PROJECT: GUM SCRUB CREEK

project detail

End Client: Places Victoria, Cardinia Shire Council, Melbourne Water, DSE
Status: Under Maintenance
Engineer: Brown Consulting
Specialist Consultant: Neil Craigie
Head Contractor: Goldsmiths

Gum Scrub Creek is a large new built ecology, which after five years in the planning and design has been constructed between the Town Centre and Residential Neighbourhoods at Officer, in Melbourne’s south-east growth corridor.

The site was once part of the Great Swamp, an area of rich biodiversity inhabited for thousands of years by the Kulin Nation before being cleared and directed into an agricultural drain to sustain farming.  Following rezoning for urban growth with a Conservation overlay it is now a 100m wide, 1km long waterway corridor that exceeds best practice for constructed waterways, delivering crucial stormwater capacity and environmental and recreational value to the new Officer Township being developed by Places Victoria.  

Informed by Federal Government legislation the project required constant collaboration between Places Victoria, Melbourne Water, Cardinia Shire Council, the Monash University Cities as Water Catchment research team - and all their stakeholders and numerous expert consultants -  to deliver a multifunctional and environmentally sustainable waterway that considers the major urban developments that will follow.

Outlines’ brief was to provide design lead, to facilitate the execution of the crucial maintenance agreement between Cardinia Shire Council and Melbourne Water, undertake project coordination of the seeds, plants and nurseries, and ultimately be Superintendent for the execution of the construction contract by Australian Ecosystems.  A significant aspect of our work was ensuring good collaboration between multiple organisations and stakeholders - land management is ultimately about effective communication.

Gum Scrub Creek incorporates a meandering low-flow system connected by sedimentation ponds, bio-filtration systems, lateral fingers and habitat ponds that will be surrounded by public open space and connect the new suburbs via shared paths and bridges.  Its construction included the relocation of 600,000 cubic metres of silty soil for re-use within the housing areas, the propagation of 5kg of site-collected indigenous seed by 6 locally based nurseries, the installation 60,000 square metres of biodegradable jutemat and the planting and maintenance of 400,000 plants over the hottest, driest, wettest, windiest, muddiest and coldest months by a committed team.

Gum Scrub Creek supports the regeneration of a range of endangered and threatened flora and fauna.  Two dedicated Growling Grass Frog ponds were constructed with innovative passive systems for their maintenance.  Habitat corridors were designed through plant species selection and planting profiles.  Open, Closed and Permeable planting profiles, responded to movement patterns of the Southern Brown Bandicoot, as well as providing opportunities for public open space connections along the length of the creek.

Gum Scrub Creek offers the opportunity to educate the new Schools being constructed adjacent to the waterway, and the soon-to-be-residing residents.  We look forward to the completion of the bicycle network, major collector road and the pedestrian bridges that will span Gum Scrub Creek.