Heritage and safety the focus of Barwon Water’s aqueduct vision

We’re taking the next steps in an effort to open up safe access along a section of the Barwon River and surrounding land.

We’re taking the next steps in an effort to open up safe access along a section of the Barwon River and surrounding land in Breakwater, which has been closed to the public for decades due to safety risks associated with a degraded historic aqueduct at the site.

We’re making an application to Heritage Victoria for a permit to remove five of the 14 spans of the heritage-listed, 100-year-old Ovoid Sewer Aqueduct, which has been deteriorating in condition since the 1970s

Since 1995, areas around the aqueduct, including on the river, have been closed to the public due to the risk of falling concrete, which has prevented movement along the river and land.

We’ve investigated all possible options for improving, stopping or slowing the aqueduct’s natural degradation, particularly across the river, but technical advice has made it clear that it is simply not viable from a safety and cost perspective.

The aqueduct divides 66 hectares of Barwon Water-owned land, and as part of the plan to make the area safe, we want to create public open space that is unique for its high ecological, historical, cultural and recreational values.

As part of exploring opportunities for improving the surrounding land to make it a valuable community asset, we plan to engage with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners to gather information about the landscape and water, and seek input from all other interested stakeholders to develop a plan for the area.

We have engaged heritage advisors Lovell Chen to act on our behalf in the Heritage Victoria application process and have advised community representatives and groups of our intentions.

Upon receipt of the application, Heritage Victoria will publish it on their website and ask for written submissions from the community.

The submission period will be advertised in the media by Heritage Victoria.

Learn more on Aqueduct structure proposal