Tag Archives: ANCOLD dam guidelines

Is Melbourne Water removing trees near you? What about the wildlife?

Animals are losing their trees in droves. There is a new tree removing policy for all dams and retarding basins in Victoria, treating small retarding basins as if they were big dams, and treating trees as problems, where previously they were considered desirable. See inside for locations. This policy applies in other states as well. VicRoads is also suddenly removing trees en-masse from roadsides and median strips! None of these policies gives adequate consideration to wildlife habitat or cruelty impacts. There is no overall coordinating policy for Australia to ensure the preservation of wildlife and wildlife corridors at local, state and national levels, nor to avoid heat-island creation and local climate change, or citizen despair. With constant clearing for new suburbs and roads all over habitable Australia, tree removal by governments and contractors is reaching the level of a national civil emergency.

Trees and Retarding Basins

The reason for this change of policy around retarding basins is that we have become so overpopulated, due to wilful government policy, that flooding has become a problem.

“When a natural catchment is progressively urbanised, the stormwater runoff characteristics of that catchment change accordingly.The runoff response becomes quicker and larger as the introduction of urban features (eg paved streets, tiled roofs, concrete driveways) reduces the capacity of the catchment to store and retard stormwater flow.” (Norman Himsley, “A guiding hand for flood retarding basins,” ANCOLD.)

Trees are blamed, when previously they were planted to keep the water table low, stabilise landforms, and suck up floodwater. If there has been a scientific review of the literature regarding the pros and cons of trees on dams, it has escaped me. For this reason, I am very leery of the new policy. ANCOLD is the source of the new guidelines, but you have to pay over $100 to access them, since Melbourne Water is using a private publication.

Victoria’s population growth

Victoria’s population growth – at around 2.4% is one of the fastest in the world, with a doubling time of under 30 years. Australia’s growth at 1.6% is the fastest of OECD countries. No wonder Victoria is now using the ANCOLD rules for *large dams* in order to manage small local retarding basins. These basins were adequate when they were made, before Jeff Kennett, Steve Bracks, and their successors, decided to rapidly grow Victoria’s population. (See https://candobetter.net/node/5262 and https://candobetter.net/node/5268. In Victoria, where Melbourne Water manages about 224 retarding basins, there has been a sudden onslaught of mass tree removal with very limited ‘community consultation’ and absolutely no viable plans for affected wildlife. In this article I have named some affected retarding basins. If you put them together you can see how this de-treeing policy will impact all Melbourne’s green wedges and wildlife corridors. How can anyone pretend that we can preserve Victoria’s wildlife and our pleasant green spaces if this population tsunami is allowed to go ahead?

Banyan Reserve retarding basin, Carrum Downs.
Removal of trees. Late January schedule.


Campbellfield retarding basin, Sages Road, Glenroy, 80 trees to go


Fairbairn Road retarding basin, Duff Street, (within the J and P Cam Reserve) at Cranbourne, tree removal


Glen Valley Retarding Basin located on Glen Valley Road in Forest Hill

Lernes Street Retarding Basin located on Hylton Crescent in Forest Hill

Glen Valley retarding basin – no info here.

Jack Roper Reserve (CSL) retarding basin in Glenroy. Tree Removal.


Masons Road retarding basin, Masons Road Reserve, Blackburn

https://www.melbournewater.com.au/what-we-are-doing/works-and-projects-near-me/all-projects/masons-road-retarding-basin-upgrade No information here. Just takes you to a Melbourne water search engine.

Navan Park retarding basin, Navan Park, off Centenary Avenue, Melton West

https://www.melbournewater.com.au/what-we-are-doing/works-and-projects-near-me/all-projects/navan-park-retarding-basin-upgrade No mention of removal of trees.

Roxburg Park retarding basin: Retarding basins at Shankland Gully (also known at St Clair Reservoir), Shankland Gully 2C, Lake Mcivor and Tiffany Crescent. Work includes removal of trees.


Ryans Road retarding basin, Diamond Creek. Removal of trees.

A community bulletin was issued in November 2017. https://www.melbournewater.com.au/what-we-are-doing/works-and-projects-near-me/all-projects/ryans-road-retarding-basin-upgrade

Retarding basin located in Taylors Lakes, Chichester Drive, neighbouring to both Lake Shelduck and Lake Heron. Removal of Trees:

“trees must be removed from the whole length of the embankment.”


Troups Creek West Wetland and Hallam Bypass retarding basin on Drysdale Avenue in Narre Warren North. Tree removal.

“Vegetation removal from the wetland; this will be replaced with plants that will improve the natural treatment of stormwater”

Yarraman Creek retarding basin, Elonera Road, Noble Park North. Removal of trees.

Undated community bulletin indicating works would have started on Monday 22 January 3pm – 4pm.

Christmas Hills land-sale. Melbourne water selling off public land previously earmarked for the Watsons Creek Storage Reservoir, which it says it no longer needs. There was some ‘community consultation’, but this land is going to be turned into a suburb.


RECENT PAST WORKSThompsons Road retarding basin, Lawson Poole Reserve in Cranbourne. Trees were removed. https://www.melbournewater.com.au/what-we-are-doing/works-and-projects-near-me/all-projects/thompsons-road-retarding-basin-upgrade

Trees have been removed. There is a community information bulletin here: https://www.melbournewater.com.au/sites/default/files/Communitybulletin-EastBurwood-May2017.pdf The following link leads nowhere useful: https://www.melbournewater.com.au/what-we-are-doing/works-and-projects-near-me/all-projects/east-burwood-retarding-basin-upgrade

Several more if you do a search for Melbourne Water and retarding basins.

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