Merri Creek Management Committee

Chapter 2.4 Headwaters to Craigieburn Road East


At its upper limits at Heathcote Junction, Merri Creek is contained within steep country of the Great Dividing Range foothills, in the Central Victorian Uplands (CVU) and Highlands Southern Fall (HSF) bioregions. Remaining vegetation on the slopes is Herb-Rich Foothill Forest, with River Red Gums, Narrow-leaved Peppermint, Swamp Gums, Blackwoods and occasional Red Box.

Herb-rich Foothill Forest is depleted in the CVU, but of least concern (that is not a high priority for conservation) in the HSF bioregion.

Other EVCs occurring[104] include Herb-rich Foothill Forest/Shrubby Foothill Forest Complex (depleted in CVU), Valley Heathy Forest (endangered in both bioregions[105]), Valley Grassy Forest and Riparian Forest (both vulnerable in CVU), and Swampy Riparian Complex (endangered in both CVU and HSF).

Major tributaries draining these bioregions include Wallan Creek, Taylors Creek, and Mittagong Creek.

As the streams fall away from the Great Dividing Range they are contained within the Victorian Volcanic Plains bioregion (VVP), or what Beardsell describes as the Merri Upland Volcanic Plains, which covers the area between Wallan East and Donnybrook[106]. Within this reach, Merri Creek is mainly an occasional or ephemeral stream running in winter-spring and after summer rains. In the old swamplands, waterways are often channelised drains.

The most significant remaining habitats within this reach are the Plains Grassland, Plains Grassy Woodland, Riparian Scrub, Swampy Riparian Complex EVCs, all endangered in the Port Phillip and Westernport Region[107].

Old Sydney Road Spur

Southwest of Wallan on the Spur between Deep Creek and the Merri Catchment, Schulz and Webster identified a site of regional biodiversity significance. It contained a moderate diversity of birds, native mammals, amphibians and reptiles, including 22 species of regionally significant fauna, and provides a habitat link between the Deep Creek and forested areas in the Kilmore Gap[108]. The report indicated that this site was being fragmented by farmlet subdivision, land clearance and trampling by livestock. Land protection and public education programs were recommended.

There have been continuing threats to this corridor from development, although there is a vegetation protection overlay along much of the road reserve.

Merri Creek Wallan East to Hernes Swamp

This stretch of Creek was straightened to drain the upper reaches of Hernes Swamp many decades ago. In 1991 it was identified by Schulz and Webster as of local significance. It has some remnant vegetation but it has faunal significance in that it serves as a partial habitat link with areas of high faunal significance downstream and forested areas to the north of the Merri catchment[109].

Hernes Swamp

In terms of its geological origins, Hernes Swamp, located south of Wallan East, developed from the blocking by lava flows of several drainage lines causing the formation of an alluvial terrace[110]. It was largely drained in the 1940s. Hernes Swamp and its surrounds is a biosite of national significance[111]. Its vegetation is classified as Plains Grassy Wetland within the Swampy Riparian Complex. Its significance is based on the rarity and integrity of the vegetation type, and on the presence of a high number of rare and threatened flora and fauna species including the nationally endangered Lepidium hyssopifolium and Helichrysum sp. aff. acuminatum, Striped Legless Lizard and Growling Grass Frog[112].

Hernes Swamp is a grassy wetland or freshwater meadow which was listed by Beardsell as a Critical Conservation Area for grassy wetland habitat within the north-eastern region of Melbourne. It is the only intact wetland of its type remaining north of Melbourne[113]. Although it is now drained and carries little water and few waterbirds most years, before its draining the Swamp would have been an extensive shallow freshwater marsh holding water for up to six months. It would have supported thousands of waterfowl and ibis for extended periods during winter-spring. At the time of European settlement the Swamp would have likely supported the Magpie Goose, Australian Bustard and Brolga[114].

Hernes Swamp would have been part of a wetland complex, including Camoola Swamp to the south-east, and Inverlochy Swamp, together covering over 1,000 hectares in total[115].

