Devil Bend Reservoir (final email from JAG)

To: Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Devil Bend Reservoir (final email from JAG)
From: John Gamblin <>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2003 18:18:24 -0700 (PDT)

Background Information ? Devilbend and Bittern Reservoirs

Melbourne Water is currently:

  • finalising a master plan to guide the future use of the 1057-hectare Devilbend and Bittern reservoirs site on the Mornington Peninsula,
  • meeting with the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) to discuss the possibility of Parks Victoria becoming the eventual manager of a conservation and recreation park of at least 645 hectares,
  • finalising the costs and funding sources associated with the creation of the park.


Melbourne Water spent $45 million to build a pipeline from the Cardinia Reservoir to Pearcedale to improve the reliability and quality of water supplied to the Mornington Peninsula.

When this pipeline became operational in 2000, the Devilbend and Bittern storage reservoirs were taken out of service as they were no longer required.

After two years of working with the community and conducting specialist studies, (details at end of this document) Melbourne Water released a draft master plan in July 2002.

Draft Master Plan

The central element of the draft master plan was the creation of a recreation and conservation park, which would retain the site?s environmental, landscape and cultural heritage values while being available for the enjoyment of the local community and visitors.

The plan provided for the park to be established using proceeds from the sale of orchard and grazing land on the perimeter of the proposed park. Approximately 400 hectares, including 8 houses, have been earmarked to be sold in 56 lots.

Opportunities to lease some areas within the park for such uses as managed fishing, overnight and day accommodation and environmental education were also identified as a source of funding for the ongoing management of the park, including revegetation.

Opponents to Melbourne Water?s plan contend that the whole 1,057 hectares should be returned to its original state. However, throughout this process, Melbourne Water has worked, with the support of the community, to develop a plan that ensures the site?s financial and environmental sustainability.

The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council has publicly given its general support to the plan, but with some concerns about the proposed configuration of lots to be offered for sale and the need to ensure that there are sufficient buffer areas to prevent the park suffering from exposure to private land. A briefing of the recently elected Councillors will be held prior to the lodgement of the planning scheme amendment.

Parks Victoria

In principle agreement has been reached with Parks Victoria on the design and boundaries of the proposed park and the controls to be proposed for adjoining land that will protect the park. Discussions will now need to be held with the Department of Sustainability and Environment to reach agreement for the Department to become the owners of the land and Parks Victoria the eventual land managers.

The Mornington Peninsula & Western Port Biosphere

The proposed legal agreements for land to be sold off adjacent to the proposed park, including domestic animal controls, revegetation requirements and pest plant controls are designed to protect the park for the long term. They are a practical application of the principles of the Mornington Peninsula & Western Port Biosphere Reserve.

Devilbend and Melbourne 2030

The proposals contained in the Master Plan and Planning Scheme amendment are consistent with the broad principles of Melbourne 2030 in that they:

  • represent a sustainable approach to the ongoing protection of the site?s social and environmental values,
  • are designed to improve public access to the site,
  • provide a community benefit,
  • have been through a thorough public consultation process,
  • have community support.

The Master Plan and Planning Scheme Amendment

An application to amend the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme and the final master plan for the site are currently being prepared. These will propose Planning Scheme zones to create the park, allow the reconfiguration of existing titles into the lots proposed for sale and detail the proposed land use controls to be applied to the lots. It is planned that they will be lodged with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council and made available to the community by July this year.

The Devilbend and Bittern consultative process



Community information forum.

December 1999

Devilbend Reference Group* formed.

February 2000

Stage 1 specialist studies conducted, including flora, fauna and archaeological assessments.

Early to mid 2000

Community forum to release and discuss results of specialist studies and establish key aspirations for the site. Attended by more than 150 people.

October 2000

Completion of Stage 2 specialist studies.

Early to mid 2001

Summary of studies updated to include Stage 2 investigations.

June 2001

Community invited to suggest future access and use options. 45 expressions of interest were received.

June 2001

More than 400 people attended a community open day on site.

July 2001

Access and use options recommended by Reference Group for further consideration.

September 2001

Preparation of Draft Master Plan concepts and principles

Late 2001 to April 2002

Draft Master Plan discussed with Reference Group

May 2002

Draft Master Plan released for community comment

June 2002

Community information sessions held to support the release of the Draft Master Plan

July 2002

More than 180 submissions received in response to the Draft Master Plan

July ? December 2002

Reference group tour of the site and community newsletter sent to mailing list (approx 600 people)

December 2002

Briefing and tour of the site for new MPs, Rosie Buchanan and Geoff Hilton

February 2003

Onsite briefing of Councillors and staff prior to planning scheme amendment

22 May.

Planned media release and community bulletin outlining timing of the master plan and planning scheme amendment

June 2003

Planned reference group meeting to discuss draft planning scheme amendment and master plan

June/July 2003

Planned release of the Devilbend Master Plan and lodgement of planning scheme amendment. The master plan will be sent to the mailing list and supported by display copies at local libraries and community/council centres.

July/August 2003

*The Devilbend Reference Group is made up of representatives of local environment, community and sporting and recreational groups, nearby landowners, the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, the National Trust and State Government departments

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