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Moonee Ponds Creek could be getting a major revitalisation

Written by
Fiona Kazan

The City of Melbourne has announced plans to revitalise the southern part of Moonee Ponds Creek with the possibility of additional parklands, wetlands and new open spaces. 

Described as one of Melbourne’s "worst planning disasters" by the Planning Institute of Australia in 2011, Moonee Ponds Creek has been struggling with its lifeless waterways and extremely polluted waters since it was converted into a concrete channel back in the 1970s. To make matters worse, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) measured in 2016-17 that its water quality is a zero out of ten, indicating that it's at a level of pollution that will kill most organisms.

Duck foraging in dirty Moonee Ponds Creek
A duck swimming amongst rubbish floating down the Moonee Ponds Creek, adjacent to Macauley Station.
Photograph: Dan Gordon/Creative Commons

Labor MP Tony Burke started a petition in January 2019 seeking priority status for the creek's revitalisation. After it started making waves, the City of Melbourne presented a draft proposal at the Future Melbourne Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 19. If everything goes through as planned, areas alongside the creek trail, from Brunswick Road to Docklands, will be receiving some long-awaited upgrades.

"The plan outlines ideas for increased biodiversity, mitigating the impacts of flooding, creating new bike paths and more space for recreation," councillor Cathy Oke, chair of the City of Melbourne's environmental portfolio, announced through a media release on Friday, March 15.

Other opportunities mentioned include a massive renewal of urban areas along the creek including increased habitat for threatened species, more indigenous plants, new pedestrian paths, as well as the possible creation of Macaulay Terraces, a new open community space connecting the creek to Macaulay Train Station and neighbourhoods nearby.

Good news: Queen Victoria Market has announced a plastic bag and straw ban.

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