Originally written by Spectator-Observer Partnership
LAND along the Grange Burn at the western edge of Hamilton could be developed into an interpretive centre to educate people about catchment management and water quality issues.
Southern Grampians Shire Council has just bought 16.5 hectares (34 acres) of land fronting Mt Baimbridge Rd and the Grange Burn.
The site will be used to treat urban stormwater before its discharge into the Grange Burn.
The land is zoned rural with a flood overlay and contains three major stormwater outfall drains from the council’s stormwater system.
The area is expected to become a focus for raising community understanding of integrated catchment management.
The shire plans to jointly manage the land formerly part of the Falkenberg estate with the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority. The CMA has set aside project funding to the value of $21,000 to assist with the start of the project.
Southern Grampians Mayor, Cr Des Brown, said it was a great opportunity for the two organisations to work together.
“The purchase of this land allows council and the CMA to jointly educate the community about catchment management and water quality issues in a very positive way,” he said.
“This may include the development of an interpretive centre and offices at the site.”
Cr Brown said the land was ideally suited for the type of proposed development.
“In terms of being centrally located and easily accessible, we really could not have come up with a more ideal site,” he said.
Chair of Glenelg Hopkins CMA, Michael Murphy, said there were many educational, social and economic benefits in jointly managing the project.
“The main urban stormwater drain that catches all of the Hamilton central business district and a large percentage of residential and industrial stormwater discharges into the Grange Burn through this land,” he said.
“Opportunities exist to use this site as an education area for community groups and schools to increase the awareness of urban stormwater treatment, wetland development and biodiversity issues.”
Mr Murphy said substantial funding was expected to be available in the future to further develop the project.