From late January 2018, John Holland-KBR Joint Venture (JH-KBR JV) will deliver upgrade works to the Fairbairn Road retarding basin (within the J and P Cam Reserve) at Cranbourne, on behalf of Melbourne Water.

The upgrade works will ensure the retarding basin continues to reduce the risk of flooding to the community.

Why we are doing these works

Melbourne Water has over 200 retarding basins that we regularly assess for risks, conduct maintenance on, and upgrade as necessary. The Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) guidelines represents the best Australian and international engineering practice in the safe design, management and operation of dams. We use these guidelines to manage our retarding basins.

The Fairbairn Road retarding basin has recently been assessed against the ANCOLD guidelines. This assessment has shown that upgrade works are necessary to ensure the retarding basin continues to reduce flood risk and operate safely for the community.

What’s happening and when

John Holland-KBR Joint Venture will be undertaking these works on behalf of Melbourne Water.

The Fairbairn Road retarding basin is located within J and P Cam Reserve at Cranbourne.

Works will include:

  • removal of trees, root ball excavation and backfill of embankment
  • filter trench excavation and backfill
  • filter drain outlet installation
  • embankment hardening
  • embankment crest capping, including replacement of existing concrete pathway

Handling wildlife

The project team has hired an experienced wildlife handler/ecologist/zoologist, who has 25 years’ experience, as a precaution and to put community concerns at ease.

They have a permit under the Wildlife Act 1975 and we are operating under this Act.

The wildlife handler will remain onsite for the duration of the tree removal works.

During the tree removal works, the wildlife handler will:

  • Complete a walk through on the days of the tree removal and will again check all hollows to ensure no wildlife have moved in, including checking higher locations via a boom (cherry picker).
  • Attempt to catch fauna located in trees (without chasing or causing them distress). If the fauna can’t be caught the wildlife handler will encourage the fauna to move. If this isn’t possible the contractors will move to the next tree and return to try again.
  • Check for micro bats, the wildlife handlers will lift the bark on trees and check in hollows and cracks. If any micro bats are found they will be bagged, put in a dark, quiet, cool area and released at dusk, preferably on a mirror image tree.
  • Remove and relocate nests in trees. If they are intact, they’re being put next to the nest box and if not, the remnants are strategically placed in the nest boxes in trees to encourage the fauna into other trees.

Additional activities

To date, the following activities have been carried out:

  • a flora and fauna assessment
  • a wildlife pre clearance check, including checking the site for fauna and marking trees likely to have habitat
  • purchased a number of next boxes to install on this site to create more habitat

Following the works, the project team will:

  • collect flowering eucalyptus tree branches as a food source for birds and some mammals which will be donated to wildlife carers/shelters
  • collect seeds from Eucalypt and Melaleuca trees to use for propagation in the local area which will be donated to local landcare groups
  • donate wood from trees that is suitable for furniture to local community groups.
  • donate other wood and mulch to Cranbourne West Primary School for use in their new sensory garden


Map of proposed works at Fairbairn Road

Timing of works

Works will start in late January 2018 and take approximately five months to complete (weather permitting).

Construction hours will be:

  • Monday to Friday 7am - 6pm
  • Saturdays 7am - 1pm

What to expect during construction

We will do everything possible to minimise disruption during construction, however it is likely that nearby residents will notice:

  • large trucks and machinery working around the retarding basin
  • worker amenities set up within the construction area
  • some noise, dust and vibration from construction works

Construction traffic and equipment will enter and exit the site via the carpark on Fairbairn Road.

There will be no impact to the sporting ovals during construction. All sports will continue as planned.

There may be some reduction in car spaces.

There will be pedestrian detours during the upgrade of the concrete pathway.

More information

Have questions? Visit our Community Pop Up sessions.

The project team will be at the Fairbairn Road retarding basin to answer your questions:

  • Thursday 18 January 5pm - 6pm
  • Saturday 20 January 9am - 10am
  • Monday 22 January 10am - 11am

Contact us:

Last updated:
1 March 2018