Landscapes, Melbourne, Photography, Weekend Wanderings

Weekend Wanderings – No Freeway Through Banyule

This is what the state government wants to do near where I live, build a freeway right through some of the most amazing land in the city of Melbourne.  We have a government that is very short sighted and they only think cars.  The solution to every problem is to build more freeways, apparently.  We get promised train lines, but then they renege.  So today I thought I might show you where they want to put the freeway.

LeanneCole-banyule-20140302-0503People have these signs up in the front of their houses, us included.  I found this one lying on the ground on top of a nearby hill.  When I went out this morning I wanted to see if I could get photos of the sunrise on a hill not far from where I live.  Of course, as my luck goes, I went out and there was no real sunrise.

LeanneCole-banyule-20140302-0513There were too many clouds, and this was perhaps as good as it got.  It is so disappointing.  Though I can walk to here, so I should start going more often, see what I get.  It is a gorgeous view up there.  There aren’t too many hills that don’t have houses all over them that you can see for miles.  The other thing that makes this area so special is that we aren’t that far from the city, in fact if you walk a bit further you can see the tops of the buildings in the city.  We are only 13 or so kilometres from the city, and the city goes out a lot further than that.

LeanneCole-banyule-20140302-0520This is Banyule Flats. Down the road from my place.  It is usually full of water, but the dry summer has dried it up.  It is home to so many different birds.  Even now with almost no water in it there are birds galore there.  I saw at least 5 different types.

This is what will be lost if they build this freeway they are talking about.   Initially they said they would build it underground, but it would have to go under here and under the river, and I’ve heard the soil under the river isn’t stable enough, so if they do it it will be either be straight through or over the top.  Neither are good options.  I don’t like being political on here, but it would be such a shame to see this go.

LeanneCole-banyule-20140302-0526I do not go there enough and take photos.  I should start doing more.  See if I can catch it in all different light.  At the moment the cracked mud was very appealing.  I love the trees too.  I have to say that while it was cloudy, at least they were interesting clouds.

I think I can do something with many of these images and would really like to try this week.  I took lots of bracketed shots, so it could be interesting to see what I can do.

If you are interested in hearing or reading more about the locals are doing to try and stop the freeway, then I have two links for you.  The first is the website, Friends of Banyule, and the second is a blog you could follow for updates and such, Friends of Banyule Blog.


I have a gallery with images now.  I think I will go back a few more times, I walk around this area all the time, so I should start taking my camera with me more. I must remember to wear my gumboots though, my runners are muddy now.


  1. Reblogged this on Friends of Banyule Blog and commented:
    A grea new photo blog from Leanne Cole about the Banyule Flats area. Leanne’s photos reflect our long dry summer and that it’s nearly autumn, one of my favourite times of the year here in Banyule. I hope Leanne continues to follow the change of seasons at Banyule Flats in her blog. Enjoy!

  2. Such a beautiful place, I agree with the locals and you Leanne – leave it alone. Progress isn’t always progress.

    • It is John, it is a gorgeous place, we are so lucky, and it would be nice if it stayed that way. That is so true, it isn’t always progress.

  3. leecleland says

    It looks like it should, the Australian bush. And so close to Melbourne. Great series of images and love that the earth was dried and cracking in one place and yet there is a wet dirt road in another.
    It’s called ‘progress’ by the powers that be, and yet us normal beings call it distruction of our landscape and neighbourhood. I hope Friends of Banyule win.

    • It does doesn’t Lee, it is so amazing that it has been left virtually untouched all these years. I love the dry cracking mud, I want to do more images of it before it fills again.
      I like that, it is that for sure, just destruction so more people can drive their cars, which is so environmentally unfriendly. I hope they and us win too. Thank you Lee.

  4. Nice set! I especially like the wide angle shots with objects in the foreground. Really suits the desolate feeling of this Big Sky Country…

  5. Very nice to see pictures from your area, Leanne. Now I have a better idea of how things look up your end of town. I think the cloudy and dull weather gave the photos an abandoned feel. Also love the cloud cover your captured.

    Hope you are having a good Sunday. I went down to the city and it was quite quiet. T’was bored and went home after an hour. Maybe it’s because uni is back in full swing tomorrow.

    • There is a lot of this sort of thing up my end of town, we are surrounded by parkland. Thank you, I was a bit disappointed with the cloud cover initially, but it was quite good. I should photograph it on a regular basis.

      It has been a relaxing day, hanging around home. Oh yes, Uni tomorrow, I have two nervous girls here. Are you at Uni too Mabel?

      • Yeah, from your pictures your area seems bushy and quiet. I didn’t expect that but that’s expected since I don’t go up there too much. The furthest north I’ve been to is Sunbury and Bundoora, I think.

        Nope, I finished postgraduate sometime ago. I wish I could go back to Uni, it was so fun. I am sure your girls will enjoy it very much, good luck to them :)

      • It is very quiet part of the city, and a part, that I don’t think many people are aware of. I can remember taking a friend for a drive to a park one day and she was amazed at how many other parks we went past to get to the one we were going to. It is so green out here, well most of them. YOu might have to take a trip one day out to Heidelberg and explore the area, like the Heidelberg school of painters did. Oh, we aren’t out as far as those places, they are further out. The next suburb out from us is Eltham, so I am between Heidelberg and Eltham.

        I didn’t think you were studying. Uni was fun, I love art school. I am sure they will too, they were quite excited this morning. Thank you Mabel.

  6. Beautiful photos. My favorite one is the last one in the text area (before the gallery) with the log and the cracked mud and beautiful sky.

