Horseshoe Bend Farm

Mr CARROLL (Niddrie) — I raise a matter for the attention of the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, and I am pleased to see the minister in the chamber. The action I seek is that the minister request Parks Victoria to undertake community consultation around the future of Horseshoe Bend Farm in Keilor, which is located adjacent to Brimbank Park in the Maribyrnong Valley Parklands, and further the opportunity to facilitate a meeting with the minister to discuss this matter. 

In my inaugural speech to the Parliament on 18 April 2012 I highlighted the importance of Brimbank Park to the community of Melbourne’s west. It is home to more than 150 Aboriginal archaeological sites, some of which are over 30 000 years old. 

On Friday, 18 September, I met with representatives of Parks Victoria, including Rocky Barca, district manager of western Melbourne district, and David Collins, area chief ranger, Keilor Plains. This meeting was subsequently followed up with a site visit and tour of Horseshoe Bend Farm on 30 September. As a local MP and member of the Friends of Maribyrnong Valley I have always appreciated the consultation from Rocky and David, and I am now looking to work with them to broaden that consultation. The Horseshoe Bend Farm site is a wonderful nature reserve where many birds and animals, including wedge-tailed eagles and kangaroos, can be seen. 

Earlier this year, on 20 April, I wrote to the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water requesting an update regarding the appointment of a suitable new operator for the Horseshoe Bend Farm site, as many local residents were very concerned that the condition of the property was deteriorating rapidly and that public access to the park had been denied for four years. In her reply the minister advised that Parks Victoria is now assessing its options for the future management of Horseshoe Bend Farm to ensure that the area can be safely opened to the public. 

Many local residents have contacted me regarding the future plans for Horseshoe Bend Farm, and I particularly wish to thank Barry McMahon, Virginia Tachos, Adriana Thomas, Anthony Prendergast, Brett Saxon, Stephen Derrick, Dina Bowman, Judy Ingram and Susan Jennison for their ongoing commitment to their community. 

I would welcome the minister’s visit to the bushland haven of Brimbank Park so she could see what a beautiful site Horseshoe Bend Farm can be.