The state government of Victoria will transfer ownership of over 2,778 hectares of land to the Woi-wurrung and Wurundjeri peoples as part of the development of a new park in Melbourne’s north. Indigenous groups will then manage the land by 2050.
The state government will need to acquire over half of the land, which is currently owned by private owners.
The new park, which is expected to be named Marram Baba Merri Creek, will run through areas such as Campbellfield, Craigieburn, and Donnybrook.
It will also travel through the Western Ring Road and end up in Beveridge.
The Age reported that nine agencies, which currently manage the land within the park’s boundaries, are expected to sign an agreement to transfer ownership of the land to the traditional owners within the next couple of days.
These agencies, which include the regional councils and the state government, will act as interim land managers until the Woi-wurrung people have the necessary skills and resources to manage the land.
The new park will be managed in a way that respects the country while also developing a trail system that will connect existing conservation areas and walking and cycling trails.
The site will also provide access to various open spaces and healthy activities.
The Marram Baba Marram Creek lands are expected to be the biggest land return to the traditional owners of Greater Melbourne.
Although the park will have recreational areas and trails for the public, it will also have restricted areas for animals and plants that are endangered.
In addition, the site will feature areas for cultural practices and land management, such as archaeological work and cultural burns.