Friends of the Healesville Freeway Reserve


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Welcome to the Friends of the Healesville Freeway Reserve

The Healesville Freeway reserve between Springvale & Boronia Road is currently in a planning process for alternative use as the road will not proceed. The Community uses sections of this reserve as open space for Active and Passive Recreation. There are also several sections of endangered remnant bushland along the reserve that provide habitat for native animals.

This site aims to keep the community up to date with information regarding the consultation process and help to retain community access to the reserve following the conclusion of the consultation process. To date we have collected almost 5000 signatures (4981 if you think we should be exact) for the petition.

How can you help?

Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to the news letter to keep up to date with information.

For more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

pdfMedia Release


Minister Wongs visit

On 22nd August’13 Senator Penny Wong was in Deakin, she visited the Healesville Freeway Reserve along with Federal member Mike Symon and met with several councillors, members from Whitehorse Cyclists, the principal of Parkmore Primary and Friends of the HFR.

At the meeting Minister Wong announced a commitment from Federal Labor if they are returned, to provide $650,000 towards the cost of the shared biolink for cyclists, pedestrians and local animals. This is a valuable piece of infrastructure and we welcome the funding assurance.


We now need the State Government to show similar support for the community and provide certainty about the land being retained as Open space. Incidentally there has been no information about the release of the Vision document that was to outline the three options for the land use. This was originally to come out in March and has been pushed out several times. It is six months later now and we the community still have no idea when it will be released and why it has been delayed so long.


Minsiter Wong with Morack ward councillorsIt is incumbent on the State Government to offer the community the courtesy of an update, with a firm date for the release and the reasons why it has been delayed so long.


The concern is that if the Vision document is released close to Christmas and the consultation rushed through soon after, the community will not be able to effectively engage, participate fully in the process and express their opinions due to family and Christmas related commitments.

To read the most recent release from VicRoads go to and click on news.

Issues we have concerns with are -

  1. Though they say that the Bellbird Dell is in the three concepts – They do not specify if it is only the central section or the East West extension we have been asking for. If it is only the Central section that is no more than maintaining the status quo, with the same amount of open space available as the community has had for the last 30 years. This will not provide for the increased population and the added pressure that the increased numbers will have on the delicate environment of the Dell and is not acceptable.
  2. There is no mention of NADRASCA in this release, despite the community expressing loud and clear at both the Deliberative forum and the Community workshops that they value the work NADRASCA does with people with special needs and want them to stay on the site they currently occupy.
  3. Since the Vision document with the three options has been delayed, the formulation and publication of the Structure plan needs to be pushes out commensurately, to allow the community to have the same amount of time to familiarize themselves with the issues and express an opinion on them. The October release of the Structure plan cannot be maintained as that will reduce the time the community has to understand the issues and respond to the Vision Document.

We urge each and every one of you to email our representative – Neil Angus -This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., the Roads Minister Terry Mulder -This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and the shadow minister for roads Luke Donnellan -This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Also write to Sean Leane- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Edward O’Donohue- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">edward.o'This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  who are both the Eastern metropolitan members for the upper house.

Thank you for your support, together we can get a good outcome for the community.

pdfSee the full report with photos


What a day we all had! The turn out was way over our wildest expectations!

The community really showed their support for the work we are trying to do by attending in huge numbers.

We got 334 additional signatures for the petition, even though the bulk of the people who attended had already signed. We think that for every person who signed on the day there were at least two who had signed the petition earlier. That makes a conservative estimate of the attendance on the day to be over 1000 people overall! The NADRASCA petition got 179 signatures, only because we ran out of petition sheets.

We were pleased to welcome Federal member Mike Symon and ticket holder Michael Sukkar, State members Sean Leane & Neil Angus, Councillors – Bill Bennet, Raylene Carr, Mayor Andrew Munroe, Philip Daw and Andrew Davenport, who all came and mingled with the community, some even staying for quite a long time talking to people.

At the Springvale Road end The Whitehorse cyclists did a great job, turning up in numbers with their bright Yellow outfits and really kept the site buzzing.

At Strathdon Orchards, The Whitehorse Historical Society volunteers were there to answer any questions from the community on all things Historical about the area.

The Whitehorse Junior Soccer club put on a soccer clinic for the children in the Strathdon gardens. We also had Children's Art and Craft Activities there and once they got started the little ones did not want to stop. Mums and Dads had a difficult time getting them to move on to the next site.

The Nunawading Community Gardens, the first community garden set up in Australia, were open with people on hand to talk about all things gardening. They also had a display with photos of their early days.

