Working to restore Goulburn wetlands

The Goulburn Wetlands project aims to convert an abandoned brick pit into public parkland and a natural storm-water treatment system by restoring local ecosystems.

The Project

  • The wetlands is being expanded to cover the existing brickpit excavations — an area of some 2.2 hectares. The water depth will vary according to conditions, and in places be 1-2 metres deep with extensive planted shallow water zones. The new berms (boulder ridges) will assist water movement and treatment, with a sedge meadow taking it back to the river.
  • Planned works aim to improve the aesthetic design, biodiversity, water quality and bank stability of the site, through systematic replacement of weed species with local native plants, creating habitat for native animals.
  • Walking paths, public spaces, recreation facilities and art works will be included, as well as information about our local heritage, history and environment.

The Site

  • The 13.5ha Council-owned site is bordered by the Goulburn Golf Course on the western and southern sides, May Street to the east and Mulwarree Chain of Ponds to the north. It lies within the Mulwarree flood plain and is not suitable for built development.
  • It currently acts as an informal drainage easement for stormwater run-off from the Eastgrove residential precinct as well as overland flow from the Goulburn Golf Course and the river.



  • Old photographs and paintings show that the site was originally covered by tall open forest and riverside woodland, both of which have almost completely disappeared since European settlement.
  • The site previously included the Melbourne Place Brickworks and is listed as Heritage Item 241 in the Goulburn Mulwaree Local Environmental Plan. The footprint of this brick pit will be preserved; artefacts will be incorporated as features of the site and further investigated as revegetation works proceed.
  • The site has been the subject of much interest and several schemes over the years. Following an initiative of The Goulburn Group, Goulburn Mulwaree Council voted unanimously in October 2010 to support and help carry out this current project.


  • Promote and enhance Goulburn’s image as an innovative, forward thinking, progressive and attractive place to live, work and do business.
  • Establish an attractive, safe and accessible green space, which is also a community focal point promoting improved environmental awareness.
  • Provide a living environmental education laboratory for students of all ages — enabling them to monitor, measure and understand the functioning and importance of ecosystem services, such as wetlands in stormwater pollution control.
  • Enhance native flora and fauna habitat through landscaped restoration.
  • Inclusion of bird hides, viewing platforms, sensory trails and interpretive signage.
  • Incorporate harvesting, retention and biological treatment of stormwater through an environmentally sustainable wetland system, so improving the quality of water entering the Mulwarree Chain of Ponds from the northern end of Eastgrove.
  • Offer a venue for a range of recreational and cultural activities — including picnic, play and fitness equipment, seating and utilities, and a venue for local artists to display works.
  • Increase connectivity by constructing environmentally sensitive and disabled access walkways and cycleways to link with existing and future tracks.
  • Enhance and protect the historical and natural heritage of the site with sensitive restructuring of the abandoned brickworks’ archaeological features and any identified indigenous heritage.
  • Provide an education opportunity for the investigation and interpretation of the remains of a 19th and 20th century industrial site.


  • $70,000 has been sourced by The Goulburn Group from the NSW Government’s Community Building Partnership Program for Stage 1 (complete May 2012). Council has allocated up to $25,000 to supplement the NSW Government grant.
  • Hawkesbury Nepean Catchment Management Authority has contributed $20,000 towards the project. These funds will assist with completion of Stage 1, with the balance allocated to weed removal and plant propagation.
  • In-kind contributors include Goulburn Mulwaree Council as well as The Goulburn Group, Goulburn Field Naturalists Society, Society for Growing Australian Plants – Southern Tablelands Branch, TAFE, Mission Australia, Middle Arm Bush Fire Brigade and other community groups.


Proposed staging of works

  • Construct rock berms and some earthworks (complete November 2011)
  • Install gross pollution traps, seed with native grasses, remove weeds (underway 2012)
  • Construct some pathways, bird hides, viewing platform and plantings.
  • Provide on site parking (street parking complete May 2012)

Later stages will require additional pathways, planting, playground and exercise structures, seating, interpretative signage, artwork, sculptures, etc.


Community involvement

  • The project has the potential to offer short and longer-term local employment opportunities and provide significant opportunities for education and work experience.
  • Ongoing community involvement is through FROGS (Friends & Residents of Goulburn’s Swamplands Landcare Inc. or like us on Facebook.