Have your say about our concept plans for this community centre

Following the Bunyip Complex Fires in March 2019, community members impacted by the fires advocated strongly for a new community centre in Garfield North to help them in their recovery. They needed a place for new and existing community groups to meet, for events to be held in, and to foster social connections.

Council recognised this need and responded by applying for funding to help build the centre with user group support.

We’re pleased to confirm that the grant application was successful – the Victorian Government has committed $1.3 million from its Growing Suburbs Fund to help build the community centre. Council is putting a further $1 million towards the project.

The new multipurpose community facility, located at Cannibal Creek Reserve, Garfield North, will be available for existing user groups as well the local community.

As part of Council’s successful grant submission, concept plans for the community centre were prepared. We'd like to hear your views about the concept plans before 30 June 2022.

Impacts of disasters on affected individuals and communities can be profound, long-lasting and life changing. The Garfield North Community Centre project is one part of a long-term, multilayered social support and community development process to support the recovery of individuals and the community in townships including Garfield North, Tonimbuk, Bunyip North and Tynong North.

Community centre features

Facility feature


Information and ideas you might want to share to help shape the final design of the community centre

Social room

Room to cater for 100 people

Furniture. fixtures and equipment to be flexible and moveable.

How might you use this room?

This will help us to plan where to put doors, windows, electrical points, heating, cooling and lighting.


A storeroom big enough to store chairs and tables

Will also include a cleanerscupboard and electrical storage cupboard

What are your group’s storage requirements?


Suitable for heating and serving pre-prepared food

A servery into the social room and verandah to be included

What are your group’s catering requirements?

Meeting room/office

For up to 10 people and including furniture, fixtures and equipment

What are your committee’s requirements for this space? For example, how many committee members do you have?

Would you use a white board or display board? What other equipment would you like this space to have?


Unisex toilets

One fully accessible facility

One ambulant accessible facility

Spectator cover / veranda

3 metres wide around whole building for spectators to shelter

Includes stair entry and all-abilities ramp access

How can this building improve spectator viewing of your activity?


Basic planting that’s sensitive to environment and maintenance requirements

Car parking

Small car parking area, including one accessible space

What areas do you currently use, and can we support any improvements (within our budget constraints)?


Internal signs to help people find their way around the centre e.g. location of toilets, meeting room names.

External signs as required by project partners

View Concept Plan

Here is the proposed floor plan (concept). For more detail about the site location and building elevations or to zoom in on the plans please open the Concept Plan_Floor & Elevations pdf from the Document Library on the right.


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We will update this FAQ section with answers to questions posted on the 'Ask a Question' Tab at regular intervals. To stay up to date with new information please follow this page by clicking the yellow + Follow button at the top of the page.

Answers to questions that have been raised with us so far:


Does the building have to be in Cannibal Creek Reserve?

The building does not have to be in this reserve. However, an alternative location would need to meet the needs of the modular building and be located within the same community as part of the funding requirements. The location would also need to support permit requirements for the final design.

Design & Construction

Can the size of the building be altered; can it be made smaller?

Yes, we may be able to reduce the size of the overall building if that is what stakeholders such as user groups and community tell us.

Can the large area be designed to be split by a folding wall into two spaces?

Yes, dependent on budget we can investigate installing a folding wall in the social room.

Can a double sliding door be placed in the western wall?

Yes, dependent on budget we can investigate a sliding door on the western wall

Can internal spaces be changed – larger cleaners room, larger kitchen and storage room if the total space doesn’t alter?

Yes, dependent on budget we can investigate a larger cleaners room, larger kitchen and storage room, however the overall space cannot be made larger.

Will the building include off grid capability? Solar power and battery? Will it be able to be used during power outage with a generator?

This is not currently within the scope of works. We can investigate this further if the budget allows.

Will tank water be available for grey water options? How large will the tanks be? Where would the tanks and pump be located?

This is not currently within the scope of works. We can investigate this further if the budget allows.

How will the space be heated and cooled?

Heating and cooling will most likely be using split system air conditioners, however these details will be finalised during the design process

Will landscaping to the area be included?

Yes, there is an allocation in the project budget for landscaping.

How many people will the building cater for?

The preliminary designs allow for up to 100 people within the social room.

Safety & Accessibility

The existing plan impacts the disabled mount ramp beside the Williams arena and may impact access to the main arena for trucks. Can the build avoid impacting areas like this?

