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..

Lindsay Cowling

We are very sorry to inform you of the passing of Lindsay Cowling on 8th June 2017, when he lost his battle with cancer. Lindsay was a core member of the Friends of the HFR and his passion, dedication and commitment will be sorely missed.

We wish his family our sincere condolence. Lindsay’s contribution towards the formation of a park for the community will be his lasting legacy.


News on the HFR corridor

The following is an extract from communication from Shaun Leane MP,
Member for the Eastern Metropolitan Region
Parliamentary Secretary to the Special Minister of State
Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure

‘The property known as Mirrabooka (34-40 Moore Rd, Vermont) has been sold. It was sold by public expressions of interest for a sum of $3.380M.

So far 20 of the 35 titles have been surrendered by VicRoads to the Crown which represents about half the land in the Reserve. A conservative valuation of this land, should it have been sold as was planned under the previous Liberal Government, is $26M. A map of the transferred parcels is attached.


VicRoads have advised that there has also been demolition of buildings and dilapidated rides etc at the former Wobbies World site.

We have also been advised that there have been discussions directly with NADRASCA regarding the continuity of tenancy at the Farm.

Some of the other activities which are progressing towards the desired final outcomes are:

  • Demolition of structures on the HFR including buildings and fences
  • Removal of the existing public acquisition overlay across the remaining affected properties
  • Active leases are remaining and will continue to be managed
  • Preparations are underway to proceed with the listing of the other residential properties identified for sale, with the proceeds to be allocated to fund the improvement of the reserve’


We are seeking clarification on the number of titles that have transferred to crown as we were earlier informed that 21 titles had been transferred.We are also questioning the sale of additional properties as the sake of Mirrabooka was to cover the cost of infrastructure for the park.

As soon as we get information on these matters we will let you know.

There has been a long silence on the HFR because we have been waiting for the 21 titles to transfer to Crown.


pdfCommunity Engagement Summary

Attached is the report  on the Community Engagement held in September 2016.


We are very happy to report that the 21 titles lodged with the Titles office in August 2016 have transferred to Crown.


We have been waiting for a map to indicate exactly where these parcels are located, so both the information of the transfer of the titles and their location could be included in the same update but the map has not yet been made available and we do not want to delay updating the community on this development any further.


The 21 titles will be a substantial percentage of the corridor but till we know exactly which parcels they are, we will not be able to inform you as to what percentage of the corridor is safe as Crown land.


The details of the parcels that will be submitted to the Titles office for transfer to Crown in the next trench is not known but that should occur within the next month or two.


We would like to see all the remaining parcels put into the second trench  so that the whole corridor can be saved by transferred to Crown in this term of Government.


If you also share that view, we encourage you to contact the Government and express your views and expectations for this corridor by writing to – 

The Minister for Roads – Luke Donnellan: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Minister for the Environment – Lily D'Ambrosio : lily.d'

Member for Eastern Metropolitan – Shaun Leane : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We would appreciate it if you could copy us in the email, as that would enable us to be in the loop: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

At the last Healesville Freeway Reserve stakeholder meeting held in August’16, VicRoads announced that 21 titles of unencumbered parcels of land have been deposited at the Titles Office for transfer to Crown. It is now just the amount of time the Titles office takes to effect the transfer to Crown for that land to be saved as Open Space for the community. I do not know how many hectares it amounts to but it is the bulk of the land on that corridor. That leaves the titles of encumbered land, which will be released over time as the tenancies fall vacant.


We are over the moon with this, as we can now start concentrating on the draft future uses and the development of the Establishment Plan for the corridor.


This has truly been a community campaign and we thank all the volunteers who generously assisted us, we also want to thank the community for supporting the campaign by signing the petition, coming out in large numbers to attend public events and voting to let us know exactly what they thought and wanted for this land. That gave us the conviction we were truly representing the views of the people.


