Draft Tootgarook Wetland Management Plan

Residents are invited to have a say on Mornington Peninsula Shire’s Draft Tootgarook Wetland Management Plan.

Council resolved at its Planning Services Committee Meeting on Monday, 5 February 2018 to place the Draft Tootgarook Wetland Management Plan on a six-week public exhibition period closing Friday, 23 March 2018.

The draft Plan seeks to prevent further degradation of the Wetland, promote its values, recognise its role in the Catchment and broader Port Phillip area, and define the key risks to its values.

Tootgarook Wetland 

Tootgarook Wetland is a 590-hectare, groundwater dependent, freshwater wetland within the 4,480-hectare Chinamans Creek Catchment. As the largest groundwater dependent ecosystem and freshwater marsh in the region, the Wetland is identified as a priority area under the Melbourne Water Healthy Waterways Strategy, and Port Phillip and Western Port Regional Catchment Strategy. It is also recognised by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning as a biosite of state significance and forms part of the internationally recognised Western Port Biosphere. While the Wetland is not currently a Ramsar-designated wetland, the Ramsar Nomination Feasibility Study commissioned by Council in June 2013 found that it arguably meets several listing criteria, having regard particularly to the presence of nationally listed endangered species including the Australasian Bittern.

While eight key values are associated with the Wetland including uniqueness, habitat, and rare flora and fauna, its integrity risks being compromised by nine key threats that include future development, intensive agriculture, and feral animals and environmental weeds. Therefore, as part of the stewardship and advocacy role of Council in protecting and enhancing the Mornington Peninsula's biodiversity, Council commissioned environmental engineering specialist BMT WBM in April 2015 to prepare an environmental management plan in partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia.

Community Consultation Drop-In Session

  • Venue  -  Tootgarook Community Hall, 30 Barry Street, Tootgarook VIC 3941
  • Date  -   Wednesday, 21 February 2018
  • Time  -  6 pm to 8 pm

Key Recommendations of the Draft Plan

  • Establishment of an ongoing Community Reference Group to share information and coordinate activities;
  • Development of a Community Participation Plan;
  • Recognition and support for good outcomes from existing public and private land management, including the implementation of existing Trust for Nature covenants (such as the major land holding in Boneo Park);
  • Rezoning of Council land at 92 Elizabeth Avenue, Capel Sound to the Public Conservation and Resource Zone (PCRZ);
  • Advocacy for completion of a feasibility study and environmental impact assessment in relation to the VicRoads freeway reservation, in the context of Council’s resolution to seek removal of the current freeway reservation and the investigation of alternatives;
  • Support for further use of Trust for Nature covenants to protect areas of natural habitat;
  • Development of a Visitation and Promotion Plan to establish the wetland as a passive recreation destination;
  • Development of an agreement between government agencies and community groups to coordinate environmental monitoring, research and information sharing; and
  • Undertaking of regular field surveys to monitor changes in key indicators of environmental health, including birdlife.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my land be acquired by Council?

No. Your land is not proposed to be acquired by Council. Only one parcel of land is identified in the draft Plan as having potential strategic merit for acquisition by Council. The land relates to the currently vacant property at 9 St Elmos Close, Capel Sound.

Will my land be rezoned?

No. All rezonings proposed in the draft Plan affect Council land only.

Will I have to discontinue the current use of my land?

No. All landowners have existing use rights on their land. Even if Council were to adopt the final Tootgarook Wetland Management Plan, all landowners can continue the current use of their land.

Will the value of my property be affected?

The management actions proposed in the draft Plan seek to improve the recognition of the Wetland, enhance its values and protect its ecological functions while acknowledging the existing uses within and around the Wetland. The draft Plan recommends measures that include the provision of financial incentives for private landholders to undertake environmentally beneficial works and practices on their land. Council is not in a position to advise how the value of individual properties would be affected. It is important to note that a property’s market value is subject to numerous factors. Should you be concerned with the value of your property, you are advised to seek advice from a qualified valuer.

Download the Draft Plan

Draft Tootgarook Wetland Management Plan, January 2018(PDF, 29MB)

Further Information

Email: stratplanprojects@mornpen.vic.gov.au

Have Your Say

N.B. Submissions window will close at 5:00 pm, Friday, 23 March 2018.

  • Online: complete the form below.
  • In person: visit one of our Shire offices to inspect a hard copy of the plan and have your say in person
  • By mail to: Strategic Planning, Draft Tootgarook Wetland Management Plan, Mornington Peninsula Shire, Private Bag 1000, Rosebud, Victoria, 3939 
  • By email: stratplanprojects@mornpen.vic.gov.au 


Submissions received, including the name of the submitter, may be published on Council’s website and may form part of the public record of the relevant Council and Committee meetings. Personal information, including contact details, and any offensive, defamatory or third party personal information will not be published. You may access personal information you have provided to the Shire at any time and make corrections. Our Privacy Policy can be found at mornpen.vic.gov.au/privacy. If you have any concerns about the use and disclosure of your personal information, please contact the Shire’s Privacy Officer at privacy@mornpen.vic.gov.au.