golf course to be built in very close proximity to Melbourne drinking water supply offtake

Friends of the Earth today expressed concern regarding the proposed Eastern Golf Club relocation to Yering. Eastern Golf Club at Doncaster is currently up for sale in Australia's largest golf course sale. The sale of the Doncaster course is expected to raise $110 million.

Please write a letter today outlining your concern.

press release, April 15, 2010


Friends of the Earth today expressed concern regarding the proposed Eastern Golf Club relocation to Yering. Eastern Golf Club at Doncaster is currently up for sale in Australia's largest golf course sale. The sale of the Doncaster course is expected to raise $110 million.

Eastern Golf Club plan to relocate to Yering and build a 27 hole golf course and associated infrastructure on a Yarra River floodplain, only 1km from the offtake to Sugarloaf Reservoir. Sugarloaf Reservoir supplies drinking water to 1.6 million Melbournian residents, mainly in the north and west of the city.

“Friends of the Earth is alarmed that such a large development is planned in such an environmentally sensitive location. Why hasn't the public been told about this and why are Government authorities supporting such a risky venture?” said Friends of the Earth land use researcher Anthony Amis.

“We understand that the area of disturbance will amount to 160ha, and construction could take some years to complete. The amount of soil that could wash into the Yarra River, in times of flood could be enourmous. Approximately 15 of the holes lie in land subject to inundation” said Mr Amis.

Friends of the Earth also has concerns that once the course is built, a range of pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides will also have the potential to leach into the Yarra River and could pose a risk to the drinking water supply. This risks will of course be increased in the event of flooding.

“Melbourne Water currently test for only a fraction of the pesticides that could be used on the course, yet they have approved the development” said Mr Amis.

The offtake to Sugarloaf Reservoir is located in Yering Gorge. During heavy rain flood water backs up behind the gorge and spills over the floodplain.

In late 2004 the Yarra River narrowly averted disaster when the Henley Golf Course was almost washed away during construction. “We don't want a repeat of what happened at Henley, especially seeing that the Eastern Golf Course is located in a more sensitive setting in terms of potential impacts to drinking water” said Mr Amis.

For more information contact Anthony on 9419 8700 or 0425 841 564.

Please take action

Please write a short objection letter to Yarra Ranges Shire: (mail@yarraranges.vic.gov.au).

Yarra Ranges Shire is planning to approve this development in late May or early June. Please email the Council as this is now a matter of urgency. Quote the following development number: Eastern Golf Club (Yering), 215 Victoria Road, Yering. YR 2009/1287


You can find a copy of our submission here.

You can find extra details about the impacts of the golf course project here.