A special acknowledgement and thank you goes out to Amanda Simpson and  Margaret Rackham who joined the Friends of the HFR right at the start, in the early days of the campaign and stayed committed, active and supportive throughout the whole process. The work of Lindsay Cowling is also acknowledged, he joined us later in the process and has been an active and supportive member ever since.


The role of Shaun Leane MLC and the Labor Party also needs to be acknowledged, they recognised the views of the community and pledged to save the land if they won Government. After the election, even though they did not win the seat, Labor have followed through and kept their promise to save the land by transferring it to Crown and we are very grateful. The Greens also had the protection of the whole corridor as a pre-election policy and Samantha Dunn  MLC  assisted us with making representations in Parliament, we thank them for their support.


This outcome would not have been possible without the participation and support of the Friends of the HFR, Volunteers, the Community and the Labor Party keeping its election promise on this issue.


We look forward to the development of a wonderful community park, an asset to the area.       Please do participate in the forthcoming Community Consultation on the future uses of the land.

pdfCommunity Consultation flyer


                Sunday 25th September 2016

                Time : 10am - 2pm

                Place: Vermont Secondary College, Morack Road, Vermont 3133

ONLINE SURVEY - Open till 7th October 2016

                Go to :

POP UP STALLS will also be held at local shops and the Vermont South library, dates and times will be advertised, so look out for them. Come along and have your say.


On another matter, there has been a development since the last May’16 update.


On 17th June’16 the Friends of the HFR, addressed to me by name, received a ‘Concerns Notice for the purpose of the Defamation Act 2005(Vic)’ from Neil Angus MP, State Member for Forest Hill, claiming comments made in the May 2016 update on the Friends of the Healesville Freeway Reserve website were defamatory.


It was never our intention to defame anyone and we have always acted in good faith. We have always endeavoured to inform the community of the facts and therefore needed to alert them to what we considered was the misleading wording of the Nov’14 brochure once it came to our attention. Consequently we have reworded the particular paragraph on the website. It is worth noting that the flyer itself accuses others of lying, without any proof provided! Throughout this campaign, we have tried to keep the community informed of the facts without fear or prejudice. At various times there have been challenges, threats of legal action and various forms of pressure but we have remained undeterred.


At this point the Concerns Notice is not being published as we were asked not to by the author, however in the future should it become necessary and in the public interest, we reserve the right to do so.


Attached is our response to the Concerns Notice in the form of a ‘Further Particulars Notice’. It is long and rather detailed but do spend the time to read it and acquaint yourself with the contents. pdfFurther Particulars Notice       pdfNov'14 Pre election flyer

Also attached is the Nov ’14 pre-election brochure at the heart of this matter, make up your own mind on this issue.

Anne Makhijani.


It has been a long time since we have contacted you with an update on the HFR.


We have good news!!


The Current Labor Government has employed a Project Manager for the development of an Establishment plan for the whole HFR corridor from Springvale road to Boronia road.


The Establishment plan for the whole corridor is expected to be completed in about five months, there will be a draft plan developed which will be open for public consultation, so the community will have a say in the final outcomes for this corridor.


The surrender process of the land to Crown has also progressed, it will be done in three stages –

  • First the unencumbered land, which is expected to be complete in the next two months.
  • Then the land that has a license agreement over it, this should be complete by the end of this year or early next year.
  • Lastly the leased parcels that are occupied will be transferred later next year.

We will be in touch as soon as we have more information but do let your friends and neighbours know about the good news.



We need to correct some information in an article we put up in April last year that we have since discovered to be wrong.

Just before the last State election in Nov’14, a flyer was letter box dropped that indicated that the Coalition Government had acted to protect the Healesville Freeway land.

The community believed the flyer to indicate that the land had been transferred to the Crown, as that was the repeatedly mentioned  mechanism for the protection of the land in all previous communication from the Coalition Government . We believed that interpretation as well, which is why it was referred to in the April’15 article, however we have since discovered it was not the case, no land had been transferred to Crown by the former Coalition Government.

