What is the Chain of Ponds
'A catchment-wide approach will ensure that the creek is considered as part of the urban fabric – not a separate, hidden corridor; but entwined and linked to the different parklands, recreational areas, public transport hubs, commercial and residential precincts that surround it.'
About the Chain of ponds
The Chain of Ponds is an ambitious collaboration to “transform the Moonee Ponds Creek into an iconic Melbourne waterway that provides high social, cultural and environmental benefits”
The Moonee Ponds Creek catchment is one of Melbourne’s most urbanised and modified creek systems. Significant issues persist across the catchment, including poor water quality, introduced species, habitat fragmentation, minimal expansion of the creek corridor through land acquisition, limited linkages to open spaces, poor storm water management, litter, restricted public access and movement, poor urban design outcomes, and fragmented management and decision making.
The Chain of Ponds (CoP) Collaboration enables representatives from local and state government, community groups, not-for-profits, water authorities and research organisations to work together and facilitate positive change and action in the catchment.
In October 2018, 15 partner organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to transforming the creek together and developed an action plan, Prospectus, to do this. And in June 2022, partners re-committed to working together for a further 3 years.
The Collaboration is guided by a Governance Group which includes representation from each of the signed members and provides the backbone to the Collaboration.
A collaboration lead role is co-funded by the partners to provide leadership and facilitation support and is guided by the Governance Group.
Benefits of the Collaborative Approach:
Attracting project funding:
• Essendon/Brunswick West pedestrian bridge (DELWP, Moonee Valley and Moreland Councils, $1m in total)
• Reimagining Moonee Ponds Creek (DELWP, Melbourne Water, Moreland and Moonee Valley Councils $9.5m in total)
• Litter Study and Assessment (Melbourne Water and IWM)
Shared advocacy and influence internally within the collaboration and externally with other organisations:
• Waterways of the West, Acquisition of land adjoining creek (e.g. John St, Oak Park)
Working together on whole-of-catchment, multi stakeholder and cross-boundary issues, including multiple perspectives and solutions from the start:
• Litter and planning outcomes along the creek
• Design Guidelines for Trails, Transport and Connectivity
• Flood Mitigation and Modelling
• Integrated Water Management
Stronger relationships and understanding between agencies, community and Friends’ groups
Access to multiple tools and working relationships to progress issues and align work:
• Working for Victoria programs – litter, access, revegetation, path, weed control
• Litter management
Interview with Rachel Lopes, Collaboration Lead, on the Collaboration, by William Conner RMIT student 2021
"to transform the Moonee Ponds Creek into an iconic Melbourne waterway that provides high social, cultural and environmental benefits"
- Take a whole-of-catchment approach to governance and management to overcome the limitations that stakeholder and land ownership boundaries impose.
- Develop and implement ideas, strategies and projects to protect, enhance and activate the catchment, including access and connectivity, open space, biodiversity, habitat and biolinks along the Creek corridor.
- Strengthen cultural heritage understandings and traditional owner involvement.
- Better capitalize on opportunities for stormwater management including ‘naturalisation’.
- Ensure approaches to development and waterway improvement are consistent with established strategic and environmental directions across the catchment and based on best practice.
- Demonstrate progress and learning through reporting which also considers options for co-investment in projects.
- Enable stronger advocacy for waterway management through appropriate strategic and statutory planning mechanisms.