Merri Creek Management Committee

Saturday 1st June 2013 was the wettest June day in Melbourne on record. The Merri Creek catchment received rainfall above 57 mm fromFlooding aftermath - bridge to Coburg pool 350 x 197 9am Friday 31st May to 11am on Saturday 1st June.

The rain led to the media issuing a “major flood warning” at Bell St and St Georges Rd in Coburg. This means that the water was 5m above its normal level.

The flood left huge amounts of mud, litter and debris on the Merri shared path. MCMC and Moreland City Council still went ahead with a planting in Coburg on the next day to celebrate World Environment Day, despite having most of the mulch swept away and mud filling up the holes that had been dug previously.

The Melbourne Times Weekly also has a gallery of photos of the flood at Coburg Lake.

A truck accident in Fawkner has caused non-toxic iron oxide dye to spill into a tributary of Merri Creek and painted a wetland bright red (follow link for photo in Leader newspaper article).

The truck was exiting the Western Ring Rd on to Sydney Rd, Fawkner when 800 litres of iron oxide dye spilt into a drain leading to wetlands in the Campbellfield Creek retarding basin.  The retarding basin lies between the Upfield Railway line and the Northern Memorial Park in Fawkner.

Campbellfield Creek is a tributary of Merri Creek.  Melbourne Water has estimated that 17 million litres of contaminated water is contained within the wetland.  Barriers have been set up to contain the dye, but some contaminated water had entered Merri Creek by Thursday 29 November.  Melbourne Water crews are working day and night to pump contaminated water from the wetland into a nearby sewer and are hopeful no more dyed water will enter Merri Creek.

Although the spill is non-toxic, the Leader newspaper has reported the Environmental Protection Authority will be testing to monitor potential impact.  The iron oxide is used to colour landscape mulch.

Merri Creek Management Committee Manager, Luisa Macmillan, said the incident highlights the extreme vulnerability of urban waterways to pollution spills.  It also shows the immense value of wetlands and other systems to filter and treat water from drains before discharge to local creeks. The wetlands on Campbellfield Creek are the only wetlands in the City of Moreland to treat road and roof runoff before it enters Merri Creek.

Well done to Friends of Merri Creek for receiving a a Special Commendation, which was equivalent to coming second in the National Urban Landcare Award. The winner was Georges River Combined Councils’ Committee in NSW, which consists of nine Councils as well as agencies and community representatives within the catchment of Georges River, which runs into Botany Bay. It’s like a supersized version of MCMC.


For the first time in over 100 years, local traditional owners have made a single sheet bark canoe at a site nearby the Merri catchment. MCMC worked with many partners to support this project.

In June, the Victorian Government released its final North Growth Corridor Plan, dedicating even more land in the Merri catchment to urban uses. This growth ‘planning’ leaves an indecently narrow corridor along much of Merri Creek, locates a major town centre (Lockerbie) straddling the creek, proposes a non-existent habitat link from Merri Creek to a yet to be defined Red Gum Woodland reserve in Wollert, and whittles away other proposed conservation areas.