Defining the Extent of Tootgarook Wetland

What is this project about?

This project is about refining the current extent of Tootgarook Wetland, defining a buffer around it, and developing wetland buffer guidelines and a wetland buffer management strategy to manage land use and development in and around the Wetland. 

The project will also review the conditions and boundary of ‘Environmental Significance Overlay Schedule 30 (ESO30) – Tootgarook Wetland’, which is a planning overlay with specific controls on development predominantly within the Wetland. The project will also recommend amendments (e.g. additions, modifications and/or removals) to its provisions with the view of simplifying the areas where it overlaps with ‘ESO18 – Wetlands’ and ‘ESO19 – Fluviatile Deposits’.

Why is this project needed?

This project is needed to facilitate a comprehensive review of all the planning controls that affect the Wetland with a view to simplifying these controls, particularly the ESOs, significantly.

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 contains features that are of local, state and international environmental significance. 

On Monday, 14 May 2018, Council adopted the Tootgarook Wetland Management Plan which forms part of Council’s stewardship and advocacy role in protecting and enhancing the Mornington Peninsula’s biodiversity.

As an environmental management plan, the adopted plan recommends actions that seek to protect and conserve the valued ecosystem of the Wetland as well as promote the area as an ecotourism destination. 

A high-priority action recommended in the management plan is to review the conditions and boundary of the existing ESO30. The adopted plan also recommends developing buffer guidelines and a buffer management strategy to manage land use and development around the Wetland.

Project status

The Shire has appointed environmental consulting firm ‘Biosis’ to undertake the required project tasks. Project inception took place on Monday, 24 September 2018. 

Background research followed by data collection and analysis leading to the preparation of a draft report have been undertaken. The draft report will be presented to the Planning Services Committee during the meeting on Monday, 18 February 2019. Exhibition of the draft report for public comment will then follow pending the Committee's approval.

Community and key stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft report by participating in a drop-in session to be held during the exhibition period. A copy of the draft report for download and details of the drop-in session and exhibition period will be made available in due course.

Further information

Phone: 5950 1010

Email: strategic.planning.projects@mornpen.vic.gov.au