Barwon Water are partnering with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation on the Porronggitj Karrong project. The project will improve the safety of the heritage-listed Ovoid Sewer Aqueduct in Breakwater, Geelong, and provide the people of Geelong and surrounds access to the Barwon River and 66 hectares of surrounding land.
The project name, Porronggitj Karrong, means place of the Brolga but the name of the precinct will be finalised by the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners in the planning process. This exciting project will result in a new community, cultural and recreational precinct that will acknowledge Aboriginal culture and heritage as well the European heritage values of the aqueduct.
The area has been closed to the public since 1995 when it was deemed unsafe for members of the public, due to the possibility of falling concrete from the unstable structure. The original aqueduct was built between 1912 and 1915 and was decommissioned in 1992 a when a new sewer pipeline was built under the Barwon River.
Barwon Water has recognised the cultural and heritage values attached to the aqueduct so continues to engage with Heritage Victoria, community members and stakeholders throughout the process. The project aims to balance heritage values, Aboriginal cultural values, environmental values and managing costs with improving public safety and providing better public access to the Barwon River and surrounding land.
Barwon Water will work with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners to gather information and learn about the landscape and the water. The area will also encapsulate local ecological, cultural, recreational and heritage values. Barwon Water’s vision for the site is ‘a balanced ecological system incorporating Wadawurrung traditional values, for our community to connect, listen and learn from Country.’
It is estimated that the project will take several years to complete, with plans to progressively open the space up to the community sometime between mid-2023 to 2025.
Due to safety risks the area remains closed to the public until the progressive opening commences.
For more information on the project and to keep up to date with the project’s progress, visit the Barwon Water website here.