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The three-hectare Highett Grassy Woodland in the south of the former CSIRO site on Graham Road is an important site for conserving and regenerating habitat for rare or threatened flora and fauna species in Bayside.

The Highett Grassy Woodland contains indigenous species and natural habitats, including Yellow Box eucalypts that are considered rare in the Bayside region.

The land was transferred into Council’s ownership in April 2023 and will now be protected and enhanced as a conservation reserve. This transfer was the culmination of two decades' advocacy by Council and a team of dedicated community members, the Friends of Highett Grassy Woodland group.

Conserving the Highett Grassy Woodland reserve will ensure the future protection of an endangered community of trees, shrubs, grasses, and other plants.

The consultation took place between 24 April and 19 May 2024. Community feedback helped shape the Masterplan that was endorsed by Council at its meeting on June 18 2024.

Explore the site

This significant conservation reserve will join a network of bushland reserves in Bayside, where remnant indigenous vegetation is protected and managed for regeneration. Restoring Highett Grassy Woodland aims to recreate three hectares of indigenous grassland with wildflowers underneath stands of remnant River Red-Gum and Yellow Box eucalypts. It will become a place where visitors can wander through peaceful bushland and experience nature in the middle of suburbia. Click the hot spot icons below to view the different elements that will be in the woodland. Photos are for illustrative example only.

Aerial map of Highett Plains Grassy Woodland layout

Have your say

Consultation closed 19 May 2024

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  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Flora and fauna assessments


    Prior to demolition of the old CSIRO buildings, Council engaged consultants to undertake flora and fauna values assessments, and arboricultural assessments, and to prepare a management plan for the southern portion of the CSIRO site. An assessment of remaining trees was also undertaken.

  • Timeline item 2 - complete

    Highett Grassy Woodland transferred to Council ownership

    April 2023

    The handover was the culmination of two decades' advocacy by Council and a team of dedicated community members, the Friends of Highett Grassy Woodland group.

  • Timeline item 3 - complete

    Proposed Planning Scheme zone change

    From October 2023 (ongoing)

    Process commenced to rezone Highett Grassy Woodland from Residential Growth Zone, Schedule 3 (RGZ3) to Public Conservation and Resource Zone (PCRZ). This will help ensure the future protection of the site as a conservation area.

    Read the outcome of the 19 March 2024 Council Meeting on the rezoning process.

  • Timeline item 4 - active

    Key stakeholder consultation


    Monthly meetings with Friends of Highett Grassy Woodland community group to inform site management and conservation.

  • Timeline item 5 - complete

    Drafting a Conservation Management Plan and Masterplan

    From November 2023

    Specialist ecologists Abzeco (Applied Botany, Zoology and Ecological Consulting) have been appointed to help develop the long-term Conservation Management Plan and Masterplan.

    Site survey work commenced in late 2023.

  • Timeline item 6 - complete

    Community consultation

    24 April - 19 May 2024

    Community engagement on the draft Masterplan.

    Find out how we're engaging on the project.

  • Timeline item 7 - complete

    Conservation Management Plan and Masterplan adopted

    June 2024 (expected)

    Council will consider community feedback and adopt a Conservation Management Plan and Masterplan to ensure the future protection of this site.

Please note: Materials can be provided in accessible formats on request.

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Photo of a multi-coloured butterfly

Amy Weir

Biodiversity & Conservation Planning Officer

Open Space & Recreation

Phone: 9599 4339


Post: 76 Royal Avenue, Sandringham 3191