Project update - Community reference members meet on Country

Community reference members meet on Country

Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Anie Skinner and Greg Robinson delivered a cultural briefing to Community Reference Group members, at the June meeting.

During the walk on Country at the project site, Greg and Anie spoke about the importance of the Barwon River as a storyline connecting Lal Lal Falls, the resting place of Bundjil the Wedge Tailed Eagle, and Lake Connewarre, the home of one of Bundjil’s wives, Connewarre the black swan.

They talked about the significance of islands within rivers, as places of ceremony and burial. Goat Island sits next to Porronggitj Karrong, and is where the aqueduct crosses the Barwon River.

Wadawurrung want to re-introduce balance to the environment, through traditional practices such as cultural water and cool burns to manage weed and pest species.

Following the meeting, Greg and a number of community members shared their thoughts on the project in this video.

Share your memories of the aqueduct and nearby area

Do you have a memory, photo or other information to share about the Ovoid Sewer Aqueduct, in Breakwater, Geelong, or the nearby area?

Or perhaps you have questions about the history, construction or cultural heritage of the aqueduct?

If you do, we’d love you to complete a short survey, as we begin to develop a Heritage Interpretation Plan for the aqueduct.

Propping design

Heritage Victoria has approved the design for the propping structure that will permanently sit under 10 spans of the aqueduct. The propping structure will support every loaded structural component and help to hold up the aqueduct if any individual span should fail.

The design seeks to maximise safety for workers installing it, and to reduce vibration risks to the aqueduct.

Aqueduct views

You can have a virtual look at the aqueduct from the safety of your own home, with a new 360 degree panorama now available on the project website. The interactive panorama allows you to view the 8 spans of the aqueduct that will be retained north of the Barwon River.

Access to the site and river will open up from mid-2023, but until then, please remember for safety reasons there is no public access to the aqueduct or surrounding areas on either side of the river while works are being undertaken.

You can view the aqueduct from a distance, from the end of Tanner Street, Breakwater. Please visit outside of construction hours, for example on a weekend, to avoid heavy machinery. Please do not cross any fences at any time.

Timelines

Later this year, works will begin on site to stabilise the aqueduct, install a permanent propping structure, and to remove 4 of the 14 aqueduct spans.

As the land is a floodplain the time needed to do the works will partly depend on rainfall and the bogginess of the ground.

Once the site is made safe, we will progressively open it to the community from between mid-2023 to 2025.

Opening of the Barwon River at the aqueduct will take place following the completion of works on the aqueduct, and once the gazetted exclusion zone has been removed by Corangamite Catchment Management Authority (CCMA). We are expecting this will take place by mid-2023.

The Porronggitj Karrong project aims to transform the 66 hectares of the land surrounding the aqueduct into a place the community can come together to connect, listen and learn from Country.

Opening of the site and access to the river will provide opportunities for walking and canoeing in the local area for the first time in many years.

Kitjarra-dja-bul Bullarto langi-ut masterplan survey

Help develop a masterplan for the lower Moorabool and lower Barwon rivers stretching from Meredith to the estuary at Barwon Heads, and complete this survey on the Engage Victoria website before 12 September 2022.

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