2019 Core Values Awards Case Study | Stony Creek Recovery and Rehabilitation
Melbourne Water, Highly Commended, Disaster and Emergency Services Project
The engagement process for the Stony Creek Recovery and Rehabilitation project sought community input into recovery from the most significant waterway pollution event in Melbourne in almost 30 years.
Stony Creek is an urban waterway that flows through Melbourne’s western suburbs to the Yarra River. On Thursday 30 August 2018, a warehouse in West Footscray housing toxic chemicals caught fire and burned for two weeks. The fire had a catastrophic impact on the popular creek and adjacent Cruickshank Park in Yarraville. The toxic fire runoff that washed into the creek resulted in a significant loss of flora and fauna, including approximately 2,500 dead fish and other animals. For several days after the creek exceeded safe guidelines for human health. The incident also created outrage and frustration in the community.
The huge impact that the incident had on both the environment and the community required a matching response. As one community member stated, “It is an unprecedented event so it requires unprecedented action, not just feasible and in line with existing policies.”