While Hernes Swamp has undergone many changes since the 1940s, recent pastoral land management intensification and a change from sheep to cattle grazing has worsened the cause of its preservation[116]. If its flora and fauna values are to be restored, the Swamp will require fencing and blocking of drainage lines to return it to a more permanent marsh.

Some of the integral relationship between Merri Creek and Hernes Swamp has been lost in recent decades. The creek itself has been impacted heavily by grazing with stock having access to both sides of the stream down to the water. The native vegetation is severely depleted and the Swamp Gums are dying from senescence, salinity and grazing related causes. The channelised stream is in poor condition with bank erosion and loss of vegetation[117]. It requires significant improvement in order to transfer better quality water downstream.

Further, Schulz and Webster have remarked that strict controls must be enforced against contaminated runoff entering this site from the Wallan Sewerage Treatment Area to the north.[118] The Wallan Sewerage Treatment Plant is operated by Yarra Valley Water and is licensed by the EPA to discharge to land only. The plant is being expanded with improved treatment works to produce Class A water, which is piped to the west of the Hume Highway onto pasture land in Beveridge. Class A water could also be distributed to households using a 3rd pipe system.

Schulz and Webster further noted that pasture improvements such as rock clearing, top dressing and sowing of pasture species have, particularly in the southern sections, converted the sparse native tussock grassland into a pastureland sward possibly unable to support Plains-wanderer and Red chested Button-Quail - two species present at the Bald Hill site downstream. They recommended that a survey to assess the distribution and abundance of Striped Legless Lizard be undertaken[119]. During their survey work a single Striped Legless Lizard was found in a deep hole dug on the edge of Hernes Swamp in the V-Line railway reserve. They noted that suitable rocky grassland habitat for the Lizard existed west of the railway line and along Merri Creek.

Hernes Swamp is under threat now from expanding residential development to the east and south-east of Wallan. Hernes Swamp is also discussed in Chapter 3.3 Aquatic Flora, Fauna and Wetlands.

Beveridge Rail Reserve and Camoola Swamp

Directly to the south of Hernes Swamp, another biosite encompasses the vicinity of the North-East (Sydney-Melbourne) Railway line south to Beveridge Road and the Camoola Swamp area. It is listed as being of regional significance[120], but is likely to be upgraded to state significance.

Schulz and Webster recommended that the North-East Railway reserve be set aside as a Flora and Fauna Protection Zone. A prime habitat corridor needs to be established linking Hernes Swamp with the Bald Hill site both along the rail reserve and the creek corridor. The authors argued that this should be part of a regional habitat link strategy. Beardsell has also indicated that the site should form part of the Strategic Habitat Link Network connecting it to the Bald Hill site[121].

Merri Creek- Beveridge Rd

A significant site was assessed by Ecological Horticulture along Merri Creek at Beveridge Road. It was identified as a site of regional to State significance for its floodplain grassland[122]. This site is also included within Schulz and Websters definition of the State significant Upper Merri Creek and Hernes Swamp area which extends almost to Merri Creek Park[123]. No Biosite is recorded for this area, and no remnant vegetation is mapped. This site requires further investigation.

Bald Hill

To the east of Bald Hill as far as Merriang Rd and south as far as Donnybrook Road is the nationally significant biosite Bald Hill[124].


The Bald Hill site has National significance for fauna on the basis of the presence of species such as the Grassland Earless Dragon seen by Beardsell in October 1988 along the Merri Creek escarpment[125]. There has only been the one sighting due to difficulties in finding the species. The suitability of habitat along both sides of the creek for the Grassland Earless Dragon has been remarked upon in all reports.

The sites rocky grassland appears to be prime habitat for the Striped Legless Lizard[126]. However, the species has not been recorded in surveys of the site[127], although it has been recorded from the local area to the north and south of the Bald Hill site[128].

Amongst other significant fauna species, Plains-wanderer was sighted on rocky grassland in Braelands in the summer of 1983 and is likely to still persist[129].

