Eltham Gateway Project
Nillumbik Shire Council is working in partnership with Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) and the Southern Gateway Renewal Group (SGRG) on a community led project to revitalise the southern gateway into Eltham.
The Eltham Gateway Project will focus on rehabilitating and enhancing areas on both sides of Main Road, between Falkiner Street and the Diamond Creek Bridge, and is a response to the construction of the new intersection at Fitzsimons Lane.
The aim of the project is to create a sense of arrival into Eltham and the Green Wedge Shire of Nillumbik by reclaiming public open space and revegetating underutilised roadside areas. The project will acknowledge the traditional owners of the land using indigenous planting and the creation of a public artwork on the northern side of Main Road.
Nillumbik Shire Council, Major Road Projects Victoria (MRPV) and local community group Southern Gateway Renewal Group (SGRG) are collaborating on a project to design and deliver a legacy initiative for an enhanced Eltham Gateway.
Feedback from a community survey conducted by Eltham MP Vicki Ward has been used to inform the landscape concept design.
The project will strengthen connections between people and place, reimagine public spaces, and leave a lasting impact on our community
Southern Gateway Renewal Group (SGRG)
The Southern Gateway Renewal Group (SGRG)
The Southern Gateway Renewal Group (SGRG) is a local community group who have strongly advocated for a new gateway to Eltham and Nillumbik following the removal of the Main Road roundabout. Their objectives for the new gateway include:
- Creating a 'sense of arrival' at Eltham and the Green Wedge Shire of Nillumbik, and encourage slower, safer speeds within Eltham;
- Reclaiming and revegetating the underutilised roadside land areas for public open space;
- Acknowledging the original owners of the land; and
- Expressing the character and history of the area.
As part of the rehabilitation of the area, a number of trees that are dead, hazardous or are in poor health will be removed.
All trees within the project area, a total of 226, have been assessed by an independent arborist for tree health, structural issues, risk and hazards. Trees were also assessed for origin, species type, and likely end of life.
Older and larger trees are more likely to drop branches, or cause root conflicts beneath the surface.
A number of trees, particularly in Area “A”, are pine trees planted decades ago that are now at or nearing end of life.
Of the 226 trees, 171 or 76 per cent, were assessed as healthy, and will be retained.
Twenty-two of the trees require some pruning.
Thirty three trees, or 15 per cent, have been identified as requiring removal for one or more of the following reasons:
- the tree is dead;
- the tree health is ‘poor’ or ‘fair’, and tree is non-indigenous,
- the tree is a ‘weed’ to the natural environment of Area ‘A’, bordering the Diamond Creek, or
- the tree will provide significant future risk if left in place.
The map below identifies the 226 trees (yellow dots) that were independently assessed as part of the project.
The artwork, will be located to the north of Main Road near the Diamond Creek Bridge in the area known as Area C - North.
It is intended to create a sense of arrival into Eltham and the Shire of Nillumbik, acknowledge the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people, reflect the identity, character and history of the local community while interpreting the landscape and surroundings of the site. The artwork theme mirrors community feedback.
A number of local artists, Nillumbik-based creative groups and art organisations were approached in early August 2022 to respond to the artwork brief document, and submitted their concepts on 12 September 2022 for review by the project control group and relevant community stakeholders. The final concept of the selected work will be developed further in consultation with the Elders of the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Corporation.
The sculpture will be viewable from all directions with the front (south facing) targeting traffic heading to Eltham, while the back (north facing) will be seen by pedestrians using the pathway.
What we heard
Community feedback on the draft concept plan from 13 July 2022 until 7 August 2022 received 146 survey responses and 18 submissions.
The community response indicated an interest in, and support for, the project as a whole.
Suggestions were to reduce the ‘human’ impact put forward in the initial draft concept plan, in summary by reducing the area proposed as paths, minimising structured plantings, and providing more plantings of indigenous vegetation wherever possible.