

The proposed relocation of the Eastern Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia, is the subject of an appeal to the Victorian government’s appeals tribunal.

The club, which is located in the Melbourne suburb of Doncaster, wants to sell its existing property to developers – for a sum rumoured to be in the region of A$100m – and build a new 27-hole facility around 30km away in the Yarra Valley.

The planning application for the new course was approved by Yarra Ranges Shire in July, but now Friends of the Earth, along with local group Healesville Environment Watch is taking the case to the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal, a government agency empowered to resolve disputes in planning matters.

The two groups say the new course would be built on a floodplain, and runs the risk of contaminating the Sugarloaf Reservoir, which is the main source of drinking water for much of Melbourne. Melbourne Water, which runs the Sugarloaf reservoir and treatment plant, has said it is happy with the proposed development, subject to limitations on the chemical usage of the golf course.