Melbourne Water acts to protect open space parkland for the community

​Melbourne Water, working closely with councils, government and the community, has successfully ensured that two parcels of land, 1 Hopetoun Avenue Brunswick West and (part) 48 Rona Street Reservoir, will permanently remain as open space parkland for the community. 
 
After months of negotiation, Melbourne Water has reached agreement with the relevant local councils (Moreland and Darebin) to sell these land parcels at Public Park and Recreation Zone (PPRZ) rates and with restricted titles.
 
The restricted titles ensure the parks can never be sold to developers and must be retained as open space in perpetuity.
 
The land transfers required a special exemption from the Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, as well as approval from the Government Land Monitor, both of which have now occurred. 
 
Melbourne Water Manager Property, Peter Morison, said the agreements were a great example of Melbourne Water putting the community at the heart of its decision making.
 
“Our preferred outcome was always that these sites be transferred to council and retained as parkland and we heard loud and clear from the community that they expected this also,” Mr Morison said.
 
“We’re extremely pleased with this outcome and it demonstrates what can be achieved when all involved collaborate effectively to protect the liveability and amenity we all cherish.
 
“Melbourne Water relies on the local knowledge and understanding of councils to identify sites that are of interest and value to their immediate communities and work closely with us regarding their future use or transfer.
 
“In future we will do more to engage with and understand the preferences and needs of local communities adjacent to land we manage and identify as surplus.”
Mr Morison said the agreements delivered on Melbourne Water’s commitment to creating liveable communities.
 
“Melbourne is often identified as one of the world’s most liveable cities but we are also becoming increasingly urbanised and we must recognise the importance of retaining our remaining pockets of valuable green space.”
 
“We’re committed to actively engaging the community and working together with councils and government to deliver community-focused outcomes across all Melbourne Water owned land wherever it is operationally possible.”
Notes for editors
 
The community is at the heart of everything we do. Melbourne Water is always looking for ways to ensure our land is utilised to the maximum benefit of community.
 
Melbourne Water delivers on this promise by:
 
Transfer of land to council for public parkland / green space
 
Melbourne Water will seek to transfer land to councils where there is community value in it being retained as public parkland / green space, as has occurred at Brunswick West and Reservoir. This is always our first preference.
 
In these instances land is sold at a reduced price, in line with Public Park & Recreation Zone (PPRZ) rates, but with a restricted title to ensure it is protected from development.  
 
Transfer of land for perpetuity and public use
 
Melbourne Water transfers land that is no longer operational to the government for conservation and public use. Since 2005 Melbourne Water has transferred 5,081 hectares for parkland including:
 
  • Yarra Ranges National Park containing diverse fauna, including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, platypi and over 120 species of native birds.
  • Warrandyte-Kinglake Conservation Link featuring a 10 kilometre walking trail
  • Frankston Reservoir Conservation Reserve including a 3.5 kilometre of ecologically sensitive land, home to native wildlife and the endangered growling grass frog.
 
Long term leasing/licensing of land
 
Melbourne Water leases land to relevant agencies for ongoing community use. Landholdings at ten Melbourne Water reservoirs have been managed by Parks Victoria since 1994, including:
  • Yan Yean Reservoir Park providing picnic areas, a variety of walking tracks and views of Melbourne’s oldest water storage.
  • Upper Yarra Reservoir Park providing carefully maintained gardens and picnic grounds in eucalypt bushland.
 
Secondary use of operational land for community and environment
 
Melbourne Water prioritises value-driven secondary used of operational land for the benefit of the community or the environment, including:
  • The ‘Our Space Your Place’ program - Hope City Mission community garden at Croydon is a great example delivering hundreds of kilos of produce to Melbourne families in need.
  • “Greening the Pipeline” – a multi-agency partnership creating parkland in Williams Landing along a 100 metre section of the historic Main Outfall Sewer.
 
Media contact
Joseph Keller, Senior Media Advisor. Ph. 0430 219 287 | 03 9654 3234