• Public spaces, sports and recreation

JL Murphy Synthetic Pitch

Published 5 May 2022
An improved pitch for the community.

The contents of this page have been archived. This represents Council’s advocacy position prior to the 2022 State and Federal elections.

For updated information on any of these projects, please contact Council.

Redeveloping and resurfacing the JL Murphy Community Pitch to accommodate greater usage.

What is the ask?

Council is requesting the Victorian Government to contribute to the redevelopment of the Community Pitch at JL Murphy Reserve.

What is the issue this initiative will address?

Many of Council’s sports facilities are at capacity, with significant demand from sports clubs and the local community including schools, fitness providers and casual community use. Port Phillip’s population and sports participation are increasing, and this growth is projected to continue, particularly for juniors, women and girls. This high use is already resulting in significant wear and tear, causing poor surface condition. This then results in unsuitable or unsafe conditions and a poor experience for users.

What is Council proposing?

To safely and effectively cater for current and projected sports participation levels, and with limited opportunities to purchase new land for public space, it is vital that sports ground surfaces can accommodate high levels of sport participation as well as broader community use.

At JL Murphy Reserve, the condition of the Community Pitch (Pitch 3) suffers from high use and, with the new Port Melbourne vertical school adjacent to the site, this pitch is expected to have even more traffic.

Council has proposed to redevelop and resurface the pitch to accommodate greater prolonged usage to:

  • increase community participation in recreational activities
  • provide better connections with the surrounding open space
  • increase safety of the pitch and the reserve
  • improve the quality of community recreation facilities.

How does this initiative align with the Council Plan and Victorian Government Priorities?


Council Plan 2021-31:: Inclusive Port Phillip - a City that is a place for all members of our community, where people feel supported and comfortable being themselves and expressing their identities.

  • We are working towards Port Phillip being a place where people of all ages, genders, backgrounds and abilities can access services and facilities that enhance health and wellbeing through universal and targeted programs that address inequities.
  • We will provide high-quality sport and recreation infrastructure designed for shared community use that enables people of all ages, genders, backgrounds and abilities to participate, including major projects such as JL Murphy, Lagoon Reserve, North Port Oval, RF Julier, Port Melbourne Netball Courts, Wattie Watson Oval and other sports field lighting and minor recreation infrastructure renewals, subject to available budget funding.
  • We will partner with local sporting clubs, schools and recreation providers to facilitate increased participation in recreation and leisure activities to enable everyone in our community to be more active.
  • We will partner with sport and recreation providers to improve gender equity, access and inclusion within their programs.

This project is consistent with outcomes in our Sports and Recreation Strategy 2015-2024.

Victorian Government

The project supports the following Victorian Government priorities:

  • increasing the number of women and girls participating in sport and active recreation, from grassroots through to senior leadership roles
  • Sport and Recreation Victoria’s work to inspire women and girls to participate and become leaders in sport at all levels
  • Sport and Recreation Victoria initiatives that create more participation opportunities for all Victorians, including building a more sustainable and inclusive sport and recreation sector
  • supporting under-represented groups experiencing barriers to participation in sport and recreation.

How does this initiative assist the community recover from COVID-19?

The project has a focus on supporting participation, especially juniors, women and girls. The new pitch will accommodate the high levels of sport participation and broader community use. It will help the local community be active and engaged, which will support improvements to physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Cost and current status?


The project is estimated to cost $2.1 million, with the additional funding required for lighting.


Council is at the first stage of this project, with the focus on planning and design and community consultation on the proposed concept design. The redevelopment of the community pitch from a natural turf ground into a synthetic surface is due to start late 2022.