Merri Creek Management Committee

Highly commended ecological restoration project by Global Restoration Network

The catchment-scale restoration of Merri Creek by Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) has been selected in the 'Highly Commended - Projects with Potential for Biodiversity Research Partnerships' category in the Ecological Management and Restoration Journal’s search for the ‘Top 20’ ecological restoration projects in Australasia.

For the project nomination we prepared a report on our experience of restoring a native grassland in the northern Melbourne suburb of Reservoir. The report Restoring a Native Grassland community – the Ngarri djarrang (Central Creek) example illustrates the ecological restoration work we undertake.

Download the Ngarri-djarrang Restoration report (pdf)

Eastern Grey Kangaroos at Central Creek GrasslandLocation

This 9ha grassland is located along Central Creek, a tributary of Merri Creek, in Reservoir, Victoria and now officially has the Wurundjeri name Ngarri-djarrang, meaning "thigh." (It is one of four grassland sites along Merri Creek that together form a proposed Parks Victoria park to be called Marran Baba, or "body of the mother.") 

Ecological Communities

Partially intact or small stands – Kangaroo Grass plains grassland (23.2 Central Creek).
Remnant, degraded or establishing stands – Kangaroo Grass stony knoll grassland (22.1; Central Creek)
Remnant of Plains Grassland, Stony Knoll Grassland and Grassy Wetland


112 indigenous species have been identified on the site, including nationally significant Short-fruit Water Starwort, Callitriche brachycarpa and Matted Flax-lily, Dianella amoena and State significant Rye Beetle-grass, Tripogon lolliformis. Short Sword-sedge, Lepidosperma curtisae on the site is believed to be of State significance (Robinson and Morgan 1997).


This site includes Merri Creek from the south to the north end of McBryde Street Fawkner, including the
4 ha Jukes Road Grassland on Crown Land on the west side of Merri Creek, adjacent to the end of Jukes Road.

Ecological Communities

Partially intact or small stands - Woolly Tea-tree riparian scrub (18.2 Merri Creek).
Remnant, degraded or establishing stands – Lightwood-Tree Violet cliff/escarpment shrubland (20.5; Merri Creek)
Jukes Road Grassland contains a small area of Plains Grassland


which has the largest known population in existence of the endangered Matted Flax-lily (Dianella amoena) (G. Carr, pers. comm.). In addition there are more than 60 other indigenous species present, including a number of lilies (Mueck 1997, B. Miles pers. comm.).


Merri Creek corridor running north from Donnybrook Road, then along the North Eastern Railway Corridor north to Beveridge Road. The area includes Kalkallo Common and Kalkallo Cemetery.

Ecological Communities

The Kalkallo Common/Kalkallo Cemetery has an extensive and intact area of Gilgai plain. Kalkallo Common also has stands of Plains Grassland and seasonal wetland. This stand of grassland is the only one remaining in GM with a shrub-pea stratum. The Kalkallo Common/ Cemetery site is a Critical Conservation Area for Gilgai Plains Grassland.
An area of stony knoll grasslands extends northeast from the Kalkallo Cemetery.
Along Kalkallo Creek are small stands of River Red Gum drainage line woodland. The Merri Creek in this section (upstream of the junction with Kalkallo Creek) has stands of Woolly Tea-tree riparian scrub and cliff/escarpment shrubland.

To the east of Bald Hill as far as Merriang Rd and south as far as Donnybrook Road is the nationally significant biosite Bald Hill[1].
The Bald Hill site has National significance for fauna on the basis of the presence of species such as the Grassland Earless Dragon seen by Beardsell in October 1988 along the Merri Creek escarpment[2]. There has only been the one sighting due to difficulties in finding the species. The suitability of habitat along both sides of the creek for the Grassland Earless Dragon has been remarked upon in all reports.

This site covers both sides of the Creek from Barry Road south to Horne Street. The Wurundjeri name means "stream waterhole" and it is a biosite of State Significance[1]
The City of Hume owns land on the west side of Merri Creek at the Hatty Court and Bambury Court Reserves. Apart from the Hume Freeway Reservation owned by VicRoads, the most significant parcel of land is the 93 hectare Melbourne Water retarding basin site which extends from just north of Barry Road to downstream of Horne Street and includes land on both sides of the stream. This land was purchased in the 1970s to permit retardation of flood waters. The area is now known as Galada Tamboore from the Aboriginal name meaning creek waterhole.
Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the area is its geology and geomorphology with the Barry Road or Merri Gorge having been assessed as being State significant[2]. Rosengren describes the site as having cliffs, alluvial and bedrock terraces and minor floodplains. The major geological and geomorphological feature is the 15 metre high cliff on the west bank. This cliff exposes an unconformity between the bedrock of Silurian sedimentary rocks and the Newer Volcanic basalts.

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