Victorian Government Response and Final Concept Plan

After several months of work and significant community engagement led by the Haining Farm Working Group, the final concept plan for Haining farm has been released.

Thank you to the Haining Farm Working Group for their efforts and time in investigating the options and providing their recommendations, and the broader community for sharing their feedback and helping shape the future use of the site.

The concept plan attempts to balance the importance of conservation to the Victorian community, with the views of the local community and considerations to prevent increased bushfire risk. It was developed based on a combination of the recommendations of the Working Group, an assessment of bushfire risk and the results of extensive community consultation.

Community consultation recorded a significant level of support for the site to be used for conservation purposes and provide habitat for the Helmeted Honeyeater and Lowland Leadbeaters Possum at Haining Farm. To achieve this the concept plan must include sufficient habitat including wet environments and dense mid-story vegetation as required by these species.

The presence of farm animals, particularly along the northern and southern boundaries, is evidently important to the local community and future uses for these areas that are consistent with these views will be investigated.

The final plan for the site includes open woodland on the northern and eastern boundaries, which is considered essential to prevent an increase in bushfire risk and in response to community concerns additional water sources will be incorporated in these areas. Collaboration with the Country Fire Authority in the detailed design phase will also ensure that the site meets their requirements for bushfire response.

Improved community access, recreation and education opportunities were important to both the local and wider Victorian community and these are integrated in the final concept plan to ensure the site responds to the wishes of Sir John Reid when he donated the land to the Victorian people as an environmental study park.

DELWP received over 2300 submissions during the Haining Farm consultation. View the engagement report and final concept plan for Haining Farm below:

Final Concept Plan for Haining Farm including 42 hectares for conservation, habitat for 168 Helmented Honeyeaters, 75 Lowland Leadbeaters Possums, 17 hectares open woodland grazing and 30 hectares of public/community access with 6km of walking and cycling

The final concept plan for Haining Farm

From the Haining Farm Working Group

At meeting number 12, held on 27 July 2017 it was decided that the Don Valley Community Representatives would prepare a narrative to provide the background to their recommended concept plan, which would be provided to the joint sponsors of the Working Group.

The process behind the Working Group’s recommendations and the associated narrative has involved 13 formal meetings and many informal meetings held by the community members to consider and evaluate the information and reports provided by the various government departments.

The community members of the Working Group considered the importance of farming to the local community, including the connection to seeing cows on site, the perceived bushfire safety provided by open pasture, a petition undertaken by the Yarra Waterways Group and the clear difference of opinion between the views of the local community and the wider Victorian community who preferred the site to be used for conservation purposes.

The concept plan proposed by the community members of the Working Group split the site 50/50 to provide conservation along the waterways and retaining sufficient pasture in the remaining areas to maintain a dairy operation onsite. The values adding concept proposed by concept 2 has also been dropped as part of the groups proposed compromise.

Increased community access is provided for to allow the public to walk through and view the farm animals in pasture areas and threatened species in the areas set aside for conservation. The tracks would also improve access for fire management.

The Working Group community members think the proposal considers the wishes of the donor of the Haining Farm, Sir John Reid, and that the donor should be recognised for his gifting of the farm, and subsequent contribution to the modernisation of the dairy, with a plaque to be placed in a secure, publicly accessible area onsite.

The proposal also provides an opportunity to educate children on farming and conservation and how they can coexist.

Read the full position statement below:

The submission period has closed

The submission period closed on Sunday 2nd of July.

Next Step: All submissions received will be carefully considered by the Haining Farm Working Group in developing a set of final recommendations for the future use of Haining Farm.

About Haining Farm

Haining Farm is one part of the larger Yellingbo Conservation area which will be implemented and coordinated by the Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee.

Haining Farm is a 59 hectare site currently managed by Parks Victoria and leased as a working dairy farm. Haining Farm is located in Don Valley, at the confluence of the Yarra River and the Don River.

The Haining Farm Working Group (Working Group) is a community based working group that was established in February 2017 to help guide the Haining Farm development including coordinating the bushfire planning process, identifying the key themes to be considered for planning future use and developing concept designs.

The Working Group is made up of seven Don Valley community members, and representatives from, Parks Victoria, DELWP, Yarra Ranges Council, CFA, Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee and Yarra Waterways Group. The Working Group has been supported by independent technical experts, who have provided information about a range of factors, including bushfire risk, that impact the site and influence what the site can be used for.

Based on this process the opportunities for the site include conservation, farming and agriculture, education and recreation. The Haining Farm Working Group has, over the course of 10 workshops, developed three concepts for the future of Haining Farm and is presenting these to the community for comment. Each of these concepts address a range of criteria to reflect the objectives for the future of Haining Farm.

The concepts

All three concepts address the criteria to varying degree and in different ways. Please view each concept plan by clicking through the concepts below.

For more detailed information please read through the community information booklet.

Make a submission

Everyone with an interest in Haining Farm is invited to comment on the draft concepts. All comments will be carefully considered in developing a final concept.

To contribute a submission, you can:

  • Fill out the online survey below or
  • Fill out the Word version of the survey from the Document Library and email to or post to Manager Park Planning, Haining Farm Submissions, Parks Victoria, Level 10, 535 Bourke Street Melbourne, VIC 3000

The submission period will end Sunday 2nd of July 2017

Your personal information will not be disclosed to the public. Please see the privacy statement below the survey for more information.

You have 255 characters left.
You have 255 characters left.
Have you ever visited Haining Farm? Required
Drag and arrange the uses from highest importance down to lowest importance. You must drag across all themes in order to submit the survey.
Bushfire Risk
Farming & Agriculture
Community access & Recreation
Capital Expenditure & maintenance Costs

Please write any other use and whether it is 'not important', 'slightly important', 'important' or 'most important'.

You have 255 characters left.
2. Based on reviewing the criteria for each of the 3 concepts, do you have a preferred concept? Required
3. Thinking about Bushfire Risk and management, which of the 3 concepts do you most like and why? Required
You have 255 characters left.
4. Thinking about Farming and Agriculture, which of the 3 concepts do you most like and why? Required
You have 255 characters left.
5. Thinking about Conservation and habitat for threatened species, which of the 3 concepts do you most like and why? Required
You have 255 characters left.
6. Thinking about Education, which of the 3 concepts do you most like and why? Required
You have 255 characters left.
7. Thinking about Community Access and Recreation, which of the 3 concepts do you most like and why? Required
You have 255 characters left.
8. Thinking about Tourism, which of the 3 concepts do you most like and why? Required
You have 255 characters left.

The survey form is now closed. Thanks for your contributions.


The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Victorian privacy laws.

The information you provide will be used to help inform the final concept plan for Haining Farm, and to keep you updated on the project if you choose to provide contact details.

The information you provide will be made available to the DELWP/Parks Victoria Yellingbo Conservation Area Project Team and the Haining Farm Working Group to help inform the future of Haining Farm. Personal details (name/contact details) will not be made public.

You may access the information you have provided to DELWP by contacting Victoria Purdue at