The Friends of Merri Creek (Inc.) has been working for the Creek since 1988. The community groups that joined to form the Merri Creek Coordinating Committee in 1976, later formed the new Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) and a separate Friends group.
The MCMC coordinates planning and works along the Creek. The Friends play a major role in providing six representatives on the Committee of Management. Other representatives come from the six municipalities in the creek’s catchment and the Wallan Environment Group.
The Friends also organize regular creek-side activities and encourage community participation in supporting and regenerating the Creek – planting and site maintenance, bird surveys, StreamTeam water quality testing and litter blitzes.
The diverse Merri Creek corridor extends from rural open space to inner urban Melbourne through residential and industrial landscapes including sites important to the Wurundjeri people.
On the eastern fringe of Victoria’s volcanic plain are remnant rare habitats and their species – plains and woody grasslands, shrubland, wetlands and riparian zones including river red gums along sections of the Creek and tributaries. It is crucial that the biodiversity of flora and fauna in these habitat conservation areas are protected, enhanced and shared with the community – a key focus of our work.
Campaigning for the Creek continues as development and increased population density put pressure on public land and the bushland haven of Merri Creek and parklands.
In the past, the Friends successfully campaigned for the removal of the F2 freeway alignment from along the Creek, south of Mahoneys Rd. However, in July 2003, the Friends lost our Federal Court case against the freeway north of the ring road to Craigieburn. The Friends’ campaign against this “Merri Creek Freeway” gained huge support across the northern suburbs and was successful in achieving an alignment with less impact on the Creek and on the heritage-listed native grasslands. The Federal Court case set an important precedent, as the Judge ruled that the Commonwealth would have to pay its own court costs. The campaign also achieved a higher level of State Government commitment to a regional park along the Merri Creek north of the ring road. The Friends are now assisting Parks Victoria with the development of this.
There are many ways you can become involved – always welcome!