At the George road end of the Bellbird Dell, students from the Vermont Secondary College put on a wonderful performance. Kicking off with a choir, followed by a crowd gathering spectacle their brass band. Next on were the students from Emmaus College, who started with a choir and followed it with two students on guitars. The Live music was amazing and thoroughly enjoyed by all present.

Also at the Dell there were guided walks - a bird walk and two nature walks. People who attended came back talking about how much they enjoyed them. The environmental marquee which was at the Dell had beautiful displays by two community indigenous nurseries, Greenlink & Bungalook about our flora and fauna. There were also displays by The Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society & Wurundjeri Walk, with volunteers keen to answer any questions. The Bellbird Dell Advisory Committee & Friends were there with a display on the Dell ecosystem and information about opportunities to volunteer to help maintain the park.

The Vermont South Lions rolled up their sleeves and cooked up a storm. It was a marathon effort, as the attendance was so much higher than expected. When they ran out of sausages, they just went out and got more and kept going till everyone was fed.


At NADRASCA Farm, there were tours of the facilities and people on hand to talk about the wonderful work they do with people with special needs and why the farm is so importance to meet the needs of the people they support.

Nethercote on Boronia road was open too, showcasing the equestrian activities that are held there and the courses that Box Hill TAFE offers in this area.

Whitehorse City Council has been very supportive with organizing this Open Day and we thank them. We are grateful for information boards that Docking Real Estate donated to promote the day and get the message out to the community.

All in all, this was truly a community event – 'of the community, by the community, for the community' to borrow the phrase from Lincoln and a great day was had by all.

There are so many people to acknowledge who gave generously of their time and volunteered on the day.

However there are some groups that donated in cash and kind, without their generosity we would not have got off the ground.

  • NADRASCA - For printing the posters and flyers,
  • Greenlink Boxhill - $330 for a banner
  • Whitehorse Cyclists - $330 for a banner
  • Whitehorse Community Gardens - $300 deposit for permit
  • Whitehorse City Council - for the marquees
  • West of Elgar Residents Association (WERA) - $100
  • Vermont South Lions club - Donation of all the food and raising money on the day.
  • Docking Realestate - Information boards at Vermont South & Brentford Square
  • Bellbird Dell Advisory Committee - $250
  • Blackburn & District Tree Preservation Society Inc.- $385.45 ($300 donation plus $85.45 from the sale of print marerial on the day)

Thank you to everyone who helped to make the Open Day the success it was!!

Healesville Freeway Reserve Community Open Day - Sunday May 26 - 10am - 2pm

Springvale Road to Boronia Road section ( Melway ref:62/E5 to 63/C4)

  • Activities at various site from 10am – 12.30pm
  • BBQ at George Road entry of Bellbird Dell from 12.30pm – 2 pm.


pdfDownload Open Day Flyer pdfDownload Open Day Activities


Activities – To be held at various sites along the reserve

  1. Springvale Road car park (Melway 62/E5) – Whitehorse cyclists will have a display and take groups of riders from Springvale rd to Terrara rd and back, bring your bikes along.
  2. Strathdon Orchard – Whitehorse Historical Society will have a display about the Strathdon site and all the other historical sites along the reserve. Learn about the history of the site.
  3. Davy Lane Reserve – Vermont Junior Football club to have a game and clinic. Come along and support the kids or bring your children for a clinic
  4. Nunawadding Community Gardens – A display on the history of the gardens, which is the first community garden established in Australia. Tours will be held, with people on hand to talk to you about growing vegetables and flowers. The Horticulture Center toilets will be open for the public on the day from 10 – 12.30pm
  5. Bellbird Dell reserve – George Road Picnic areas ( Melway 62/J6) The Blackburn & District Tree Society, Greenlink & Bungalook nurseries will put up displays on Indigenous Flora & Fauna and be on hand to talk about their activities.
    1. Live Music – School Bands / ensembles will perform at the George street picnic ground. Vermont Secondary College 10 -11am and Emmaus College from 11 – 12noon.
    2. Nature Walks – Nature walks will be conducted in the BBD, starting at the George street entrance - duration 1 hour.
      • Bird walk – 10am - bring along binoculars if you have them.
      • Nature Walk - 10.30am – Focus on plants, animals, insects and fungi
      • Nature Walk – 11am - Focus on plants, animals, insects and fungi
  6. NADRASCA Farm, 82 Morack road– Display and site tours. Toilet facilities available.
  7. Nethercote, 140 Boronia Road – Equestrian activities

Free Sausage sizzle from 12.30 – 2pm – At George Road entry to Bellbird Dell to be run by the Vermont South Lions Club. Toilet facilities at Terrara Park