Accessibility is extremely important; we will design the new building to suit the existing space enhancing accessibility.

Will the building be set up with sprinkler system – for bushfire situations.

The BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rating for the building will determine requirements such as sprinkler systems. This is yet to be determined.

Will external lighting and car park lighting be included?

Yes, there will be some external lighting and carpark lighting included in the project. Details will be finalised during the design process.

How will potential vandalism be managed?

Council will consider Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles to discourage vandalism.

Construction impacts

How much of the reserve will be closed while the build takes place? When and for how long?

The building contractor will determine the construction site area (area to be fenced off) prior to construction. The project timeline indicates the Design and Construction Contractor will be appointed late 2022 and the build will take place from April 2023 and should be completed by January 2024. We will continue to communicate with the Reserve Committee and user groups regarding the build timeline and impact to the reserve.

Furniture and Fittings

Will furniture be included in the build?

Yes, there is an allocation in the project budget for furniture, fixtures and equipment.This will include tables, chairs, pinboards, kitchen equipment, AV equipment and other items within the allocated budget.


Who will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance and upkeep and will there be any financial support for this?

Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (DELWP) , Council and the Reserve Committee of Management will work together with user groups and the community to establish a facility management model that best fits the use of the new centre.


How many parking spaces will there be and where will they be located? Will there be disabled parking spaces?

Yes, parking, including disabled parking will be provided. Details will be finalised during the detailed design process.

About the project

The $2.3 million project will be jointly funded by the Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund and Cardinia Shire Council’s Capital Works Program.

The project has come about due to a lack of adequate community meeting spaces to serve the Garfield North community and surrounding areas. The proposed site is located within Cannibal Creek Reserve, which covers over 25 acres of bushland, walks, equestrian arenas, and activities area. The reserve is Crown land and managed by a DELWP-appointed community Committee of Management.

Currently, the only facilities at the reserve are a stand-alone canteen, small pony club shed and a public toilet block which is locked when not in use. There are currently no indoor facility for the Committee of Management and existing reserve user groups to hold committee meetings, social events, or to remain dry in inclement weather.

Similarly, there are several other community groups in Garfield North and surrounds which also have no appropriate place to hold committee meetings and events. There are other groups who are also interested in providing programs and activities at the centre to meet community need.

This issue of lack of facilities and places for social connection was magnified in the wake of the Bunyip Complex Fires, which occurred on 1 March 2019 when several bushfires commenced in and around the Bunyip State Park due to lightning strikes, and eventually joined to form one large fire impacting several communities in the area, including Garfield North, Tonimbuk, Nar Nar Goon North and Tynong North. 29 homes were destroyed, and an additional two buildings were damaged and deemed uninhabitable. A further 67 sheds and outbuildings were also damaged.

Currently, the community continues in a recovery phase, where impacts of disasters on affected individuals and communities can be profound, long-lasting and life changing. The Garfield North Community Centre project is one part of a long-term, multilayered social and developmental process to support the rehabilitation of individuals and the community at large in this area.

Your ideas about uses for the Community Centre:

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25 May, 2022

Frank says:

I think people need to read Tony’s reply on the Facebook page as to how the hall concept arose.

25 May, 2022

Jacob Tehennepe says:

Looks more like a pony club facility. Bet they didn’t tell that to the government when they went for the grant. Waste of money.

25 May, 2022

Concerned citizen says:

I see only two LOCAL GROUPS - CRR group and Equine group. Hardly a fair representation of the local community.

25 May, 2022

Concerned citizen says:

THANKYOU for the opportunity to consult AFTER approval. What happened to consult FOR approval?

25 May, 2022

Garry Burns says:

THANK YOU. Community Recovery Committee, Reserve CoM, Pony Club, Adult Riders, Stock Horse and Quarter Horse. That is 6 LOCAL Groups.

25 May, 2022

Julie says:

Seems this is another building for horse groups. Why not use the fantastic facilities at Tonimbuk Equestrian centre. Waste of money.

25 May, 2022

Meeting needed says:

Still questioning how this got to this stage without a meeting with all GN residents. Council please stop until a meeting is held for all.

25 May, 2022

Penny says:

Garry Burns Garfield North doesn't have 6 volunteer groups and 300 GN residents? I have asked others and we were not aware of this.