Bald Hill has a number of other significant bird species due to the River Red Gum Plains woodland on the site. These include Tawny Frogmouth, White-winged Triller and Rufous Songlark. The Buff-banded Rail, Brown Quail and Lathams Snipe were also observed in Poa grassland in freshwater meadows[130].

Schulz and Webster note that the present high faunal values of the Bald Hill site are due to its size and remoteness. Any future management of the site which saw it subdivided into urban or farmlet development would significantly reduce its faunal values.

A critical element of future management of the site will be preserving populations of the Grassland Earless Dragon. There is concern over whether it still survives in the locality as it was not recorded during pitfall trapping studies in 1995[131]. Beardsell noted that in recent years the habitat of the Grassland Earless Dragon along Merri Creek within the Bald Hill site has been heavily grazed by sheep with a consequent reduction in grassland cover and that these conditions, together with an increase in fox numbers, are not conducive to the Grassland Earless Dragons survival.

Schulz and Websters report also makes the recommendation that weed invasion problems (especially Cape Broom and Serrated Tussock), associated with disturbance during installation of the gas pipeline, which crosses the creek adjacent to Bald Hill, be addressed.

Schulz and Webster describe the section of Merri Creek within the Bald Hill site as containing sections of rock riffles, tessellated basalt pavement, rock shelves forming small waterfalls and open water, pools and escarpments[132]. Beardsell records that one of only two known populations of Freshwater Blackfish in the Merri Creek occurs in the reedy pools upstream of the North-East Railway bridge adjacent to Bald Hill[133]. Although there is no operational discharge from the Sewage Treatment Plant at Wallan to Merri Creek, Beardsell has questioned its impacts on water quality as unlikely to be favourable to the Blackfish and observed that stream management to improve water quality and protect the Blackfish is required[134].

Beardsell believes that the Bald Hill site is a critical component in the linking of regional habitats, being between sites to the north, south (e.g. Craigieburn grasslands) and south-east (Darebin and Barbers Creek headwaters). He recommends that conservation management of the Bald Hill site is critical for the successful movement of fauna in the Merri Creek valley. The long term viability of faunal populations at Craigieburn Grassland depend on protecting upstream native grassland habitat links.[135].

Flora and fauna survey work was undertaken by Larwill et. al. in 1994 as part of the background work for the preparation of the Site Management Plan. They were unable to find Grassland Earless Dragon or Plains-wanderer[136].


The flora of the Bald Hill site is of at least State significance, due to the presence of Carex tasmanica and Psoralea tenax[137]. Based upon the area examined by Frood, the site can be said to possess five vegetation communities ranging from Danthonia grassland to riparian scrub[138].

This site requires further floral assessment as Froods survey work only contained limited sampling (nine quadrats) and the extent of the better quality remnant vegetation was not fully determined, nor mapped[139]. The quadrats sampled by Frood were from along Merri Creek and land to its south, and along land to the east of a drainage line situated to the east of the railway line. It was the sample on the drainage line, which Frood described as a Grey Clay Drainage-Line Complex, which contains Carex tasmanica and was recommended by him for maintenance of its population as a priority.

Larwill et. al. extended the number of flora species listed by Frood.

At Bald Hill, like many other areas in this vicinity, there is some stock access to the creek from insufficient fencing on both sides of the stream. The creek is fenced on one side alternately providing some protection of escarpment areas and the riparian zone. River Red Gums also appear to be dying from salinity related causes. There is also some evidence of bank slumping where stock have trampled vegetation[140].

Much of the significant grassland vegetation at Bald Hill is on or adjacent to land which Boral Resources has an interest in quarrying. Boral owns sites on both sides of Merri Creek and has a proposal for two quarries, one each side of the creek. A Donnybrook Quarry Site Management Plan was developed in 1997 but it was never finalised or implemented. Unfortunately, grasslands on the site have not been well managed. It is important that this site should be properly managed.


Bald Hill itself is recorded as a site of regional geological significance[141], although it is not included in the biosite.

Kalkallo to Donnybrook

South from Beveridge Road along the rail easement south to Donnybrook Mineral springs and then along Merri Creek to Donnybrook Road is another regionally significant biosite[142].

