The Minta Farm PSP site contains a rare example of large open waterbodies adjacent to Cardinia Creek, providing visual and landscape amenity and high-quality habitat for vulnerable species such as Latham’s Snipe and Dwarf Galaxias.

The site is proposed to be developed in line with the Minta Farm PSP, incorporating large areas of new residential developments and office and technology zones. There have been several strategies prepared for managing drainage and water quality through the site, however these did not consider the specific ecological requirements of existing habitat, particularly regarding managing changes in the hydrological regime caused by increased runoff with development, and minimising disturbance to high value habitat in selecting appropriate locations for drainage infrastructure.

Our work provided the functional design documentation to demonstrate that the proposed location for the wetlands in the PSP meets Melbourne Water’s ‘deemed to comply’ requirements and the equivalent performance outcome as the original DSS layout.

Our delivery was developed through an iterative process of discussing the needs and outcomes of the project with Melbourne Water and our in-depth knowledge of the Cardinia Creek region, coupled with extensive experience in the design of ecological wetland habitat for threatened species.

Through an extensive ecological risk assessment, we were able to map key existing values of the site dependent on these waterbodies, and how potential changes to the hydrologic regime from development in the catchment would impact these values. By reorientating the scheme design to use proposed water quality treatment assets in a strategic way, we were able to avoid impacts to sensitive sites and propose options for increasing the value of other sites through recreation of natural floodplain along Cardinia Creek.

Our designs feature constructed water corridors and water sensitive urban design optimised for safe flood conveyance that also provide a resource for existing ecological assets within the site. Our design options complied with SEPP and Melbourne Water guidelines whilst utilising a reduced overall asset footprint.