    A freeway. Ugh. I hope they don’t do it.

    • I really like that one too, would like to do some processing to it, I think. See what I can do with it.
      I hope they don’t either, maybe we can get the world to help save no. Thanks Nia.

  7. It would be a shame to put a freeway on this land. It would certainly silence the birdsong. There’s so much destruction of this beautiful planet all in the name of “progress.” T

    hese pictures are lovely and I hope you’re able to save this land from the curse of “development.”

    • It would silence a lot of things, there are so many native animals that live around there, you never know what you will find. I agree with what you said about progress, some of it is so unnecessary. Thank you so much, I hope we can too.

  8. These are beautiful pictures! It is sad that they are taking this land away. They don’t seem to think of the repercussions of doing such an ignorant thing. What about the animals, where will they go? I live in Texas in the U.S., and over the past 30 years the development around this major highway that runs through Texas (IH35) has boomed. There are whole new towns around this highway, and there are nothing but fast food restaurants and car dealerships for miles up and down this highway. Texas used to be in these areas so beautiful, green, full of trees and life. Now it is brown and dead. Its not worth it. Granted it may bring in jobs but they are low level, get nowhere jobs. Life and beauty is worth more than 6.50 and hour. I am sorry that your country’s land is going to be turned into a highway. :(

    • It is such a shame, when they do this anywhere, we just don’t need more freeways, if they spent more money on out public transport, I am sure it would solve a lot of problems. Get people on trains and out of their cars. Save the environment. Thanks MLC

  9. Thank you for these – it is such a concern when open sites are lost – yet more ground covered and less area for drainage. It seems that the whole world will be criss-crossed with roads and there will never be enough will there. Here the concern is the willingness to build on the green belt etc. etc

    • There will never be enough, you build more freeways and then more people use them, it is so silly, We have the same thing happening here, the photos today all form part of the green belt of the Yarra River, Melbourne’s major river, it would be sad to it destroyed by an unnecessary freeway. Thank you Diana.

  10. Great shots that give an idea of what will be lost to those of us who are not local. Sometimes I feel the entire human race is short-sighted. Good luck fighting the good fight on this.

    • Yes, it is a great area, and with some much bird life here, it will be very disappointing if it is lots. I think our politicians are, that’s for sure, I don’t know about where you are, but here they never think past the next election, which for the future of the country is not good. Thank you Robert.

  11. All in the name of “progress”, ugh. It is indeed sad to see beautiful land and wildlife get sucked up by more cars and houses. I love these pictures….they are so beautiful of an expansive place. I hope the building never comes to fruition.

    • I know, progress for some regress for others, is that a word, LOL. I really hope it doesn’t happen, it will be very sad if it does. Thank you, lovely too when you think we are so close to the city, wonderful.

  12. I hope I’m wrong, but it may be important to record that beautiful landscape while you can :-(

  13. That is really too bad. I wish engineers could figure out a way to go through this area without disturbing what is already there, even if the highway is on stilts! Your photos are beautiful and really capture the vastness and serenity of the area. I understand the (okay, I’m assuming) need for a road—so often these things DO happen!—but I really wish the folks putting it into motion would look at all options and look at ways to actually engage in real, necessary progress without completely destroying what lies in its path. We have so much technology at our disposal, and so many bright people!

    • I think the stilts idea is one idea, but that would still destroy it, I think, it would make it so ugly, it is so lovely now because you hardly see the hand of man. We don’t really need it, we need more public transport so that there are other options to using the car, we have had hardly any work done, that is expanding it, in Melbourne for decades, but we have had a whole serious of freeways built, and then they need to be widened, it is unbelievable, out population is growing so much. The bright people are making the suggestions, but our government is saying nah, leave it to the next government. It is all about cars, unfortunately. Thanks Jen.

  14. Tri Wahyu says

    I think Victoria government should build more railway network instead freeway. I hardly seen any development of Victoria railway since my study time there while read constant railway accident/incident every year. More car more traffic jam.

    • I totally agree they should do more. Only one piece of track has been added in about 100 years, or something ridiculous like that. They promise train lines but then decide not to.

  15. Government works from the top down – when you have a PM who thinks that the best protection for woodlands is logging companies, then the rest is obvious. Fight for what you can. Not all of us living in this amazing country are so short-sighted.

    • I just saw that too about our lovely PM, I don’t know what planet he came from sometimes. I have to believe that as well, I am sure if they really try to destroy it with a freeway people will react, I really hope so anyway. Thank you.

  16. It’s sad. And a bit odd. From my time in Melbourne, Australia and the Australian people in general struck me as people very focused on environmental/ecosystem preservation. From all the warnings we get when we land at the airport about foreign seeds or vegetals, to the abundant backpacking companies offering tour after tour to Nature preserves and parks. Why, then, would one want to build more freeways rather than better develop the public transit infrastructure?
    I hope the trains will win over the freeway…

    • I think your view of Australia and the people are very true, for the most part, but it is our government that isn’t. They are more concerned about propping up private industries, and doing what is best for a minority rather than listening to what the majority would like. You really have to hand it to democracy.

      • Yeah. I wish I could be giving lessons and show my own country as an example, but the French government isn’t so good at listening to people either. When did “democracy” turn into a “marketocracy”? :(

      • That is a great word for it, short sighted. We have a theory that all politicians are thinking about is what they will do after politics, so the more they suck up to business then the better they will be looked after in the end. Very sad, very sad for the rest of us and our country.

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