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Back to News 1 March 2024

Alawoona wetlands and reserve upgrade project takes shape at Tonsley

Delivery of a cutting-edge wetland reserve at the western gateway of Tonsley Innovation District is one step closer, with Adelaide-based engineering construction specialist Camco chosen as the successful contractor to bring the project to life.

The $4 million Alawoona Streetscape and Wetland Reserve Project – a jointly funded initiative between Renewal SA, the City of Marion and Green Adelaide – will see two low amenity reserves on the corner of Alawoona Avenue and Bradley Grove revitalised into a highly sustainable public asset offering increased liveability and connectivity for nearby residents and visitors alike.

Enhancements include a rain garden, which will treat stormwater captured across Tonsley Innovation District and irrigated garden beds, extensive tree and shrub planting, new park furniture, public art, and a variety of open lawns for recreation and smaller spaces for resting or relaxing.

The project will also deliver new cycling and pedestrian pathways connecting to broader pedestrian networks and destinations such as the Flinders Greenway, Tonsley Railway Station, Mitchell Park Sports and Community Hub and residential areas. Works will also include the creation of off-street parking to support use of the reserve. Further parking spaces will be developed close to the train station to assist commuters.

The concept plan for the reserves was developed by the City of Marion and Renewal SA following comprehensive community consultation as part of its broader Tonsley Precinct Master Plan.

Renewal SA Executive Director, Property and Major Projects, Todd Perry said the collaborative endeavour by Renewal SA and the City of Marion delivered on both party’s joint commitment to create vibrant and sustainable communities.

“One of the development conditions at Tonsley is to create a wetlands that can improve the water quality of the stormwater captured across the District,” Mr Perry said.

"By working in partnership with Council, we have not only been able to deliver on these sustainability outcomes but expand the project to encompass the reserve on the southern side of Alawoona Avenue too. "

Renewal SA Executive Director, Property and Major Projects, Todd Perry

Artist’s impression of the Alawoona wetlands and reserve.

“This will become a real statement entrance to the west of District, whilst delivering high levels of public green space and blending the project boundary with the existing neighbourhood, creating a greater overall sense of community.”

City of Marion Mayor Kris Hanna said the environmental and social outcomes delivered through the upgrade would have a lasting impact. “This project will brighten up the area and deliver good environmental outcomes” Mayor of Marion Kris Hanna said.

“We will extend the upgrade by planting several fig trees along Alawoona Avenue, improving the roundabout area and adding new pedestrian and cyclist pathways connecting to the Tonsley Innovation District.”

This initiative has received $200,000 in funding from Green Adelaide as part of the ‘Cooler Greener Wilder’ grants program. The works are scheduled to begin in February and run through to August.

Tonsley Innovation District’s sustainability focus

Tonsley is recognised as a world-leader in sustainability and was Australia’s first urban renewal development to receive the internationally recognised 6 Star Green Star Communities certification.

Current and planned sustainability features and projects within the District include:

  • The adaptive re-use of the former automotive manufacturing Main Assembly Building (MAB), preventing approximately 90,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.
  • The retention and redevelopment of the Western Plant and Boiler House facilities as part of Tonsley’s continued commitment to adaptive reuse.
  • On-site rain gardens and the use of recycled water from a nearby wetlands to create a public place where water sensitive urban design principles support sustainability and reduce operating costs.
  • A regional integrated transport approach that includes walking and cycling paths for easy access to public transport, end-of-trip facilities, such as showers and bicycle repair stations, and a car share scheme.
  • A District Energy Scheme, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions while increasing resilience to the existing national electricity grid supply.
  • Installation of 13,000 solar panels linked to the District Energy Scheme, which are capable of producing up to 80% of Tonsley’s current energy needs.
  • Installation of a giant battery by CleanPeak Energy to store excess energy from the solar array atop the MAB, TAFE SA and Line Zero buildings.
  • Hosting autonomous bus trials.
  • A demonstrated environmental commitment through the planting of some 42,513 plants and trees site wide.

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