Karaaf Wetlands – Stormwater management

Surf Coast Shire Council recognises the significant environmental and cultural value of the Karaaf Wetlands, and we acknowledge community concerns about the impact of stormwater on the ecological health of the wetlands. 

Parks Victoria is the land manager for the Karaaf Wetlands themselves, while Surf Coast Shire Council is the management authority for stormwater systems immediately upstream of the wetlands.

We have begun two pieces of work – a short term program to manage inflows into the wetlands, and a longer term four-part project to investigate the impact of the stormwater system more broadly. This will result in a plan that considers an integrated water management approach for the north of Torquay and the Karaaf Wetlands.

Project timeline

 Initial project program development – completed October 2021

 Development of governance model and engagement of key stakeholders – completed November 2021

 Initial background research and analysis - completed December 2021 – Feb 2022

 Project 1 and 2 scoping – completed February 2022

 Project 1 and 2 consultants appointed to complete assessments of Karaaf Wetlands and north Torquay stormwater system –completed April 2022

 Comprehensive independent audit of Zeally Sands and Dunes wetlands – completed May 2022

 Project 1 and 2 initial observations of assessments of Karaaf Wetlands and north Torquay stormwater system - July 2022

  Project 3 and 4 scoping and procurement planning - July 2022

 |  Project 1 and 2 release findings of assessments of Karaaf Wetlands and north Torquay stormwater system - October 2022

 |  Project 3 draft recommendations - March 2023

 |  Project 4 draft outcomes – September 2023 (following 3-month consultation period)

 |  Projects 3 and 4 final outcomes - November 2023


A project control group comprising council officers, community members, agency representatives and other subject matter experts, will oversee the project.

Our goal is an agreed management model for the stormwater that enters the Karaaf wetlands. This model will address environmental concerns now and into the future and include defined roles and responsibilities for all relevant agencies and groups.

More details about the project: