Brimbank Council continues to fight to save Stony Creek in Sunshine North.
Works on the $11 million Upper Stony Creek Transformation Project, on Melbourne Water land, began in April 2018 and brought together all levels of government, alongside private enterprise.
The project aimed to rehabilitate a 1.2 kilometre section of Stony Creek from a concrete drain back to a green, lush natural wetland, but works are now at a standstill after costs blew out due to asbestos contamination.
Brimbank Mayor, Cr Lucinda Congreve said since launching its ‘Save Stony Creek’ campaign last month, Brimbank Council has been advocating to key stakeholders within the Victorian and Federal Governments to make sure the Upper Stony Creek Transformation Project is completed.
“We’re determined to make sure this project is completed.
“The $11 million that was promised to this project, is now at risk of disappearing down the drain – we can’t let this happen.
“This section of Stony Creek is located in the heart of the Sunshine National Employment and Innovation Cluster, and within the Victorian Government’s new Sunshine Priority Precinct. It’s also on the doorstep of the $200 million Joan Kirner Women and Children’s Hospital, the Sunshine Super Hub, and $10 billion Melbourne Airport Rail Link.
“The project site is adjacent to hundreds of homes, a local school and sporting club. The site in its current state is unacceptable to the community, and it should be unacceptable to the Victorian and Federal governments.
“We’ve written to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Hon. Michael McCormack MP, who is responsible for the National Stronger Regions Fund, asking for more time to complete the project and additional funding.
“We’ve also written to the Victorian Treasurer, the Hon. Tim Pallas MP, seeking additional funding.
“I’ve personally met with the Victorian Priority Precincts Minister and Special Minister of State, the Hon. Gavin Jennings who’s responsible for Sunshine’s Priority Precinct and Development Victoria – a key partner in the project. And most recently I met with Federal Minister for Cities, the Hon. Alan Tudge MP, who is responsible for the North-West City Deal and Melbourne Airport Rail Link.
“In each of these representations, we’ve called on the Victorian and Federal governments to consider the project’s present and future status in the context of a new North-West City Deal, the National Employment and Innovation Cluster, and the Sunshine Priority Precinct.
“We understand both levels of government are currently considering our correspondence, advocacy and representations and we look forward to hearing back soon,” Cr Congreve said.
To support the campaign, Brimbank Council has set up a Victorian Parliament Petition.
“We’ve had a great response from the community to date and more names are being added to our Victorian Parliament Petition each day – but we need more,” Cr Congreve said.
The Upper Stony Creek Transformation project would be the first project of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Located in Sunshine North which is classified as a heat vulnerable suburb and lacking in open space, the project would create a ‘cool zone’ to help in times of heatwaves for the benefit of the community. Brimbank understands up to 56,000 visits per year are anticipated along the Stony Creek corridor.