Point Cook’s Green Wedge – where are we now?

Point Cook Green Wedge

Point Cook Green Wedge Land

In 2011, in response to the State Government request for ‘Logical Inclusion’ submissions by outer metropolitan councils concerning land which could be included within the Urban Growth Boundary, Wyndham City Council offered the Point Cook Green Wedge. A key part of Council’s submission was that 3,200 houses should be developed in order to provide part funding for the overall cost of development. Many residents were angered by this move and in particular because Council made this move ‘off it’s own back’ with no Community consultation.

The Green Wedge system was set-up by the Hamer State Government in the 1970’s in a far-sighted move to prevent endless suburban sprawl and to provide a system of ‘lungs’ for Melbourne. Point Cook Green Wedge consists of large areas of flood mitigation land, with the most extensive being Cunninghams Swamp. Much of this land is formally described as Seasonal Herbaceous Wetland and drains into the D1 Drain which runs approximately north/south, eventually providing added irrigation to some Werribee South farms.

Point Cook's Green Wedge

Point Cook’s Green Wedge

The Point Cook Green Wedge consists of some 550 hectares and is currently used for dry land farming. Wyndham City Council’s Werribee South Green Wedge Policy and Management Plan (2010) notes that the area is habitat for a number of flora and fauna species officially listed as Endangered, Threatened and Rare, among these is the Orange Bellied Green Parrot of which only around 60 individuals are known to exist.

Community members who questioned Council’s handing over the land for rezoning sent submissions to the State Government, stating why they believed the land should not be rezoned, but to no avail. Council rejected the Community objections and in May 2012 it appeared all was lost, when the Growth Areas Authority (GAA) decided that the land be rezoned.

Note: It was only two years previously that the Brumby State Government, with approval of the Liberal/National Opposition, expanded the outer Melbourne Urban Growth Boundary by some 65,000 hectares, proudly announcing that Melbourne now had enough land for another 25-30 years growth.

Point Cook Green Wedge Meeting

Logical Inclusions Public Meeting

At that point, more direct Community action was seen as necessary and a public rally was organized and held in Point Cook Town Centre. This resulted in Council offering to host a more formal public meeting.

At the ensuing and well-attended by the Community meeting, it was agreed that a steering group, the unfortunately and some believe, in-appropriately named Logical Inclusions Working Party (LIWP) should be formed , consisting of Landowners, Community representatives and Council Officers. The LIWP’s function is to explore various conceptual use options for the land and to form those options into a  conceptual Vision for presentation to the Growth Area Authority and the Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

Since that time until the current, regular monthly meetings of LIWP have discussed a range of complex issues, including the option of creating an Eco Centre, similar to the UK’s renowned and highly successful Eden Project, which if  located in Point Cook, could bring widespread advantages, to not only Point Cook and Wyndham, but also to Victoria and Australia.

eden project

Rainforest Aerial Walkway – The Eden Project

Other proposals are for a much needed High School, a Retirement Village which it is projected will be a local requirement in around five years time. A Coastal Botanical Garden would offer conservation of local varieties and habitat for endangered species. Another provision would be walking and cycling trails that in part would link those from Altona and West to Werribee and beyond.

woven-trellis-eden-project-gardens-

Woven Trellis Garden – The Eden Project

There are many more innovative and exciting uses, maybe yet un-discovered, or un-suggested, that could make the ex Point Cook Green Wedge far more attractive to the local community, other than the already overdone option of more houses.

Unfortunately, the Point Cook Green Wedge was lost to the Community when submissions to save it were rejected by Spring Street, but with widespread Community insistence, it can be saved from unimaginative, Big Dollar driven housing development.

Point Cook needs more Community value recreational based facilities, not another housing development that adds more strain to our already overloaded roads infrastructure.

Our kids need a decent public High School and the hordes of kids currently filling our Primary schools to over-flowing, will soon need facilities to engage them beyond home based computer games and the one skate board park located next to Point Cook Town Centre.

We believe the ex Point Cook Green Wedge land offers a huge opportunity to Point Cook residents, both young and old, but that opportunity will only be realized through Community interest and involvement at this critical stage ……  do you have a long cherished idea that can be incorporated in the Vision? Let us know, we want to hear it!

Comments

  1. Melinda CHAPMAN says:

    I love the idea of the Eden Project. We need more iconic landmarks in Wyndham and this would place Point Cook on the map. I like the idea of preserving our green spaces