Enhancing our Dandenong Creek's pilot project ran between 2013-2018. With an aim of fostering innovation and identifying sustainable projects that would benefit the area, the success of the program was due to the collaborative efforts of the local community, councils and businesses, and state agencies.

From working groups to a community panel, tree-planting events to interactive maps, frog census monitoring to pollution education, the local community were willing and passionate participants throughout, helping to shape much of the work carried out. Local councils such as Knox City and Maroondah, as well as Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and other project partners also played significant roles, helping across programs such as pollution monitoring and reduction, tree planting and amenity improvement.

The community panel

Melbourne Water met with 24 panel members over two days in July 2018 to:

  • inform the community about the overall Enhancing our Dandenong Creek project
  • build on existing community knowledge and understanding of the environmental, social and economic issues specific to the Ringwood South Branch Sewer
  • seek community input and ideas on what they saw as priority areas for the creek
  • invite the community to help shape the next five-year phase of the project.

Watch the video below to learn more.

Dandenong Creek interactive map

The Enhancing our Dandenong Creek Interactive map invited the local community to comment on works already completed along the creek and share ideas and insights into what they would like to see next.

Participants were encouraged to ‘drop’ and ‘drag’ markers onto the map and plot their ideas on:

  • planting
  • aquatic wildlife
  • pollution prevention
  • facilities
  • general comment

The digital platform received 1494 visits from unique users, a total of 134 comments were submitted and 432 reactions.

Daylighting & revitalising Dandenong Creek

An 830-metre piped section of the creek was daylighted between H.E. Parker Reserve and the railway line at Heathmont. The project was the largest daylighting project in Victoria and the first delivered by Melbourne Water.

The project was implemented after community consultation and decision via the Natural Amenity Working Group and resulted in:

  • more opportunities for revegetation
  • maintained flow capacity
  • improved instream habitats.

Watch the video below to view the transformation of the creek.

Frogs and billabongs

Billabongs are important habitats for native fish, frogs, water bugs and birds as they hold water for extended periods. We worked closely with the community and local councils to enhance the creek's remnant billabongs.

The community also used our Frog Census app to help us understand frog populations along the creek. Seven frog species were identified:

  • Vic Smooth Frog,
  • Striped Marsh Frog
  • Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog
  • Spotted Marsh Frog,
  • Eastern Common Froglet,
  • Southern Brown Tree Frog,
  • Eastern Banjo Frog.


Threatened fish program

To protect native fish species and enhance their habitat, 19 sites along the creek, between Dandenong North and Heathmont were successfully constructed and revegetated. In April 2017, over 600 dwarf galaxias moved into one of their new homes in Rowville.

To ensure the new habitats are providing sufficient protection against pest fish (such as eastern gambusia), and are sustainable during dry periods, we are undertaking ongoing maintenance and monitoring.

Improved amenity

Following community consultation, we worked with Knox City Council and Maroondah City Council, to upgrade shared pathways and install interpretive signs, seats, gym equipment and drinking fountains.

Wurundjeri and Bunurong traditional owners and Heathmont History Group shared with us the rich history of the area which was then turned into 15 interpretive signs showcasing indigenous and European history, as well as the area's unique flora and fauna.

Pollution detection

We worked closely with EPA Victoria, Knox and Maroondah councils, South East Water, First Friends of Dandenong Creek and research partners to monitor waterways within Dandenong and Old Joe’s Creek catchment and improve water quality.

Through a behaviour change and education program, we also aimed to reduce stormwater pollution entering Dandenong Creek and educate the local community around pollution.

Uncontrolled spills

The project involved the construction of new penstocks (similar to gates which open and close automatically) and the upgrade of emergency relief structures within the Croydon Main Sewer and The Basin Branch Sewer.

There were three separate work locations

  • Dandenong Creek Trail west of Marie Wallace Bayswater Oval, Bayswater
  • Tarralla Creek southwest of Canterbury Road, Heathmont
  • Bungalook Creek south of Wayne Court, Heathmont.

Industry recognition

The local community and our program partners were instrumental in the program being recognised for excellence in leadership, innovation and engineering. Follow the links to see the project's achievements.

2019 Engineering Excellence Awards, Victoria - Excellence in Public Works Project, Winner

Stormwater Victoria Awards 2019 - Excellence in Infrastructure, Highly Commended

Victorian Water Awards 2018 - Program Innovation Award, Winner

Victorian Water Awards 2019 - Program Innovation Award, Winner