24 August, 2012

Read All About It!

And indeed we can! The Mt Brandon - Draft Landscape Plan is now available for viewing either in person at the City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) customer service centres or can be downloaded as a series of pdf files via the CoGG website by following the "Have Your Say" link and choosing the link to the Mt Brandon report. It will be open for public comment until 24th September, 2012.
As a reminder, the area in question is a significant strip of land extending from the current Buckley Falls Park, along the south bank of the Barwon as far as the Geelong Ring Road. At the present time it looks something like this...
...although perhaps with slightly less water. Looking south across the base of
Mt Brandon Peninsula towards Rivergum Dve, during flooding on 16th January, 2011
From the top of Mt Brandon Peninsula looking towards the Ring Road in the
distance. The land to the left will include part of the new parkland development
Looking at Mt Brandon Peninsula across "gully 1" (see council plans).
Development on Rivergum Dve can be seen to the left

And the view south from the base of Mt Brandon Peninsula
So...in brief, the plan is...to provide public recreation facilities, open spaces, both formal and informal walking tracks, habitat regeneration and - perhaps most excitingly for me - a pedestrian bridge near the Ring Road bridge which would provide a loop connection to the trail on the opposite bank which will also receive some needed attention.
The Ring Road (Geoff Thom) Bridge from the north bank and the site of
a future path and pedestrian bridge
The option of adding a few extra kms to my runs/rides/walks is an enticing prospect, however the downside of all this - especially for those who are as impatient as I am - is that the plan is to be implemented in six stages and is, at least in part, dependent on State Government funding. In addition, with the latter stages not due to be implemented until such time as urban growth extends to the area near the Ring Road, I may be more interested in wheel chair access than running tracks by the time it is complete! Nor did I see anything which even hinted at a potential time line for all these works.
In the short term and assuming the plan is implemented, the initial stages appear to involve revegetation in addition to that which is already being undertaken by the Friends of Buckley Falls group, ongoing weed control and the construction of some walking tracks at the Bunyip Pool end of the precinct.
As for the rest, I guess we'll just have to wait and see, but the prospect of this extension to the river trail, combined with the plans for nearby Batesford South and the Moorabool are an exciting prospect for the future of the Barwon River Parklands project, especially when combined with the prospect of trail extensions beyond Breakwater and the upgrade of park facilities further downriver at sites such as Tait's Point, Ash Road in Leopold and other works in Barwon Heads. More details on the Barwon River Parklands project is available on the Parks Victoria website.

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