The Victorian Government’s provision of $450,000 in grant funding for environmental works on vacant cemetery land at Altona will fast track the opening of a memorial parkland and nature reserve on the site, said The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust CEO, Jacqui Weatherill.
The grant, awarded to GMCT through the Department of Health and Human Services cemetery grants program and through Melbourne Water’s waterways for the west program will enable the implementation of a new environmental management plan for the site and associated works. Minister for Health, the Hon Jill Hennessy inspected the area today.
Located on the north east corner of Grieve Parade and Dohertys Road, the 11 hectare site is in the eastern section of GMCT’s Altona Memorial Park. Kororoit Creek is on the site’s northern perimeter.
“The environmental works will see the vacant site transformed into accessible community parkland. It will become a showcase for the natural beauty of Kororoit Creek and its immediate surrounds,” GMCT CEO, Jacqui Weatherill said.
The five year works program includes the removal of non indigenous vegetation and weeds including African boxthorn, castor oil plant, Chilean needle grass and artichoke thistle. Erosion problems on the site will also be addressed during the program.
More than 5,000 indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses will be planted by GMCT on the site. Plantings will include river red gum, blackwood, hedge wattle and ruby saltbush. Further, Melbourne Water will put in more than 4,000 plants close to Kororoit Creek. Given the heritage significance of the area, locations for the plantings, pathways and other site works will be determined in consultation with Aboriginal Victoria.
First stage of the program will include the removal of existing perimeter fencing and the erection of a low post and rail fence with public access gateways. This stage is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of December.
“We’re proud to be partnering with the Victorian Government on this project and to be working with Melbourne Water and the marvellous Friends of Lower Kororoit Creek group to provide a beautiful community park,” Ms Weatherill said.
“The south west corner of the site beside Dohertys Road has suffered significant environmental degradation and has been earmarked for future burial land.
“GMCT will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance and management of the new parkland site,” Ms Weatherill said.
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