The Westmeadows meander is a waterway (400m) that was cut off in the early 1970’s for flood mitigation purposes, and has been identified as a priority project for the Chain of Ponds Collaboration.
Restoring the Westmeadows Meander will allow water to flow through the meander again (with appropriate low flow/high flow controls) and will enhance biodiversity, habitat and local amenity values of the area.
The Moonee Ponds Creek meander comprises a significant piece of riparian land on the upper Moonee Ponds Creek in Westmeadows. The waterway has been disconnected from its natural flow regime, with current low flows in the meander provided by five council stormwater outlets.
Moonee Ponds Creek upstream of the site is identified as a potential refuge and likely to interact with groundwater and provide drought refuge habitat for the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) listed Growling Grass Frog (GGF). This drought refuge link connects the site to the Tarnuk 1.5 km to the West, which is a Melbourne Water retarding basin and Site of Biodiversity Significance (SoBS).
One kilometre downstream to the South is the Melbourne Water Jacana wetlands and retarding basin, which is also a SoBS that supports GGF.
The proposed works will improve water quality and habitat connectivity within the upper Moonee Ponds Creek, by restoring natural low flows to the meander. The works also provide an opportunity to improve a significant area of open space situated between two Sites of Biodiversity Significance.
Benefits for the Westmeadows Meander Project include:
- Creating a space which promotes active living and a healthy lifestyle
- Encourage recreational walking through the site
- Connect the local community to the waterway, public transportation and other local amenities
- Improve diversity of native flora and fauna of the site and downstream in the catchment
- Improve water quality issues on site and down stream
- Improve the safety of the site through increase usage and public connection
- Provide a space for rest and relaxation for the local community
- Provide a place for education and water conservation learnings for the local kindergarten, primary and secondary schools
Project Manager: Fiona Nelson, Melbourne Water