Latest news

About the draft concept design

The North East Link Program (NELP) has developed a draft concept design for the Koonung Creek Reserve in Balwyn North. The draft concept design forms part of a master plan NELP committed to developing.

The concept design will guide NELP’s reinstatement of the reserve after they finish building the North East Link interchange at Bulleen Road and widening the Eastern Freeway.

We are seeking community feedback on the key features proposed.

Our work so far

We ran consultation in May 2022 to hear our community’s views about the Koonung Creek Reserve. The feedback we received was used to:

  • inform a submission to the North East Link (NEL) Tunnels Urban Design and Landscape Plan (UDLP) public exhibition. This UDLP included the design for the North East Link Tunnels from Watsonia to Bulleen and connecting Eastern Freeway upgrades in Bulleen and Balwyn North
  • shape this draft concept design being developed by NELP.

Find out what we heard from the community.

What is proposed to change in the Koonung Creek Reserve

NELP will acquire around 20% of the Koonung Creek Reserve to widen the Eastern Freeway. They will also use about 60% of the reserve as a construction laydown site during their works.

You can compare Koonung Creek Reserve before construction and after construction below.

Drag the bar across the screen to swap between the two images.

Before construction: A map of Koonung Creek Reserve before the NELP project construction After construction: A map of Koonung Creek Reserve after the NELP project construction with around 20% of the reserve acquired for Eastern Freeway widening.

Key features of the draft concept design

The proposed key features in the draft concept design for the Koonung Creek Reserve include:

  • a new playground at the western end of the reserve
  • a 5 km Parkrun route through the reserve
  • additional secondary walking paths
  • relocation of the existing BMX and mountain bike jumps and skills track to the western end of the reserve
  • public toilet at the Balwyn Road entrance
  • nature play areas
  • planting along the length of the reserve to rebuild the Koonung Creek wildlife corridor
  • new amenities including upgraded seats, gazebos, bird hide and a deck around the wetland
  • a new fenced dog park
  • an upgraded playground and facilities at Wandeen Street
  • native plant garden display at the Mountain View Road and Doncaster Road ends of the reserve.

Council does not support the following, which are also included in NELP's draft concept design:

  • reinstating and rerouting the Koonung Creek Trail as a shared user path
  • the representation of the past water course. This is likely to be a boulder-lined and partially planted deep and wide swale (open drain) and ponds to keep and treat storm water runoff from the Eastern Freeway and other roads.

More information about our position on these features can be found in our survey and in the interactive maps below.

Project zones

Due to the size of the Koonung Creek Reserve area, we have broken the draft concept design down into 5 different zones so you can see the proposed changes in more detail. Select the hotspots below to learn more about each feature. Photos used in the hotspots are examples only.

Pink hotspots with the pin icon indicate proposed key features. Orange hotspots show other facilities, access and landscape elements. If viewing these maps on a mobile phone, use horizontal view for the best experience.

Refer to the draft concept design in the Document library for the most precise location of the features.

Project zones overview

A map of Koonung Creek Reserve showing an overview of the 5 zones and the proposed changes and existing features. It shows the areas where different features will be available, including seating, bins, barbecues, outdoor gyms, toilets, drinking fountains,

Zone 1

Zone 1

Zone 2

Zone 2

Zone 3

Zone 3

Zone 4

Zone 4

Zone 5

Zone 5


How to have your say

Share your feedback on the features proposed in NELP's draft concept design.

You can have your say in these ways:

  • Complete our online survey below.
  • Attend our pop-up event on 7 October.
  • Join our drop-in session on 14 October.
  • Join our community workshop on 14 October (registrations required).

NELP will use your feedback to confirm the final concept design, which will be included in their master plan for the reserve.