• Landscape Context Guidelines Tour Lunch Lignum Swamp Leakes Rd
    Landscape Context Guidelines Tour Lunch Lignum Swamp Leakes Rd
  • Landscape Context Guidelines Tour Upper Dry Ck
    Landscape Context Guidelines Tour Upper Dry Ck
  • Landscape Context Guidelines Davis Creek
    Landscape Context Guidelines Davis Creek
  • Landscape Context Guidelines Tour Regen Euc.B.Thelassina Cobbledicks Reserve
    Landscape Context Guidelines Tour Regen Euc.B.Thelassina Cobbledicks Reserve

In late February 2012, WRIVA was invited to take part in a very positive initiative by Wyndham City Council to undertake the development of Landscape Context Guidelines.

Input was requested from WRIVA and other groups because:

“Wyndham’s developments tend to plan to paper and not to the lie of the land, therefore, potentially missing the current physical features and contours of the landscape. The guidelines will arrest this practice so that rural land character, the environment and views and vistas will be considered and they can be maintained and appreciated by the local community and visitors to the region.” 1

The groups were asked to contribute their local knowledge as to the natural attributes of the landscape in areas of future growth. Each of the areas was to have a Precinct Structure Plan, or PSP, in order that the separate PSP project managers will know what is ‘special’ when planning their particular PSP. Protection of any of the attributes considered special will come from inclusion of the Landscape Context Guidelines in Wyndham’s Planning Scheme.

“PSP's lay out roads, shopping centres, schools, parks, housing, employment the connections to transport and generally resolve the complex issues of biodiversity, cultural heritage, infrastructure provision and council charges.” 2

WRIVA and the other groups met and contributed their information and as well took part in a bus tour to point out nominated features of concern at each of the PSP areas.

WRIVA raised the following:

  • Former input by locals on similar issues being ignored or forgotten
  • Negative impacts of housing development being too close to the river causing loss of natural views and increasing threats to biodiversity
  • Negative impacts of European landscaping of the river banks or escarpments
  • The recent describing of the Werribee Blue Box, Eucalyptus Baueriana Thelassina, and the fact that other species as yet un-described may be lost by development
  • Stands of river red gums along the Werribee River as in need of preservation in PSPs 1091, 1092 and 40
  • Lollypop Ck as being heavily modified and unique sub-species of river red gums destroyed, and many other valuable species lost or endangered PSP 41 to 42.2
  • Restoration of Lollypop Ck from concrete drain to wetland areas through Wyndham Vale into PSP 42.2
  • D-Drains being old water courses having potential to be restored to grassland or bio-links PSP 1091 to 42.2, and PSP 39
  • Heavy modification of landscape in PSP 42.2 and 1091
  • Depressions on ephemeral watercourse corner Sneydes rd and Hacketts Lane  PSP 39A
  • Ephemeral watercourses of Browns Rd and Alfred Rd areas being under threat of development PSP 43, and cited the new deep drain which can be seen scarring the New Farm Road development

Many of these same points for different PSPs were also made by other groups.

The tour took in many dry and ephemeral landscapes, significant locations, environmental remnants, aboriginal and cultural artifacts all of which will be put at threat by overly enthusiastic new development.

WRIVA believes that negative impacts on the municipality because of wrong development will be:

  • Loss of the many rises and shallow valleys created by the laying out of the Werribee delta and volcanic activity
  • Threats to surviving fauna and flora such as platypus, birds and numbers of plant species
  • Loss of connection with nature by new generations of children
  • Large financial costs when restoration has to occur to remedy poor decisions

WRIVA was very appreciative of being involved in the process, and hopes the Wyndham City environment, culture, views and vistas can be appreciated by all in the years ahead.


References:

1Project Brief LANDSCAPE CONTEXT GUIDELINES September 2011, P.1

2 http://www.gaa.vic.gov.au/Precinct_Structure_Plans/

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