Funding boost for Bayside’s new natural oasis

The Australian Government will contribute $5million to the Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve project in addition to a previous $1 million grant. The Australian Government funding complements Council’s $9 million investment.

Bayside Mayor, Cr Alex del Porto welcomed the announcement by the Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley MP and Member for Goldstein, Tim Wilson MP.

“We are delighted that the Australian Government is joining with Bayside to help realise our vision for the reserve as an oasis for both people and nature,” he said.

“Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a new and extraordinary natural space in our urban environment. It will have significant recreational benefits for the community as well as substantially enhancing biodiversity, water management and water quality flowing into Port Phillip Bay.”

Council has adopted a masterplan for the 14 hectare site to create new and expanded wetlands, a chain of ponds, wildflower meadows and woodlands. This will create habitat for native wildlife including threatened and endangered species just 10kms from the Melbourne CBD.

The Australian Government funding will help Council to accelerate the implementation of the masterplan including expanded wetlands to harvest and filter storm water from the Elster Creek, improving water quality in Port Phillip Bay.

Proposed visitor facilities include a gateway feature building, Indigenous gathering places, 2kms of formal walking trails and over 1.5km of informal discovery paths.

Works to create the chain of ponds are nearing completion including landscaping featuring thousands of new aquatic and terrestrial indigenous plants.

Council received $1 million from the Australian Government’s Local Community Roads and Infrastructure (LCRI) program in 2021 for the constructions of paths and other reserve infrastructure.

Bayside is also seeking funding from the Victorian Government to create a tripartite approach to this significant initiative. Council is also working with Melbourne Water to inform the technical water management elements of the wetland elements.

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