24 May, 2022

Garry Burns says:

In SEPT 2019 the First of 3 concept plans was produced. 6 local volunteer groups ( over 300 members) gave IN PRINCIPLE support to proceed.

23 May, 2022

SWAMPY says:

Volunteering in a LOCAL group provides a wonderful opportunity to socialize with like minded people and keep up with the local GOSS. A hall

22 May, 2022

Frank says:

Great idea, Sick of going to Tonimbuk Hall for events. People who did no know about it obviously don’t read the Connect or local papers.

22 May, 2022

Garry Burns says:

To the ongoing hard working volunteers of Community Recovery Committee and Council. As a FIRE impacted resident, I sincerely THANK YOU.

22 May, 2022

Jim says:

Excellent idea! GN residents are very lucky to have an opportunity to improve community activity facilities. Potentially very diverse space

22 May, 2022

Eliza says:

Council said GN residents advocated after the fires for this. Did they only ask a couple of GN people? Seems so. They dont represent GN.

22 May, 2022

SWAMPY says:

POSITIVE thinking volunteers of Garfield Nth and the Reserve KNOW the uses for a hall are only limited by their imagination.Can do attitude

21 May, 2022

RB says:

Great to add to the facilities of current at the reserve. Multifunctional space for the community.

21 May, 2022

Mark says:

Thank you to the Fire recovery committee for this great opportunity for a community hall. Look forward to the GN residency meeting.

21 May, 2022

SWAMPY says:

NOW. 3 riding arenas, over night camping for horse riders and a proposal of a HALL for the exchange of laughter and friendship.

21 May, 2022

SWAMPY says:

In recent HISTORY CCR had overnight camping for stagecoaches and horse riders, a trading post ,sand quarry, rubbish tip and car race track

21 May, 2022

Barb says:

Where and when was the consultation or input from Garfield North residents at the beginning? Certainly not aware of this until now. Unfair.

20 May, 2022

Lyn says:

The G N Community is still recovering from the effects of the Bushfires and the ongoing costs and workload. A meeting place is needed.

20 May, 2022

SWAMPY says:

Pre CHRISTMAS community get together. Pony rides and entertainment for ALL the KIDS. Showcase our wonderful WETLANDS enhancement project.

19 May, 2022

Anne Hodgson says:

Facility should be multi-functional including a dedicated space for a womens shed (there isn’t one in the area) with secure storage

19 May, 2022

KAREN says:

The User groups will all benefit from this building as they can all hold fund raising events at the hall

19 May, 2022

Sherryn says:

Waste of taxpayers money and completely pointless as tonimbuk hall is not far and barely used

19 May, 2022

Teresa says:

Not sure where this idea arose from. Not needed as Tonimbuk hall is adequate. Make use of Garfield Hall instead or oval facilities.

19 May, 2022

John says:

Great idea/concept. However there is no way that the social room could have 100 people seated at tables for meals or activities.

19 May, 2022

Garry Burns says:

Invite Garfield Primary School for ONSITE nature studies and history lessons of the OLD SALE ROAD. Bill Parish would be proud.

18 May, 2022

Tony says:

The hall is to small. The floor plan is from a Feb 2021 quote and does not reflect what should be built for $2.3ml. Please get another qoute

18 May, 2022

Tony says:

The hall is to small. The floor plan is from a Feb 2021 quote and does not reflect what should be built for $2.3ml. Please get another qoute

18 May, 2022

Linda says:

Running meditation workshops and classes would be great for mental health but location is tricky for those that don’t drive - community bus?

18 May, 2022

Lyn says:

Information sessions with CFA, first aid and defibrillator awareness and use combined with a social get-together for the benefit of all.

18 May, 2022

Jacqandco says:

Fabulous. Greatly needed - sick of having to travel to Tonimbuk Hall for community meetings. Anyone affected by the fires can see its need.

18 May, 2022

Garry Burns says:

The Pony Club are planning for a Trivia and Auction event of local produce. Apples, Beef,Honey.Horse feed, Hay, Wine. Support the children

17 May, 2022

M71 says:

This is not the best site for such a large venue. The money would be better spent upgrading the existing venues in Garfield and Bunyip.

17 May, 2022

Garry Burns says:

A great location for the local community to meet with the CFA for a PRE fire season information session.