What does the project involve?

What does the project involve?

Preliminary works

As part of the planning for the project, we are currently conducting environmental and cultural heritage studies, including flora and fauna assessments, geotechnical and land surveys.

We have established an agency advisory group to provide advice and oversee the project. This includes Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and City of Greater Geelong.

We are sharing information with our key stakeholders, local environmental groups and the wider community about the project and future opportunities to be involved.

Phase one – site rehabilitation and creek realignment – April 2021 to December 2022

The first phase of the project focuses on rehabilitating the site and restoring the natural headwaters of Yarram Creek. This will include removing the old water basin, associated infrastructure, part of the pine plantation and security fencing.

The pine tree plantation, which contains trees that are nearing the end of their natural life, will be replaced in stages (over the next 10 years) with Indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses. This work will be informed by ecological assessments to ensure wildlife is protected.

As it will take time for some of the native vegetation to return and flourish, areas of pine trees will be retained in the short term to complement the regrowth of native vegetation and preserve and improve local wildlife habitats.

The initial tree harvesting commenced in the first week of May 2021, and will take 6-8 weeks to be completed.

This will be followed by bulk earthworks to re-establish the historic creek alignment.

We will keep the community up to date during these works.

Phase two – designing a masterplan with our community – late 2021 to mid-2022

Following the tree harvesting works, we will engage with Traditional Owners, key stakeholders, neighbouring land owners and the wider community to inform a plan for the site.

This will involve setting a vision and objectives, and agreeing a number of actions and initiatives for the new public open space.

From here, we will develop a concept plan for the site, ensuring the plan recognises the cultural, environmental, social and budget requirements of the project.

We will seek feedback from the community on the concept plan before finalising a masterplan and project plan for implementation. The project plan will provide the detail around anticipated timelines and budget.

Phase three – implementation of project plan - late 2022 and beyond

The final phase is to implement the project plan.

This will include a range of short term actions that can be funded immediately, as well as longer term actions, which will be subject to further detailed design and securing additional funding.

Transforming the site will be carried out progressively over a number of years, in consultation with Traditional Owners and the local community. This will involve observing and responding to the environment, to ensure we protect and enhance the ecological values of the site at each stage.

The new public open space will enhance the scenic appeal of the Bellarine Peninsula, protect and enhance the unique habitats, ecosystems and biodiversity of the Bellarine, including native vegetation and native fauna.

Tree harvesting map

The trees not highlighted show the areas of pine trees that will be retained in the short term to complement the regrowth of native vegetation and preserve and improve local wildlife habitats.

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