We were very disappointed when we found out, the words of the flyer were very misleading.


The whole corridor is currently still owned by VicRoads and the process of transfer to Crown is now actually happening.


Please also let us know if you are interested in getting involved in the rehabilitation of the land, once it is transferred we will start conducting working bees to remove weeds and are looking to update our volunteer list.


Send us an email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Public consultation open from 9am Monday 12th Oct till 5pm Friday 20th November 2015


The draft report by the Heritage Consultants is now available at:


Send your comments –

By email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

By post to: Shayne Price
Team leader, Cultural facilities and programs
Arts and recreation development
White horse City Council
Locked Bag 2
Nunawading Delivery Centre




Melbourne 5.30pm Friday 27th November, at the STATE LIBRARY.

It is with great pride and much pleasure that we can announce that two of our longest serving volunteers Margaret Rackham and Amanda Simpson have had their many years of service recognised at the recent Deakin Community Awards 2015 night.


As active, founding members of the ‘Friends of the HFR’ both Margaret and Amanda have been generous, supportive and committed volunteers. We owe the success of our campaign to their hard work, as well as the work of all our other volunteer members and the support of the community at large.

No matter what the task or where the work needed to be done, they put their hand up to help wholeheartedly at every occasion. Margaret even spent several days at the State Archives and State Revenue Offices, researching the history of the corridor. Gathering petitions, letterboxing dropping, helping with the planning and running of community events, they helped with every aspect throughout the period of the campaign, now they are helping with the planning for the next phase, with the same commitment and dedication. The community owes these caring selfless people a huge debt of gratitude.


Besides the FoHFR, they also serve the community on several other community groups. Here are some of the other areas they make a contribution in -


Amanda has been a volunteer at Bungalook nursery (a community nursery that grows local native plants) for many years, she works in the nursery every week, in addition she is on the committee and puts in many hours of administrative work to help keep the nursery functioning properly. She also volunteers at three parks in Whitehorse - Cootamundra Walk, One Lake road reserve and Esplanade reserve. Through many hours of regular work she has helped to improve the biodiversity of these parks by weeding, planting and mulching. Most community members find volunteering at just one city park to be what they can manage, as it entails a commitment to attend regular working bees, how Amanda finds time to help out at three, on top of her considerable commitment to Bungalook nursery and other community work is a testament to her selflessness and generosity of spirit .

Amanda also volunteered at St Paul’s College, Kew, which is a school for children with disabilities. She helped look after the garden there and cared for the children as well. All this is done quietly, far away from the lime light and without seeking any attention. She is an inspiration and one of the most community minded people we have had the privilege to know and work with.


Margaret is one of the founding members of the Nunawading Community Gardens, which incidentally is the first and oldest community garden in Australia (something that is not that well known and we should be proud of that history). It was started in 1977 and since then, for 39 years Margaret has been involved with its running. She has been on the committee for most of that time, with only a few years when she had other commitments and was not on the committee, even then she contributed as a member.

Every year Margaret thinks nothing of driving down in her own car to farms near Bendigo to buy seed potatoes for all the plot holders, she loads some 200kg and hauls them to Melbourne, so that annually all the members have good quality seed potatoes at reasonable prices. A remarkably generous and kind act, that is extremely physically strenuous as well.

Margaret is also an active member of the Vermont garden club, Royal Horticulture Society, Vermont Bulb group. She serve on the committees that run these groups and does a large part of the organisation and back end work that keeps such organisations afloat. Through the work that Margaret does for these groups, so many people of all ages but particularly in the older demographic, are able to stay active and connected with other likeminded people who share the same interests and passions.

Margaret generously shares her knowledge and love of gardens & gardening with everyone and we are the richer for it. She is a tireless worker, never looking at how much time and effort she puts in and at what personal cost. She never seeks the lime light, if she sees something that needs doing for the group, she just gets up and does it. It is our privilege to know and work with such an amazing community minded person.