Linkages project brings people and animals to the Yarra

The Yarra River is a cultural icon in Melbourne that creates an inner city habitat, stormwater treatment facility and space for social interaction in a previously under utilised park area.

The wetland was part of Stage 1 of the City of Stonnington’s Yarra River Biodiversity Linkages Project which aims to increase habitat connectivity, improve water quality and provide recreational and educational opportunities for the community to interact with Melbourne’s landmark river.

The project is located in the suburb of South Yarra within the City of Stonnington municipality.  The Capitol City Trail runs along the north-western frontage of the park area which overlooks the Yarra River, the trail is well used by pedestrian and bicycle traffic which gives the wetland great exposure and amenity for the general public.

The site constraints such as works within tight spacing were overcome by excellence in design. This is exemplified by the design of the offtake arrangement whereby the adoption of new technology (Hydrobrake) has allowed for appropriate flows to be diverted to the wetland system without creating blockages through the pipe diversion system or flooding the wetland. Other design features include maintenance access and water level control.

Through the consideration and foresight of maintenance issues and extensive collaboration with the design team, construction company and stakeholders, a robust project was completed which accommodated and satisfied all parties.

The wetland provides stormwater quality treatment to beyond best practice objectives for pollutants for runoff from a 5.7 ha residential catchment which was previously discharging to the Yarra River untreated.  The new wetland creates a space for biodiversity in an urban setting alongside a valued iconic Melbourne River – the Yarra.

Project partners included City of Stonnington, Storm Consulting and Aspect Studios.


The Yarra River Biodiversity Linkages Project was conferred a 2012 Merit Award of Excellence in the category of Stormwater Infrastructure by Stormwater Victoria.

→ Download the award nomination