What we've done
Between Winchelsea and Colac, we planted over 50,000 plants and trees.
We planted a mixture of indigenous and native trees, grasses and bushes along the highway. We also completed landscaping near Barongarook Creek.
This has helped enhance the entrance to Colac and provides an important habitat for animals in the area.
We also worked with the local community to reuse vegetation we needed to remove as part of the project. We provided the Colac Woodcrafters Guild with wood for furniture, toys and instruments. We mulched some of the other vegetation for garden beds and reused for landscaping on the project.
Recognising the Traditional Owners of the land
We worked closely with the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation and Colac Otway Shire to establish a commemorative space near the bridge over Barongarook Creek to recognise the Traditional Owners of the land, and as a memorial to the discovery of Aboriginal ancestral remains during our works.
Our landscaping plan was based on the use of indigenous and native plants to recognise the cultural significance of the area.
The introduction of indigenous and native plants and trees reflects the cultural significance and sensitivity of the area. The landscaped park is now planted with a mixture of native grasses, shrubs and trees, including:
- drooping she-oak
- river red gum
- manna gum
- myrtle wattle
- golden wattle
- woolly tea tree.
River red gums are commonly found near creeks and rivers, and provide nesting hollows for galahs, cockatoos, cockatiels and various parrots.
The commemorative space includes new seating and a reflection space around a feature stone and new pedestrian paths – a community space for everyone to enjoy and explore.
Growling Grass Frog
The Growling Grass Frog is one of Australia’s largest frogs. It is also listed as a threatened species under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999).
Our studies identified there were Growling Grass Frog habitats in the area between Winchelsea and Colac. The species is only found in small, isolated populations across south-eastern Australia. We installed seven new habitats and constructed our culverts to allow light to enter between the roadways, which will encourage the frog to move between the habitat ponds.
Environment Protection and Biodiversity Reports
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities and heritage places. We are committed to minimising our impact on the environment and heritage places. We are required to report annually on our compliance with conditions set out by the Australian Government.