Beardsell, notes that the Australian Smelt, a notable fish species, was recorded about 1km. below the North-East Railway bridge[143]. It was Beardsells view that the existence of this species was less secure due to the Wallan Sewage Treatment Plant and runoff from the site. There have been no specific studies which have confirmed that runoff from land irrigation at the Sewage Treatment Plant has been the cause of problems further downstream.

Freshwater crayfish and Short-finned eel have also been recorded in the vicinity[144]. Earthworks associated with dam construction and stock grazing are also contributors to water quality degradation and weed invasion. Again fencing and other stream frontage works are required in this reach.

Beardsell also noted that the creek and rail reserve require a further flora survey.

This reach includes very important breeding sites and dispersal corridors for the Growling Grass Frog.

Kalkallo Common and Cemetery

These biosites are of state significance[145] as remnants of the Plains Grassland EVC.

Beardsells report placed emphasis on the need to protect the Kalkallo Common and Kalkallo Cemetery as a habitat link with the Merri Creek (they are located adjacent to Kalkallo Creek). He noted that the Kalkallo Common and Kalkallo Cemetery require intensive survey for flora and fauna[146]. The Kalkallo Cemetery is managed by the City of Hume Bush Crew and is included in the Hume Indigenous Vegetation Study[147].

Merri Creek - Donnybrook to Craigieburn East Roads

The Merri Creek between Donnybrook and Craigieburn East Roads is a biosite of State Significance[148]

This reach of the stream is a mid-point between the upland and lowland volcanic plains of the creek system. Merri Creek becomes a perennial stream through this reach.

This stretch of the waterway has been assessed as having State significance for fauna on the basis of a population of Striped Legless Lizard found on the eastern escarpment of Merri Creek, south of the North-Eastern Railway bridge in November 1991[149]. It was noted that, due to the extensive habitat present, there may be a substantial population of the Striped Legless Lizard present in the vicinity of the find.

Freshwater Blackfish was also present in the pool upstream of Summerhill Road. In addition, Flat-headed Gudgeon has been recorded for this reach, as has Platypus which was observed upstream of Summerhill Road bridge in November 1991 and Beardsell thought likely to breed locally and be possibly the last population in the Merri system[150]. Subsequent work by the Platypus Conservancy has been unable to locate a breeding population of Platypus in the Merri Creek.

Although the habitat along Merri Creek throughout the Donnybrook to Craigieburn section is more degraded than at the Craigieburn grassland site, like Beardsell, Schulz and Webster have stressed the importance of this reach for the habitat link which it provides with surrounding significant sites upstream and to the east (Edgars Creek headwaters - see below) and the west (Mickleham-Mt. Ridley site, see below).

This section of the creek has not been subject to exhaustive flora surveys. A significance rating on the basis of flora is thus not possible. However, some locally rare or threatened species (Drooping Sheoak, Rock Correa, Sticky Boobialla) have been recorded on the Silurian escarpments downstream of the North-East Railway bridge. Downstream of Summerhill Road there are also the most extensive stands of Woolly Tea-Tree and other riparian species on Merri Creek[151].

Schulz and Webster (1991) have recommended that a number of management issues be tackled including fencing of the stream and adjacent escarpments to exclude grazing and active discouragement of rock removal along the creek

Curly Sedge Creek upper, Wollert

Beardsell makes separate reference to the Summerhill Road area and the Merri catchment to the east which he deems to include the Gas and Fuel Swamp, Bunker Hill Swamp and the Boonderoo woodlands[152]. This area is generally within the headwaters of the recently named Curly Sedge Creek, or what Beardsell refers to as the Summer Hill drainage line.

Beardsells site encompasses a number of biosites of State and National significance[153]. It has State faunal significance on the basis of a number of species including the Plains-wanderer, last sighted in 1988, and the Fat-Tailed Dunnart located on a stony rise at the Pakenham Blue Metal site[154]. The Gas and Fuel Swamp contains rocky remnant grasslands and forms the headwaters of the Curly Sedge Creek which flows to the vicinity of the OHerns Road Wetland where it joins Merri Creek.

