Bellarine Basin rehabilitation

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Image of Bellarine Basin vegetation

We’re embarking on a project to transform our disused Bellarine Basin site into more than 30 hectares of environmental and public open space to be enjoyed by the community for years to come.

The Bellarine Basin, located on the corner of Grubb and Swan Bay Roads, Wallington, is no longer being used for operational purposes. This presents an exciting opportunity to work with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, the local community and key stakeholders to reimagine this space.

We have received $650,000 funding under the Victorian Government’s Distinctive Areas and Landscapes program and will contribute the same amount to the $1.3-million project to begin remediating and revegetating the site.

We want to transform the disused basin site into an area that enhances the unique and natural features of the Bellarine Peninsula so that it becomes a place people, birds and native animals can enjoy for generations to come.


Have your say and help us reimagine this space

The feedback period for stage one closed on 6 September 2021. We will share the outcomes of the consultation with you via this web page soon.

The next stage of consultation will focus on the activities you would like to see on the site.

Using feedback from Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, the local community and key stakeholders, we will then develop a concept plan for the site and check back in with you before finalising the masterplan.


What does the project involve?

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. We will engage with Traditional Owners, key stakeholders, neighbouring land owners and the wider community to inform a plan for the site. Read more via the Latest News below.


Rehabilitation plan




Tree harvesting plan

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.




We’re embarking on a project to transform our disused Bellarine Basin site into more than 30 hectares of environmental and public open space to be enjoyed by the community for years to come.

The Bellarine Basin, located on the corner of Grubb and Swan Bay Roads, Wallington, is no longer being used for operational purposes. This presents an exciting opportunity to work with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, the local community and key stakeholders to reimagine this space.

We have received $650,000 funding under the Victorian Government’s Distinctive Areas and Landscapes program and will contribute the same amount to the $1.3-million project to begin remediating and revegetating the site.

We want to transform the disused basin site into an area that enhances the unique and natural features of the Bellarine Peninsula so that it becomes a place people, birds and native animals can enjoy for generations to come.


Have your say and help us reimagine this space

The feedback period for stage one closed on 6 September 2021. We will share the outcomes of the consultation with you via this web page soon.

The next stage of consultation will focus on the activities you would like to see on the site.

Using feedback from Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, the local community and key stakeholders, we will then develop a concept plan for the site and check back in with you before finalising the masterplan.


What does the project involve?

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. We will engage with Traditional Owners, key stakeholders, neighbouring land owners and the wider community to inform a plan for the site. Read more via the Latest News below.


Rehabilitation plan




Tree harvesting plan

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.




  • Ecological assessments

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    Protecting native flora and fauna is a key priority for this project. This underpins the draft vision and principles for the site renewal presented to the community.

    We’ve conducted detailed ecological assessments to ensure native plants and animals are protected throughout the rehabilitation process. This includes vegetation and wildlife ecology assessments, with a focus on birdlife studies – recognising the pine trees have become an important habitat for some bird species.

    Flora and fauna assessments identified a small number of active and inactive bird nesting sites and pine seeds being used as a food source. We have maintained all nest trees and buffer areas.

    Around two thirds of the pines have been retained to provide bird habitat until more native trees are established across the balance of the site. (No further tree removal will now be undertaken unless trees are considered a public safety hazard).

    Wedge-tailed eagle management plan

    We are excited that a wedge-tailed eagle nest was identified on the south boundary of the site. No pine tree removal has occurred in this area. We are in the process of engaging a specialist consultant to undertake a separate wedge-tailed eagle management plan for the site, to ensure these birds are protected during the basin removal phase.

    Next steps

    Existing wetland areas will also be protected, and waterway health will be at the centre of design work that will see the natural alignment of Yarram Creek restored. To this end, we have also engaged an ecologist to work with our engineers to ensure the basin removal and the creek form achieve the best environmental outcomes, including creating habitats that best support avian (bird) and aquatic wildlife.

    You can read more about the ecological assessments undertaken in the early stage of our planning via the reports in the Document Library on the right-hand side of this web page.

    We will keep the community updated as we learn more from the ecologists.

  • Have your say - draft vision, principles and objectives

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    Have your say and help us reimagine this space

    Stage one consultation – seeking your feedback on the draft vision, principles and objectives.

    Working together with our agency advisory group – Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and City of Greater Geelong – we have developed a draft vision, guiding principles and objectives for the site.

    These align with the Victorian Government’s Distinctive Areas and Landscapes (DAL) program for the Bellarine, as well as support the site’s cultural and environmental values, and our commitment to open this land for public use and recreational purposes.


    Hard copies are available on request via projects@barwonwater.vic.gov.au or 1300 656 007.

    Closing date for feedback: Monday 6 September 2021

    Next steps

    We will share the outcomes of the consultation with you via this web page.

    The next stage of consultation will focus on the activities you would like to see on the site.

    Using feedback from Wadawurrung Traditional Owners, the local community and key stakeholders, we will then develop a concept plan for the site and check back in with you before finalising the masterplan.


  • What does the project involve?

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    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.


Page last updated: 13 October 2021, 10:17