Hobsons Bay City Council, Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre Inc and project partners are advocating to the state government for $16 million to build an innovative, sustainability-focused, interactive wetlands centre in Hobsons Bay.
The regional flagship wellbeing and environmental centre for all ages, stages and abilities will be a premier destination for immersive teaching and learning from Prep to PhD, leading environmental research facilities and promote ecotourism and community participation in nature.
An Australian-first in biophilic and community co-design architecture, the wetlands centre has been designed by internationally renowned Grimshaw Architects to connect people inside to the nature outside.
The centre will feature a wetlands viewing tower, exploratory accessible walking trails and boardwalks, hands-on learning laboratories, research and visitor facilities, nature and water-based play spaces, and an ephemeral wetland.
The Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre will be a unique visitor and learning experience and will be a perfect place to:
- provide a ‘green dose’ to enhance physical and mental wellbeing
- bring the economic benefit of eco-tourism to the west
- create living laboratories for learning, teaching and cutting-edge research
- celebrate country and protect habitat that supports rich and rare biodiversity.
The proposed centre will be located at HD Graham Reserve in Altona Meadows on the lands of the Bunurong people of the south eastern Kulin Nation and near one of the most important areas of urban biodiversity in Australia – the internationally-recognised RAMSAR-listed Cheetham wetlands where up to 65,000 migratory shorebirds visit each summer to feed and shelter from as far away as Siberia.
It is estimated that the design and construction of the centre will take approximately 18 to 24 months and will create 40 full-time jobs. Once complete, the wetlands centre could include a café, retail and office spaces for nature-based businesses that provide local jobs and opportunities to volunteer.