The Gas and Fuel and Bunker Hill Swamps carry several hundred waterfowl during wet winter-springs. There have also been several notable (if now dated) recordings of rare fauna at the Summerhill Road sites, including the Eastern Barred Bandicoot and the Eastern Quoll which persisted in the Gas and Fuel Swamp/Summer Hill drainage line area until the 1930s[155].

There are at least three notable flora species in the area: Carex tasmanica (Curly Sedge); Psoralea tenax (Tough Scurf-pea); and Amphibromus sp. aff nervosus (Swollen Swamp Wallaby Grass)[156].

Beardsell has designated the site to be part of a Strategic Habitat Link connecting the most significant sites on the Merri and Plenty Volcanic Plains[157]. The Curly Sedge Creek upper catchment area itself has connections to Merri Creek to the west, the Craigieburn grassland (now severed to a large degree by the Craigieburn Bypass which crosses Curly Sedge Creek on a small bridge) and Edgars Creek headwaters sites to the south and the Bald Hill site to the north.

Beardsell also considered the Poa labillardieri grass associated with plains grassland and grassy wetland in the valley of Curly Sedge Creek to be one of the largest stands in the north-east of Melbourne. Similarly, the River Red Gums plains woodland on the north-east section of Boonderoo and adjoining properties is one of the largest in the north-east of Melbourne[158].

Increasing evidence of stream and groundwater salinity, poor land management resulting in weed invasion (especially Chilean Needle-grass), potential threats to groundwater from quarrying, and high fox numbers were listed by Beardsell as key issues for the area[159].

Schulz and Webster (1991) have recommended that a number of management issues be tackled including fencing of the stream and adjacent escarpments to exclude grazing and active discouragement of rock removal along the creek and on broad acre areas to the east of Summer Hill.

They also proposed that the area east of Summer Hill be incorporated into a Grasslands and Woodlands Protection Zone within the Planning Scheme due to its function as a habitat corridor and due to the potential presence of uncommon grasslands fauna[160]. A similar zone under the new Planning Schemes might be the Rural Conservation Zone or a Green Wedge Zone. Vegetation Protection Overlays should also be considered. Beardsell further recommended that the area be nominated as a Strategic Habitat Link within north-eastern Melbourne because a link between the Bald Hill and Craigieburn grasslands is critical for the long-term conservation of fauna at the Craigieburn site. This must be recognised during the planning of future urban growth[161].

The Donnybrook to Craigieburn reach is likely to be threatened in future by possible urban development, increased salinity levels and habitat loss. It is imperative that the unsympathetically planned industrial development, which has taken place below Craigieburn Road between Hume Highway and Merri Creek, is not repeated. There are also threats posed by subdivision into small, unproductive farmlets and extensive rock clearing.

Cooperative programs with landowners (e.g. Stream Frontage Management Program, Landcare, Land for Wildlife and Bush Tender) along the stream corridors will be essential to the conservation management of this critical habitat link. Fencing out of stock, staged weed control, fox eradication, incentives for effective land management and other devices will be required to preserve the areas habitat function. Investigation of the source of salinity will also be required as the groundwater which changes the stream from ephemeral to permanent at Summerhill Road may be a contributor.

In addition, it will be necessary to investigate the usefulness of planning scheme overlays to protect such sites from the impacts of development and a habitat protection incentive scheme. This would provide the potential for specific protection of significant rock outcrops or stands of native grassland or woodland vegetation.

Mickleham-Mt. Ridley site

Two key tributaries of the Merri - Malcolm and Aitken Creeks - have their origins near the southern boundaries of the Mickleham-Mt. Ridley site as defined by Schulz and Webster (1991). Cropper and Cherry (1997) identified both vegetation communities and species of State significance. Schulz and Webster assigned it State faunal significance on the basis of repeated sightings of Plain-wanderer and Swift Parrot. The Plains-wanderer inhabits uncultivated short, sparse Danthonia grazing land on Mount Ridley and Kalkallo Park[162].

