Healesville Freeway Reserve

Project status

 

A Park Layout Plan (PDF) for this exciting new park has now been finalised and is available to view below.

The plan was developed in close consultation with the community, Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, and other local stakeholders.

Information and a report on the community consultation, and further information about the plan, are available on Engage Victoria.

Parks Victoria will now be starting the process to procure contractors to create park facilities and features. Construction is expected to commence in the first half of 2024.

The above projected timeline is likely to change and is subject to assessments, on-ground and construction industry conditions. This timeline will be updated as the project progresses.

Last updated: January 2024

Subscribe for updates

 

 

The project

A new park will be created in Melbourne’s east from more than 35 hectares of former freeway reserve, currently known as the 'Healesville Freeway Reserve'.

Guided by a Park Layout Plan, new facilities will be developed to provide ways for people to get into nature at this spot on Wurundjeri Country - while ensuring its environmental and cultural values are protected.

To keep people active and create new connections, a 3.5km shared-use trail will run the length of the park. Designed for a minimal impact on the environment, the trail will also have seating, drinking fountains, signage and lighting at key points to help cyclists, runners and walkers along their journey.

The plan also proposes activity spaces to support recreation and play. Connected to carparks and trails, these spaces will include facilities like play areas, picnic tables, shelters, BBQs and nearby toilets. The placement of these facilities has been planned with careful consideration for residents, wildlife and vegetation.  

As people enjoy the park, new signage will provide information about local plants and animals, while interpretation material will tell a story of Wurundjeri cultural heritage and connection to Country. The Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation has been a key stakeholder in development of the park plan, and will also choose a new name for the reserve.

A major vegetation strategy accompanies the plan to support the area’s biodiversity. Gang Gang Cockatoos, kookaburras and echidnas are some of the wildlife that will benefit from new plantings. Weed removal programs and habitat support, such as nesting boxes, will further boost the area's environmental values. 

Establishment of the new park, and development of the park plan, follows community consultation between 2016 and 2018 on a future direction for the undeveloped parcel of land.

More recent community consultation, including through a Community Reference Group, saw the Park Layout Plan finalised in August 2023.

--

Project benefits 

Visitors and community

The park will provide new opportunities for people to get into nature in Melbourne’s east. 

New features and park facilities will support recreation and create spaces for visitors and the local community to spend healthy time outdoors.

Cultural heritage and environment

Establishment of the park brings with it new protections for areas of environmental values and Aboriginal cultural places. 

A major vegetation strategy accompanies the plan to support the area’s biodiversity. Gang Gang Cockatoos, kookaburras and echidnas are some of the wildlife that will benefit from new plantings. Weed removal programs and habitat support, such as nesting boxes, will further boost the area's environmental values. 

 

Project funding

The Victorian Government has invested $10.5 million to establish this new park.

 

Environmental and cultural heritage management

Aboriginal cultural heritage and environmental assessments have been undertaken to identify areas of significance and inform park planning.

 

Who are we working with?

The new park is part of the Traditional Lands of the Wurundjeri people. We continue to work on this project with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.

A Community Reference Group was formed to provide feedback on the new park. Details about our consultation with the community is available on Engage Victoria.

 

 

Access changes

There are currently no temporary access changes.

 

Staying updated

To keep up-to-date with news about this project, sign on for updates

 

Related information

 

FAQs

What is planned for the Healesville Freeway Reserve? 
Extensive parklands are being created in Melbourne’s east, providing new opportunities for people to get into nature. The Victorian Government has invested $10.5 million to establish a park from 35 hectares of former freeway reserve between Springvale Road in Forest Hill and the Morack Public Golf Course in Vermont.

A shared walking and cycling trail will run the length of the new park, as well as new play spaces, seating, drinking fountains, activity spaces, car parking and amenities. 

Who will build and manage the new park?  
Parks Victoria was appointed as the land manager of the Healesville Freeway Reserve in September 2021 and will oversee planning and construction of the new park. Parks Victoria implements a regular maintenance schedule in the reserve which includes weed and vegetation management, and grass slashing (where appropriate) to manage fire risk.

When will the park be complete?  
Works on park facilities and features are expected to commence in autumn 2024, with completion expected in 2025.

What will the nearby community experience during construction? 
During construction people near the park may experience some temporary noise. All works will be completed in accordance with Council and EPA regulations.

The community may also notice assessments being undertaken in the area. Parks Victoria will be engaging specialists to undertake technical surveys and studies to inform the park planning process.

The project page will be updated with project information, construction progress updates or park closure notices.  

How are you working with Traditional Owners? 
The new park is part of the Traditional Lands of the Wurundjeri people, and in recognising their special interest in preserving natural landscapes of cultural importance, we will work closely with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation in the development of the park plans.

Preliminary cultural and environmental assessments have been undertaken to identify areas of significance and inform early planning.

The parklands will also be given a name by the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.  

How did you consult with the community? 
In December 2021, a Community Reference Group (CRG) made up of a cross-section of local people was established to help shape a new layout plan for the park.

The draft version of this plan was shared with the broader community and the CRG for feedback during 2022 before being finalised in August mid-2023.

This engagement followed previous consultation by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (now DEECA) between 2016 and 2018. Feedback from the public at that time supported access and trails, nature and biodiversity, and a suitable Aboriginal name for the new park. This feedback has been incorporated into the the new park layout plan.  


X
By using our site you accept that we use and share cookies and similar technologies with certain approved third parties. These tools enable us to improve your website experience and to provide content and ads tailored to your interests. By continuing to use our site you consent to this. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.
Confirm