Plenty of plans for the upper Merri
25th April 2022
By Ann McGregor
The Victorian Planning Authority has produced a revised Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) for a new suburb to house 50,000 residents in Beveridge North West. The revised plan has two significant changes from the previous draft: the southern portion of Burrung Buluk (formerly Hanna Swamp) is protected, and a basalt quarry on Spring Hill cone is included. In the FoMC submission to hearings on the previous draft, Nature Glenelg Trust presented very strong arguments for protecting and restoring Burrung Buluk and it is gratifying that the Panel recommended accordingly. The quarry, however, has generated very strong opposition from the local community and Mitchell Shire Council. Over 1,000 submissions were received on the revised PSP, and hearings begin in early May.
The Victorian Planning Authority is also working on the Wallan South PSP, immediately to the north of Beveridge North West PSP. This includes the main portion of Burrung Buluk, which is threatened with filling and housing development. We are advocating for restoration of the complete wetland, and reconnection to Strathaird Creek, a tributary of the Merri.
The Wallan Regional Park Feasibility Study by Dept of Environment, Land, Water & Planning, is focused on the Merri catchment south of Wallan, including the two precincts above. Inclusion in a regional park is key to protection of Burrung Buluk and Herne Swamps, and this park will be a major component of the greater Merri parklands. We expect to be invited to provide feedback on the report in April, prior to its submission to the Minister for Planning for approval in May.
Another 2018 election commitment by the State Government is for a 2,778 hectare park along the Merri upstream from the Ring Road to the Wallan Regional Park study area, southeast of Beveridge. The parklands are to be known as Marran Baba – Merri Creek Regional Parklands. DELWP has recently selected a consultant to deliver the parkland plan. The process will take over 12 months, including two public consultations periods. Expected completion date for the Future Directions Plan is June 2023.
Merri Creek Management Committee is managing a Signage project, funded by DELWP, to design a suite of wayfinding (directional) and interpretive signs for the Marran Baba parklands. Thanks to Merri Creek Management Committee for the Merri Catchment map.