An Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) strategy to reduce water and air pollution from the Brooklyn Industrial Precinct
S Roberts, T Dixon, A Gray, R Jones, D Browne
Publication Date (Web): 13 July 2016

The Brooklyn Industrial Precinct (BIP) is a major industrial and business hub located in Melbourne’s inner west. The BIP and adjacent areas downwind suffer the highest levels of air pollution in greater Melbourne (measured as levels of the particle PM10), which has created long-standing tension between business, government and community stakeholders. To improve business, environmental and health outcomes in the precinct, Brimbank City Council embarked on the ‘Brooklyn Evolution Strategy’.

This led to the preparation of ‘Living Brooklyn’, an Integrated Water Cycle Management (IWCM) strategy utilising water as the catalyst to bring stakeholders together and remediate water and air pollution from the precinct. The strategy led to the development of a suite of water-related projects that deliver multiple benefits, including improved water reuse, stormwater treatment and air quality.

The strategy also pursued enhanced liveability and business prosperity through place-making projects that create a sense of pride in the precinct, and establish greener and cooler environments and areas for respite. Ongoing and careful management of stakeholder engagement across the private and public realm was essential. This paper outlines the process of collaboration and technical investigation undertaken to arrive at the preferred approach to support BIP’s transition to greater health and prosperity. The Living Brooklyn project consisted of the following three phases.

1. Relationship Building and Data Collection: Project stakeholders were engaged early and formed into four teams to facilitate collaboration. Baseline IWCM, economic, dust and health assessments were prepared to understand the challenges and opportunities in BIP.

2. Consensus Building: Agency and visioning workshops, one-on-one meetings, technical discussions, positioning sessions and community engagement framed and informed the project while establishing technical rigour to identify and assess IWCM projects suitable for the precinct.

3. IWCM Strategy Development: The most viable projects were prioritised to develop the IWCM strategy. Delivery of priority projects and further capacity building was set in motion with the creation of an implementation plan endorsed by key stakeholders.


To date, strategy outcomes include the resurfacing of Jones and Bunting Roads and action by a number of businesses to improve site water and dust management practices. Work is also progressing on planning scheme amendments and the creation of a Gateway Site that may include a stormwater treatment wetland. Water is the driving force that has brought together this complex and diverse stakeholder group to work collaboratively to improve water management, health and productivity in BIP. IWCM is of particular value as it manages impacts caused by pollution, out-of-date industrial practices, health hazards and business inefficiencies to deliver greater social equity, health, green space, biodiversity and good urban design.

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