Schulz and Webster recommended that this site be identified as a Grasslands and Woodlands Protection Zone within the local Planning Scheme. They indicated that it should follow the strategy for Red Gum Protection Zones in the Plenty Growth Corridor. They also recommended that landowners be advised of land management requirements consistent with Plains-wanderer occurrence and that encouragement be given for present farm practices which provide such habitat.

Schulz and Webster further recommended that incentives should be negotiated with the owner of the high quality Themeda grassland in the north-west of the site, as this is suitable habitat for Plains-wanderer. They also recommended additional survey work to assess floral values, determine the presence of Striped Legless Lizard and the importance of the site for Plains-wanderer. In 1996 management guidelines were prepared for the Mt Ridley Station site[163].

Since Schulz & Webster and Kern reported, a part of the site has been reserved as the Mt Ridley Flora and Fauna Reserve, and part has been destroyed by farmlet development. A large part remains in Green Wedge, Green Wedge A and Farming zones.

An eastern portion of the site, within the Urban Growth Boundary (currently Farm Zone) is proposed for transfer to the State Government to form part of the protected Mt Ridley Grasslands as part of a planning scheme amendment (Hume Planning Scheme Amendment C98) to rezone the adjacent land for business purposes. There is an Environmental Significance Overlay over most of the site

Old Sydney Road

Schulz & Webster identified Old Sydney Road between Darraweit Guim and Mickleham as a site of local biodiversity significance with some shrublands and grasslands, a small number of reptiles, a diversity of raptors and shrub layer passerine birds, and the potential for the site to serve as a habitat link between the Old Sydney Road Spur site and the Mickleham- Mount Ridley site. Protection of existing vegetation and revegetation with indigenous shrub species was recommended, along with an additional links along Donnybrook Road to the top of the Mickleham-Mt Ridley site[164].

Malcolm Creek

Schulz and Webster identified the whole of Malcolm Creek as a site of regional biological significance[165]. It has largely been overtaken by residential development, although an open space corridor has been preserved which links across Mt Ridley Road to the Mt Ridley Flora and Fauna Reserve, and which hopefully can be made to link downstream under the highway to Merri Creek. The open space link incorporates a number of large old River Red Gums, as well as some important Plains Grassland remnants.

Key References

Beardsell, C. (1997). Sites of Faunal and Habitat Significance in the North East Melbourne, A report prepared for the North-East Region of Councils (NEROC) by Dunmoochin Biological Surveys, Melbourne.

Department of Sustainability and Environment (2005) Biosites Maps and Reports Port Phillip Region 2005 CD.

Ecological Horticulture Pty. Ltd. (1993). Flora and Fauna, prepared for Melbourne Water and Merri Creek Management Committee, Melbourne.

Frood, D. (1992). Vegetation of the Native Grasslands in the Merri Creek Valley, Outer Melbourne Area, Ecological Survey Report No.42, Department of Conservation and Environment, Melbourne.

Hume City Council (2003) Hume Indigenous Vegetation Study.

Kern, L. (1996) Mt Ridley Flora and Fauna Management Guidelines. Report to the Department of Natural Resources & Environment, Port Phillip Area and Mount Ridley Stud, Mickleham Victoria, Practical Ecology Services Preston.

Larwill, S., Yugovic, J., Kutt, A., Costello, C., Meredith, C., (1994). Conservation Assessment of Proposed Quarry at Donnybrook, Victoria - Flora and Fauna Attributes and Conservation Management Guidelines, Port Melbourne.

Schulz, M. and Webster, A. (1991). Sites of Biological Significance in the Merri Corridor- A Preliminary Investigation, Department of Conservation and Environment, Melbourne.


1. Given the above, there are many opportunities to promote the Land for Wildlife program and encourage participation in Landcare activities throughout this reach.

2. There has been a lack of adequate protection measures introduced for many significant flora and fauna sites along the stream and its adjacent private freehold lands.

3. Flora and fauna species which have been determined as vulnerable or endangered require urgent steps be taken to assist their protection.

