The Aqualink Cycling and Walking Corridor (Aqualink) will be made up of four sections of a new 4.5 kilometre path network connecting the Lerderderg River and Werribee River corridors.
It will deliver a new, non-car-based transport option for the residents and visitors to Bacchus Marsh and provide better access to the town’s main attractions and services.
Aqualink has been enabled by Southern Rural Water’s recent upgrade and modernisation project, which included underground piping of the open channel irrigation supply.
Aqualink will include a new 4.5-kilometre shared path connecting the Lerderderg River and Werribee River corridors through Bacchus Marsh and Darley.
Aqualink will also link to an upgraded shared path from Bacchus Marsh Train Station to Main Street which is currently under construction.
The general alignment of the pathway will be situated along the existing Southern Rural Water irrigation reserve. Over recent years Southern Rural Water has completed a major upgrade and modernisation project which included underground piping of the open channel irrigation supply. With the channel removed the reserve provides an opportunity to provide off road access and linkages through Darley and Bacchus Marsh.
Aqualink is identified as a key as part of Moorabool’s extended cycle network and by the Department of Transport as the primary route of the Strategic Cycling Corridors for Bacchus Marsh. The Bacchus Marsh community is supportive of Aqualink and has advocated for improved cycling linkages through the area.
Aqualink has been a long-term strategic vision for Moorabool Shire Council and the local community and is supported by various Council strategic documents including:
Recreation and Leisure Strategy
Bacchus Marsh Integrated Transport Strategy
Recreation Reserves Management Framework 2015-21
Health and Well-being Plan 2017-21
Municipal Early Years Plan 2015-21.
Bacchus Marsh Urban Growth Framework
Bacchus Marsh & Ballan Open Space Framework
The project has been enabled by Southern Rural Water’s recent upgrade and modernisation project, which included underground piping of the open channel irrigation supply.
Southern Rural Water is the landowner for the north and west section of the project.
Southern Rural Water is a water corporation under the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and is responsible for managing irrigation districts, the regulation of surface water and groundwater licensing, and storage dams across Moorabool Shire Council.
Aqualink will be delivered in the following sections:
Aqualink North (a): Lerderderg River to Holts Lane, Darley
Aqualink North (b): Holts Lane, Darley to Masons Lane, Bacchus Marsh
Aqualink Central: Masons Lane to Main Street, Bacchus Marsh
Aqualink East: Main Street to Bacchus Marsh Train Station
Aqualink West: Masons Lane, Bacchus Marsh to Werribee River, Maddingley
Funding from the Federal and State Government for the construction of the shared path is subject to conditions which means that the project is progressing quickly.
Aqualink East is expected to begin after Easter and is scheduled to be completed by July 2021. Construction on Aqualink North (a) will only commence once finalised formal agreements with Southern Rural Waters.
Construction will be undertaken by contractors.
Council is in the process of procuring construction contractors to deliver the path.
Moorabool Shire Council has engaged Capire Consulting Group, a specialised community engagement firm, to help us to engage with the Moorabool community on this exciting project.
We are consulting with neighbouring residents before and throughout construction to understand impacts and how they can be minimised.
While construction is underway on the first sections of the path, we will also consult with the broader Moorabool community to find out what else you would like to see included in the design of the project, including key landscaping elements. You can also leave feedback online by visiting the interactive map/feedback form.
Consultation will include launch of a project website, mail out, project brochure, email and phone hotlines, and consultation events in the community, including community pop-ups and site tours.
We are consulting with nearby residents throughout the project to minimise impacts of construction. A letter has been sent to nearby residents to introduce the project.
We encourage residents to get in touch and provide their email address or phone number. This will allow us to get in touch more quickly with project updates.
We will notify residents of nearby properties two weeks before construction commences.
Moorabool Shire Council is excited to receive funding from the Federal Minister for Infrastructure and the Victorian State Government for the delivery of the Aqualink Cycling and Walking Corridor project.
In total, council received approximately $3.6 million to contribute to Aqualink.
We look forward to working with Southern Rural Water and the Department of Transport in the delivery of this project.