Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre


Vision: “A place for everyone to connect with nature, improve health and wellbeing and be inspired to care for our precious natural environment”. - Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre Inc.

What is proposed?

The Wetlands Centre will be an Australian first in biophilic and community co-design architectural principles, located at HD Graham Reserve in Altona Meadows. The location is near internationally recognised Ramsar-listed Cheetham Wetlands and other biodiversity hotspots that contribute significantly to social, cultural, economic and environmental values in Victoria. Details on the design can be found on Grimshaw's website.

Features of the Centre

The multifunctional centre will include:

  • indoor/outdoor public spaces with connected walking trails to the wetlands, boardwalks, interpretive signage, seating and landscaping
  • classrooms, field studies centre, offices and work spaces
  • nature play areas
  • café

Why do we need it?

The-state-of-the-art, sustainability-focused Wetlands Centre will be a premier destination for immersive teaching and learning from Prep to PhD, leading environmental research facilities, ecotourism and community participation in nature, leading to improved physical and mental health outcomes. Click below for a full list of benefits and opportunities.

Health & Wellbeing

  • Greater use of bike paths and walking trails, increasing people’s outdoor exercise leading to clear physical and mental health benefits
  • Access for all abilities through purposefully designed trails, seating and access points, enabling more people to exercise in nature
  • Build on innovative ‘green prescriptions’ research and use


  • Foster community-led efforts and Citizen Science to protect the internationally significant wetlands
  • Develop partnerships with Indigenous and international coastal communities through the implementation of collaborative biodiversity and conservation strategies
  • Support cutting edge research on blue carbon solutions in wetlands to mitigate climate change
  • Environmentally Sensitive Design (ESD) and biophilic features in the centre’s design


  • Activate one of Melbourne’s premier coastal areas to increase the region’s ecotourism
  • Stimulate urban outdoor recreation and associated local business activity, contributing to pandemic related recovery
  • Create approx. 40+ full time jobs through design and construction, plus local sourcing of material where possible
  • Increase community volunteerism


  • Provide community-wide access to a unique environmental science space and learning experience
  • Enable long-term educational and wellbeing benefits for young children, through Nature for Children and bush kinder
  • Raise awareness of STEM career pathways through ‘Teaching Wetlands’ and ‘Learning Laboratories’
  • World-class coastal marine and climate related research for tertiary students and academic researchers


Funding Commitment Request

Hobsons Bay's Contribution

Approximately $5 million

State & Federal Gov. Contribution

$11 million - combined State and Federal government funding

Total Project Cost

Approximately $16 million

Council, Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre Inc, and all project partners invite funding partnerships with the Victorian and Australian Governments to be part of this regional flagship wellbeing and environmental centre for all. Read about it in The Age.

How you can support this project

Council is actively advocating for the Wetlands Centre by engaging state and federal government Ministers and MPs and applying for funding with grant submissions but we need your help. 

Show your support by completing this short online form on the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre Inc. website.

Wetlands Centre Advocacy webpage.jpg  Hobsons-Bay-Wetlands-Centre-3.png


Project Updates

July 2025

In Council's adopted budget 2024-25, council has committed to providing $1.5 million to the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre for early works over two years. For more information, click here.

These early works, due to commence in 2024, will establish a temporary activity hub for the Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre while Council continues planning and advocating for the long-term vision for the site. Council is calling on the state and federal governments to partner with it to bring to life the dream of an urban oasis in Melbourne’s west for all Victorians to enjoy. For more information visit - Early works to begin on Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre - Hobsons Bay


Progress of the centre development is based on key collaborative partnerships:

  • An MOU based partnership between Hobsons Bay Wetlands Centre Inc, Council, Deakin University, Melbourne Water, Greater Western Water, Ecolinc, Cirqit Health, Birdlife Australia
  • Education/environmental/health sectors, LeadWest, Traditional Owners
  • State and federal government Ministers and Members of Parliament (MP’s)

Government Policy Connections

The Wetlands Centre connects with the below policies and strategies:

  • Victorian Government’s Plan Melbourne 2017-50
  • Victorian Government’s Infrastructure Victoria Strategy 2021-51 recommendations
  • Victorian Government’s Climate Change Strategy and the Marine and Coastal Policy
  • Melbourne Water’s Healthy Waterways Strategy 2018-28
  • North and West Melbourne City Deal proposed to federal and state governments

Council Policy Connections

Council's committed to progressing the Wetlands Centre project, which is underpinned by:

Find out more about the project below