Mildura Rural City Council – Deakin Avenue Project

Categories: Capital Project Finalists

Project Summary

Mildura Rural City Council currently delivering the Landscape Masterplan for an icon of Mildura – Deakin Avenue.  This Landscaping Masterplan aims to provide “a vision for the future development of this important Mildura Icon”. This Masterplan includes the landscape development of Deakin Avenue form 7th street all the way to 17th street (Median and Nature strip); however Stage 1 was to redevelop the Median between 13th and 14th street which has been completed over the past 12 months.  The Landscaping work between 13th and 14th street, including the replacement of iconic Lemon Scented Gums, is just the beginning to ensure Deakin Avenue becomes one of the most identifiable boulevards in Northwest Victoria.

Project Description

With the Deakin Avenue Landscape Masterplan getting underway over the past year, the median between 13th and 14th street is the beginning of the re-establishment that will reinforce Mildura as a unique destination, one with a distinctive image and renowned character.  Each ‘section’ of  the Landscaping Masterplan from street to street has been carefully planned and detailed designs were prepared to guide any changes in the future to both the median and the naturestrip.  During the planning phase for this Masterplan specific issues such as artwork, heritage and historical significance as well as the physical landscape were heavily considered.  There was also further consultation conducted with the community at variuos stages of the Masterplan planning phases.  Public input was a neccessity through out the development of this Landscaping Masterplan and has ensured that Stage 1 (between 13th and 14th street) met the publics expectations and demands for the median of Deakin Avenue.

The re-establishment of the median between 13th and 14th street is the first stage of progressive development which will result in gradual change and improvement to an icon of Mildura rather than a sudden, large-scale impact.  It is a large scale project with the re-establishment and development of the Median stretching more than 600m down the middle of Deaking Avenue, and this huge area of re-establishment is only stage 1 of the Landscaping Masterplan.

Deakin Avenue itself holds a lot of rich heritage and history.  When the Chaffey brothers established the Mildura Irrigation Colony in 1887 they planted a large number of Lemon Scented Gums along the main street of the town. This main street has turned into the iconic Deakin Avenue of today.  So When the Mildura Rural City Council undertook a Landscape Masterplan for Deakin Avenue they were sure to continue and uphold the history and heritage it holds.  With heritage qualities in mind for even this first stage of the Landscaping Masterplan it warrented replanting the existing Gum trees with the same species.  The replacement Gums betweeen 13th and 14th street were grown from seed stock collected from the existing historic Lemon Scented Gums along Deakin Avenue to ensure the heritage of the Avenue is upheld.

“Provide and manage infrastructure and assests efficiently, effectively and equitably with appropriate maintenace standards and a balance between available resources and community expectations.”
The Mildura Rural City Council deeply cares about its infrastructure as well as community expectation which it holds in very high regard with such public projects as the re-establishment of this icon of Mildura.

Stage 1 of this Masterplan included the following key initiatives to ensure that the development of the median between 13th and 14th street was a success in the public’s eyes:

–          Replacing the existing trees along this section of the median with Corymbia citriodora (Lemon Scented Gums) that were seeded from those original Gum trees along Deakin Ave.  This was one of the biggest inititatives of the entire Masterplan.  The Council spent a large amount of time and money to up hold the heritage and historical significance of Deakin Avenue with the help and input of the public.  This ensures that the community understands and accept this ‘vision for future development”.  This initiative began a few years ago with the seeding of the Gums so that these trees were adequate to plant at the beginning of the works which indicates that even Stage 1 of this major Landscaping Masterplan required a large amount of planning, time and money from MRCC.

–          Relocating and redesigning garden beds through out the median. This also required a large amount of planning and time, as well as further contact and communication with the public. These new garden beds that are now located at the intersections along the median and contain a large list of native plants that are very hardy that can deal with Mildura’s harse climate and typically low water avilability environmment.  These garden beds will require limited maintenance but will also continue to show off Australia’s vibrant native plants throughout the year.

–          Replacing some of the existing trees within the median (closer to 13th street) with the vibrant Jacaranda mimosifolia (commonly called the Jacaranda).  As this may not be a native Australian plant and originates from tropical South America, it brings a huge amount of colour and beauty to further enhance the development of this wonderful icon of Mildura’s.  The Jacaranda is used quite commonly used to line street throughout Australia and is becoming ever more popular due to its fantastic colour when in full bloom, usually some time around October.  The Jacaranda’s will also provide a shady, pleasant and attractive public domain in a contemporary setting adding to the beautiful Deakin Avenue Landscape.

–          There was a number of challenges faced by the Council when undertaking this unique Landscaping Masterplan of the enironmentally sensitive Deakin Avenue median.  There are a lot of areas and plant species along this stretch of road that would be considered heritage and of great historical significance. The Council needed to have the publics accpetance and understanding with all of the Landscaping Masterplan works considering this work is to be completed in a public domain icon of Mildura. Another major hurdle that the Council faced was the fact that all of the existing Gums and Jacarandas were all fully developed and matured (some have been there for generations).  Removing a large number of developed Gums and Jacarandas requires a lot of skill and planning without placing the community in danger or destroying any existing infrastructure.

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