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Putting the ‘creek’ back into Moonee Ponds Creek – funding to restore part of Moonee Ponds Creek back to its natural state

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Lots of us are staying close to home, and for a long time we were only going outside for a few reasons, including to get exercise.

It’s no surprise the Moonee Ponds Creek trail has been a popular spot for locals to sweat it out or simply wander for relaxation during this time.

It is why Council is excited to support a funding announcement of $5 million from the State Government to help transform a section of the creek, to improve the waterway biodiversity and create a more natural looking creek.

The money will be used to improve a stretch of the creek from Brosnan Crescent near the Strathmore North Primary School downstream to Lebanon Reserve.

In 2018, Council nominated revitalising the Moonee Ponds Creek in Strathmore as a top advocacy priority.

Since then we’ve been working hard to see our dream of naturalising the Creek receive funding support and we’re proud to be part of the ‘Chain of Ponds Collaboration’, a group working to “transform the Moonee Ponds Creek into an iconic Melbourne waterway that provides high social and environmental benefits”.

This section of the creek wasn’t always a concrete channel.

Before European settlement in 1835, Moonee Ponds Creek formed a ‘chain of ponds’ during drier months which swelled into a creek during heavy rains. It was, and still is of significant cultural importance to the local Aboriginal people.

As the area was developed, the Creek was realigned and changed into the drainage system we know today.

In the 1970s the Strathmore Progress Association successfully stopped the extent of concrete channel being constructed, and passionate community members still advocate for the area today through the ‘Friends of the Moonee Ponds Creek’ and the ‘Chain of Ponds Collaboration’.

Naturalising a creek is no mean feat and the design will be dependent on testing and research, however, we hope it’ll lead to a better creek for the environment and the community. We’ll be working with our community including local Indigenous people on the transformation.

Visiting the creek, Mayor of Moonee Valley Cr Samantha Byrne said Council and the local community are behind this project and greatly appreciate the State support.

“During my time on Council improving the waterways has been a huge passion of mine,” Cr Byrne said.

“To see the project get to this point is really exciting, I know there’s plenty of work ahead of us but this is a big step in the right direction.”

Council’s Strategic Planning and Environment Portfolio holder Cr Nicole Marshall said improving the health of the Creek had wide-ranging benefits.

“Not only is it good for the environment, improving this vital waterway and the surrounds creates more opportunities for our community to enjoy green open space,” Cr Marshall said.

The funding, which is part of a $48.4 million investment in shovel-ready water projects under the Government’s new $2.7 billion Building Works program, will not only improve a precious part of Moonee Valley’s backyard, it will also create jobs so people can get back to work following the pandemic.

Read more about the State government announcement here.

Find out more about the Chains of Ponds plan here or on the Melbourne Water website.