4. The draining of swamps and wetlands (including Hernes Swamp) has led to the loss of many values and attributes, such as habitat function, stream water quality protection and stream flow volumes and seasonality.

5. A regional habitat link strategy along the lines of that recommended in Beardsell (1997), is needed in order to establish and preserve habitat corridor links between significant sites (Hernes Swamp, Bald Hill, Summerhill Road, Mickleham/Mt. Ridley, and Craigieburn and Edgars Creek Headwaters). Such links are essential if biological values are to be preserved, and particularly fauna passage between sites is to be retained.

6. Additional flora and fauna survey work is required to determine populations of significant species likely to occur (some work has occurred, but not in Mitchell) at sites such as Bald Hill, Mickleham/Mt. Ridley, the Summerhill Road area and others.

7. Improved stream frontage management practices, including fencing in particular, are required at a number of locations to protect rocky escarpment areas, prevent further bank slumping and stock trampling of vegetation and improve water quality. Sites along Merri Creek include:

· Hernes Swamp;

· Bald Hill;

· Kalkallo to Donnybrook; and

· Donnybrook to Craigieburn.

8. The Donnybrook-Craigieburn section and its associated Summerhill Road area plays a central linking role between other significant sites to the north, south, east and west. It is part of a link between the Bald Hill and Craigieburn grasslands and is critical for the long-term conservation of fauna at the Craigieburn site and must be recognised as such during the planning of future urban growth. The areas critical role requires recognition as a Strategic Habitat Link within north-eastern Melbourne.

9. Unsympathetically planned industrial development, of a type similar to that which has taken place below Craigieburn Road between Hume Highway and Merri Creek, poses a threat to significant sites, habitat links and the stream environment, if repeated within this reach.

10. Subdivision of large rural areas into small farmlets and extensive rock clearing pose threats to the conservation of significant species and sites.

11. The continuing development of measures within Local Government Planning Schemes will be required to protect significant areas from the impacts of future development. Such measures have been recommended for sites including:

· the area east of Summer Hill due to its function as a habitat corridor and due to the potential presence of uncommon grasslands fauna (Schulz and Webster, 1991, p. 23); and

· the Mickleham-Mt. Ridley site due to the presence of Plains-wanderer and Swift Parrot.

12. Investigation of other means by which local government can support sound land management practices and help protect significant sites. For example through means such as a habitat protection incentive scheme, needs to be examined.

13. Negotiations need to continue with land owners at Bald Hill and Hernes Swamp to secure protection for significant sites at these locations.

14. Management of the impacts of the Craigieburn Bypass.

15. A significant part of the increase in native vegetation area discussed in chapter 2.1 will need to be in this part of the catchment. Revegetation and sympathetic land management need to be high priorities.

16. Market-based incentives for indigenous vegetation protection are a likely outcome of the Land and Biodiversity at a Time of Climate Change Green Paper.

Reach Objectives

See chapters 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3.

Reach Targets

1. Protection of all significant natural and cultural heritage sites through acquisition or sensitive management.

2. Maintenance and improvement of populations of vulnerable, rare, threatened, and other indigenous species.

3. Preservation of habitat links with other significant sites within the Merri Creek and neighbouring catchments.

4. Restoration of the marshy herbfield character of wetlands (e.g. Hernes Swamp) to enhance habitat function, assist in protection of stream water quality and aid stream flow volumes and seasonality.

5. Improved stream frontage management practices to sustain indigenous vegetation cover, protect stream morphology and key landscape and visual features and ensure stream stability.

6. An informed and sympathetic rural community able to manage the needs of providing continued habitat for significant species within the context of operating sustainable rural properties.

7. Participation by landholders in Landcare, Land for Wildlife and Bush Tender programs within the reach.

8. Continuing local government and agency support and incentives for rural land owners who manage land for stream frontage protection and habitat preservation and enhancement.

9. Growth corridor and other strategic planning conducted with protection of biologically significant sites and habitat links as a primary consideration.

