The birthplace of powered flight in Australia has a new look thanks to support from the Andrews Labor Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund.

The redeveloped Stan Payne Reserve in Diggers’ Rest was officially opened by Sunbury MP Josh Bull on behalf of Local Government Minister Shaun Leane today.

On 18 March 1910 world-famous escapologist Harry Houdini became the first person to make a powered flight in Australia, taking off three times from a paddock at the site, now the entrance to the Diggers’ Rest township.

The revitalisation of the historic reserve received $400,000 from the 2018-19 round of the Andrews Labor Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund, which supports the creation of community connections, enhanced services, and provides greater opportunities at the local level.

New signage tells the historic story of the first flight, alongside redeveloped shelters, paths, shade and landscaping to make the reserve more welcoming and connected to the township.

The $800,000 upgrade was delivered by the Melton City Council, which contributed $400,000 towards the project.

The Growing Suburbs Fund has invested more than $31.6 million into the Melton City Council for 28 projects since 2015.

More information on the Growing Suburbs Fund is available at:

Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane

“The Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund provides crucial community infrastructure and is delivering results for local communities”

“This is a revitalisation of an important area for the fast-growing Diggers’ Rest community – not to mention a historic site – and it’s great the Growing Suburbs Fund helped to make it happen.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Sunbury Josh Bull 

“It’s great to see the Victorian Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund delivering projects like this for fast-growing communities like ours.”

“The new-look Stan Payne Reserve is a great new place for children to play and be active and residents to gather to be more connected to their community and its history.”

Related Topics