Brimbank Council has called for urgent intervention from the Victorian Government to find a solution to deliver the Upper Stony Creek Transformation Project in Sunshine North.
The $11.3 million project, located on Melbourne Water land, brought together all levels of government alongside private enterprise to rehabilitate a 1.2 km section of Upper Stony Creek from the existing concrete drain, back to a natural state.
Mayor, Lucinda Congreve, said works at the site had come to a standstill after project costs had blown out.
“As with many projects in Brimbank, shortly after breaking ground it was discovered that the site was contaminated.
“While there were contingencies in the budget for this, the extent of the contamination was more than expected.
“The cost of remediation works means the original budget has been exhausted and works onsite have now stopped.
“If the funding required to remediate the site cannot be found, we’ve been informed the contract will be cancelled and the funding partners are walking away.
“What was once a beacon of hope for the west – a transformational project that was destined to be a first in the Southern Hemisphere – is fast becoming an issue of environmental injustice for the west.”
Council maintains the realisation of the project would create a natural cool zone for the community in times of heatwave – a refuge for some of Melbourne’s most vulnerable communities who disproportionally feel the impact of climate change and are particularly vulnerable to heat.
“Our community needs this project to be completed, and to do this more funding is needed.
“Brimbank contributes millions of dollars in levy fees to the Sustainability Fund, we carry the burden of landfill and toxic waste issues and get little back in support for environmental projects.”
An online partition has been commenced calling on the state and federal governments to take a lead on the project and see it completed.