The Melbourne Strategic Assessment program is a long-term, ongoing initiative that works alongside urban development in Melbourne’s growth areas. From boosting awareness about the Southern Brown Bandicoot, to creating the first of more than 80 Growling Grass Frog wetlands, take a look at some of our highlights.


Planning ahead

So far 46% of precinct structure plans have been completed, mapping out the land uses of each new suburb. This includes locking in a clear set of rules for protecting biodiversity. Once the plans are done, construction of subdivisions and new houses can begin. Find out more.


Completed development

Nearly 20% of new subdivisions and new houses in the growth areas have been completed.

At the final stage of each subdivision, developers must permanently protect the areas of important habitat. 7% of the growth areas have reached the final stage of subdivision and 111 hectares of conservation areas have been secured.


Secure funding

We’ve collected $165.5 million from urban development levies for our conservation areas and programs.

We collect these levies at each stage of development. We’ve also coordinated 180 staged payment agreements with developers to streamline the approval process for new houses and infrastructure.

The new Melbourne Strategic Assessment (Environment Mitigation Levy) Act 2020 strengthens this approach and ensures we achieve full cost recovery.


Protecting biodiversity during development

Currently, more than 10% of growth areas is under development. During this period, it’s important that we work closely with developers to ensure construction does not harm any of the important areas of habitat.

Making sure the land is suitable for conservation can take several years. We’re working with developers to make sure land is ready to become a conservation area at the final stage of subdivision.


Investment in conservation

We’ve spent more than $99 million purchasing land, $20 million on land compensation payments and $41 million on land management, monitoring, research and other conservation actions (as of May 2022).

The remaining $44 million in unspent funds is earmarked for land purchase negotiations and conservation actions.

Seasonal Herbaceous Wetland Seasonal Herbaceous Wetland

Restoring our native grasslands

Nearly 20% of the Western Grassland Reserve has been purchased (as of May 2022). This means 2,954 hectares of threatened grasslands and wetlands is now permanently protected. We monitor the grasslands regularly, using the latest scientific methods and research.

Grassy Eucalypt Woodland copy 

Banda Bail – a new conservation reserve

Home to majestic River Red Gums, the new Banda Bail Reserve will permanently protect critically endangered Grassy Eucalypt Woodland ecosystem in Melbourne’s north. Banda Bail, meaning ‘sleepy Red Gum’, is the name given by Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung elders. The Victorian Government has appointed the Hume City Council as the Committee of Management, and Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation will manage the 4.9 hectare reserve for the next 10 years.

Natural Temperate Grassland 

Latest reporting

Take a look at our latest report on our conservation goals for our key species and ecosystems. We’re pleased to report that for the Golden Sun Moth, Striped Legless Lizard, Natural Temperate Grassland and Seasonal Herbaceous Wetland, all our targets have been met.

Southern Brown Bandicoot 

Getting on the Bandi-wagon

We’re proud to partner with Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne (RBGC) to support and encourage local councils, developers and communities to create bandicoot-friendly suburbs in the south-east. The Southern Brown Bandicoot program helps wildlife live side-by-side with us, and residents to connect with and value nature. In turn, this also helps keep plants healthy and ecosystems functioning.


Weed control

Since 2019, DELWP and Wyndham City Council have supported landowners to identify and control weeds on over 2,800 hectares of private land in the Western Grassland Reserve.

This includes the removal of a forest of 400 hectares of box thorn – a prickly, big shrub – by a specialist digger. This work was led by Wyndham City Council.

Grassy Eucalypt Woodland copy 

Protecting rare woodland

This year, we’ve set up a new partnership with Trust for Nature and Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation to create the Grassy Eucalypt Woodland protected area in Melbourne’s north west

Growling Grass Frog 

Leaping for joy

The first of more than 80 Growling Grass Frog wetlands has been completed and is now home to some hoppy new residents.

Melbourne Water is leading delivery of a program to make sure the frog remains an iconic resident of more than 140km of creeks and rivers around Melbourne.


New growth for rare Button Wrinklewort

Once widespread south of the Great Dividing Range, this small native daisy is now restricted to small patches in south-western Victoria and around Melbourne.

To help boost population numbers, we’re working with La Trobe University to collect wild Button Wrinklewort seeds, which will be grown in a specialist nursery. The new plants will be reintroduced at several key sites, including Truganina Cemetery and St Albans railway station.

Page last updated: 09/05/22