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Frequently Asked Questions

At Melbourne Water we understand the value of open space to community health and wellbeing.

That’s why we're exploring ways to create new open space in Glenroy, providing additional opportunities to exercise, relax, socialise and connect with nature.

As a community, we’re facing challenges associated with rapid population growth including, urban density, more dense suburbs with smaller backyards, coupled with the effects of climate change - all of which make access to green open spaces for communities to recreate and connect to nature even more important.

Activation of retarding basins as open space can help deliver multiple benefits to the community. While the core retarding basin function will remain the primary function of this site, additional recreation and open space will be considered where risks to this primary function can be appropriately managed.

Melbourne Water aims to realise multiple benefits for the community, while safely delivering our core services that include management of our drainage network and mitigating flood risk in your local area.

The Glenroy neighbourhood contains multiple retarding basins which have the potential to provide increased open and green areas for passive recreation and the enjoyment of natural spaces.

The transformation and activation of the retarding basins in Glenroy could also be used as a model for opening retarding basin sites in other suburbs around Melbourne.

Retarding basins are large artificial low-lying areas of land that play an important role in reducing flood risk to our neighbourhoods by retaining heavy rainfall and holding it temporarily to prevent overloading of drains and waterways.

Retarding basins are critical in urban areas where pavements, driveways and other hard surfaces mean that less water can soak into the ground.

Water levels can rise quickly, so you should never visit a retarding basin during rainfall or when it is flooded.

Keeping our communities, and the native wildlife that also call Melbourne home, safe is essential to our way of life today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

Watch this video to learn more.

We're exploring new ways to open up the Glenroy retarding basins to offer recreational and open space opportunities to the community. We welcome the community to tell us what you would like to see in the future so that we can consider your ideas in the development of a draft concept plan.

Activities considered for additional recreation will need to enhance wellbeing for the community while not compromising on the retarding basins' primary function of reducing flood risk to the local community.

This means water-based activities as well as active sports and play infrastructure cannot be considered.

We have has consulted with Council and other key stakeholders. We're committed to working together to consider opportunities to increase open space in your local area.

You can share your ideas and feedback via this website

We are committed to listening to your ideas and values so that we deliver a project that is truly beneficial to your community.

Your ideas will be considered in the development of a draft concept plan. All ideas proposed will be assessed with consideration of a number of important factors including environmental and cultural values and public safety, amongst others. For that reason, not all ideas are guaranteed to be delivered.

We will then gather your feedback to further refine the concept plan, and deliver a final plan to ensure we deliver a lasting liveability legacy for future generations to enjoy.

Following community input (August 2023) we will develop concept plans for the site, which will be distributed for further feedback.

Once the plans are finalised, each site will go through a detailed design funding approval phase, which can take 6-12 months.

Depending on the scope of work, a planning permit in accordance with the Merri-bek Planning Scheme may also be required. If the projects are approved, construction can be expected to follow in 12-18 months.

We will keep the local community around each site informed well in advance about any upcoming works.

The transformation of these retarding basins is intended to improve the environmental values of the sites by increasing vegetation and biodiversity, providing enhanced habitat, and places for the community to connect with nature.

Existing trees and native plants would be retained wherever possible, and protected during construction.

Works would be subject to the required planning permits and relevant local and state environmental protection regulations.

The activation of these sites will provide new open space in your local neighbourhood for your enjoyment and use by the local community.

During the construction phase there may be some minor disruption from noise or access along local streets.

We will endeavour to minimise disruption to local residents and keep you informed of any upcoming works.

Meet the project team

Dan Green

Senior Planner, Liveability Programs

I lead our land and waterway activation programs. Ask me about the liveability and community benefits of activating Melbourne Water spaces.

Ellen Mitchell

Manager Service Programs Land & Catchments

I manage the team that delivers our land activation program. Ask me about our land activation programs and the community benefits.

Andrew Bailey smiling

Andrew Bailey

Lead Landscape Architect

Ask me questions about design and about what is possible for activating retarding basins for community use.

Yaniv Brayer

Communications and Engagement Advisor

I make sure you have everything you need in order to participate in this project. Ask me about ways to have your say on the project.

Melbourne Water respectfully acknowledges the Bunurong, Gunaikurnai, Taungurung, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and water on which we rely and operate.
We pay our deepest respects to their Elders - past, present and emerging.