10. Recognition and protection of the Donnybrook-Craigieburn section and the associated Summerhill Road area as a Strategic Habitat Link within north-eastern Melbourne and critical to the conservation of fauna at a number of other sites in the Merri system.

11. Preservation of Strategic Habitat Links within future growth planning exercises and through the adoption of appropriate zonings and overlays under Planning Schemes.

12. The attachment of conditions to planning permits to require protection and restoration of the creek environment from impacts resulting from development proposals.

13. Increase the extent of indigenous vegetation in this section of the catchment by 1000 ha by 2030 (See chapter 2.1).


See Section E page 192.


[104] Biodiversity Interactive Map accessed 16/5/07

[105] Native Vegetation Plan CD files Central Victorian Uplands.xls and Highlands Southern Fall.xls

[106] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 1, p. 11, Print Version of CD

[107] Native Vegetation Plan CD file Victorian Volcanic Plains.xls

[108] Schulz & Webster, 1991, site R2, pp38 & 39.

[109] Schulz & Webster, 1991, site L8, pp50 & 51.

[110] Rosengren, 1993

[111] Biosite 4854, Biosites Maps and Reports Port Phillip Region 2005 CD.

[112] Schulz and Webster, 1991; Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 22, Print Version of CD

[113] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 20, Print Version of CD

[114] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 23, Print Version of CD

[115] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 14, Print Version of CD

[116] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 26, Print Version of CD

[117] Beardsell, 1997, vol 2, p. 26, Print Version of CD

[118] Schulz and Webster, 1991

[119] Schulz and Webster, 1991

[120] Biosite 5130, Biosites Maps and Reports Port Phillip Region 2005 CD.

[121] See map in Beardsell, 1997

[122] Ecological Horticulture, 1993

[123] see maps appended to Schulz and Webster, 1991

[124] Biosite 3610 Biosites Maps and Reports Port Phillip Region 2005 CD.

[125] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 35 Print Version of CD; also Schulz and Webster, 1991, p. 14; Larwill et. al., 1994, p. 44


[127] Larwill et. al., 1994

[128] Schulz and Webster, 1991

[129] Beardsell, 1997, Vol. 2, p. 36, Print Version of CD

[130] Schulz and Webster, 1991

[131] Beardsell, 1997, Vol. 2, p. 35, Print Version of CD

[132] Schulz and Webster, 1991

[133] Beardsell, 1997, Vol. 2, p. 36, Print Version of CD

[134] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 36 and 40, Print Version of CD

[135] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 39, Print Version of CD

[136] Larwill et. al., 1994

[137] DCE, 1990, Frood, 1992

[138] Ecological Horticulture, 1993

[139] Frood, 1992

[140] Beardsell, 1997, Vol. 2, p. 40, Print Version of CD

[141] Rosengren 1993 p 110 site 36.

[142] Biosite 5052, Biosites Maps and Reports Port Phillip Region 2005 CD.

[143] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 44, Print Version of CD

[144] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 41 and 45, Print Version of CD

[145] Biosites 3629 and 3630, Biosites Maps and Reports Port Phillip Region 2005 CD.

[146] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p.45-7, Print Version of CD

[147] Hume City Council (2003)

[148] Biosite 4855, Biosites Maps and Reports Port Phillip Region 2005 CD.

[149] see Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 88, Print Version of CD

[150] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 89-90 Print Version of CD

[151] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 86, Print Version of CD

[152] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 112, Print Version of CD

[153] Biosite 4858, 7103, 3628, Biosites Maps and Reports Port Phillip Region 2005 CD.

[154] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 114-116, Print Version of CD

[155] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 115, Print Version of CD

[156] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 112, Print Version of CD

[157] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 117, Print Version of CD

[158] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 112, Print Version of CD

[159] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 117-121, Print Version of CD

[160] Schulz and Webster, 1991, p. 23

[161] Beardsell, 1997, vol. 2, p. 91, Print Version of CD

[162] Schulz and Webster, 1991

[163] Kern, 1996

[164] Schulz and Webster, 1991, site L2, p 46.

[165] Schulz and Webster, 1991, site R4, p41.