Skeleton crew completes creek planting project

Melbourne Water’s Working for Victoria program team have pitched in to help a local environmental group finish a much-needed clean up along a popular Hoppers Crossing Creek.

With spring the optimum time for the task – the Waterway Blitz crews have spent the past few weeks planting an abundant 4500 indigenous trees, shrubs and grasses along lower Skeleton Creek.

The team also removed weeds and collected a cubic metre of rubbish from the local area to finish off the task begun by NatureWest earlier in the year.

The work was carried out, following up-to-date State health advice, including specific hygiene and physical distancing protocols.

Melbourne Water’s Waterways and Drainage Initiation Officer, Nick Kerr praised the work done by the community group, led by Chairperson Bruce Boddington

“Bruce organised for the area to be perfectly prepped for the planting and clean-up. He oversaw pre-digging, plant delivery and placement,” Mr Kerr said.

The section of Skeleton Creek that has been the focus of the project has remnant saltmarsh and is a haven for birdlife – the planting will significantly improve the habitat for these native birds and animals.

NatureWest Chairperson Bruce Boddington said his group had been unable to complete the project under Stage 4 restrictions and was delighted by the support offered from Melbourne Water.

“NatureWest is thrilled at the improvement to this section of Skeleton Creek with more than 11,000 native plants put in this year,” Mr Boddington said.

Nick Kerr agrees: ”Our newly hired Waterway Blitz crews who have joined Melbourne Water through our Working for Victoria program are passionate about protecting and improving our city’s environment.

“This project is all about that.”

Working for Victoria is a State Government initiative creating jobs for people and businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 situation.

Melbourne Water received funding to create around 100 jobs to carry out its essential work caring for the city’s waterways and land under the Waterway Blitz program.