The $13 million Shrine to Sea project will create a boulevard connecting the Domain Gardens to Port Phillip Bay via Albert and Kerferd roads.

The project will enhance the existing greenery and open spaces, improve the safety and experience for people walking and bike riding through this part of Melbourne and help bring the local history, stories and culture to life for resident and visitors.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) became the lead agency for this project in late 2019 and is working in partnership with the City of Port Phillip, the Department of Transport, and Parks Victoria to deliver the project.

The project area covers a range of public landowners and managers, residents, businesses, schools and community groups and takes in South Melbourne and Albert Park’s suburbs.

Shrine to Sea objectives

When it's complete, the Shrine to Sea will:

  • Enhance the green boulevard
  • Create safer and clearer links and connections for walking and cycling
  • Celebrate local stories
  • Improve usable open space

We are currently working on a draft masterplan for the project, which incorporates input from our project partners, Traditional Owners, technical specialists, the community panel, other community engagement feedback and stakeholder meetings. A draft will be released for public comment.

Once the masterplan is finalised and approved, detailed design, planning approvals and project delivery will begin.  Where works align with other plans already approved or committed to by other agencies, these works will progress sooner (e.g. Albert Park Master Plan, and tree replacement plantings as part of the Anzac station project). We anticipate the majority of the project will be completed by 2024.

Celebrating local stories

Celebrating Local Stories is a key initiative in line with the Shrine to Sea project which explores the rich local history, stories, and culture in the boulevard area.  

In this multi-part series, we explore the little and well-known stories from the boulevard and surrounding areas. As we continue to work to enhance the Shrine to Sea boulevard to provide safe and enjoyable experiences for the future, we also want to celebrate the area’s vibrant past.

Celebrating local stories

Project updates

The project team is on track to release a draft of the Shrine to Sea masterplan early in 2023.  Below you will find some updates to keep you informed about the process we are taking to achieve this:

Greening the boulevard
Our early tree planting has continued to roll along with 23 Angophoras and 9 Planes trees recently planted along the Kerferd Road median strip. The Angophoras were selected as a direct response to the community engagement outcome where we heard that the community wanted to see more flowering natives along the boulevard.  These species were also chosen for their climate resilience. The Plane trees are planted in gaps in the existing Plane tree avenue to retain the heritage character, as we work towards creating a greener boulevard.
Kerferd Road planting

Source: City of Port Phillip

Kerferd Road bike lane
We continue to work closely with our project partners Department of Transport (DoT) and City of Port Phillip (CoPP) to create a safer environment for all road users. We’re responding to the safety issues represented by recorded crash and near miss data that informed the project objectives along with the need to create safer spaces that support more people using active transport choices. Kerferd Road is noted as ‘one of the highest priority corridors’ for boosting cycling in CoPP’s Move, Connect, Live; Integrated Transport Strategy 2018-28.  It has also been identified as a C1 State Significant Cycling Corridor (a subset of the Principal Bicycle Network) in DoT’s Strategic Cycling Corridor Network Overview 2020.

Based on all of the feedback we have received to date, we have extended our options analysis to now include detailed evaluation of 5 different bike lane and road configurations, to ensure no opportunity is overlooked. The strengths and weaknesses of these options is being assessed been assessed through the following tools:

1. Healthy Streets which is an independent “human-centred framework for embedding public health in transport, public realm and planning. The 10  Healthy Streets Indicators focus on the human experience needed on all streets, everywhere, for everyone.”

2. Shrine to Sea metric criteria assessment – covering project specific and community feedback criteria not captured as part of the Healthy Streets assessment tool. DELWP and CoPP, along with an independent traffic consultant, will score the options against these criteria in a workshop format.

We are finalising traffic modelling at key intersections along the boulevard to ensure our proposed designs will work in well with the surrounding traffic network. The next step requires our design proposals along with the modelling results to be submitted to DoT’s signalling team and subsequently their Road Review Committee for review and assessment before inclusion in our masterplan.

We understand that there are mixed opinions in the community about what a bike lane on Kerferd Road should look like and we’re aware of the petition and counter-petition submitted during DoT’s Pop-Up Bike Lanes consultation period. Community feedback received by DoT has been shared with the Shrine to Sea team and has been considered through the design process.

The objective of this process is to identify the optimal design for Kerferd Road which we will be included in the Shrine to Sea masterplan. A draft of the masterplan will be released for public comment in the first quarter of 2023. Following a community consultation period via Engage Victoria, feedback will be collated, and amendments made before the final masterplan is released later in 2023.

Stakeholder meetings
The project team have conducted a number of stakeholder meetings in the last couple of months, meeting with a variety of land managers, landowners, business owners, schools and individuals as we further refine design options for the boulevard.

Exploring the past
September saw the launch of our new multi-part series ‘Celebrating Local Stories’ which explores the rich local history, stories and culture in the Shrine to Sea boulevard area. Be sure to have a read the first instalment of the series where we uncover the little-known story of South Melbourne’s historic women’s football games in 1947. Included is also an opportunity for community members to share their stories of the area’s rich and diverse history. Stay tuned for our next story which will be released this month.

Passive Irrigation
We have commenced construction of the Passive Irrigation trial on Albert Road in conjunction with CoPP and Melbourne University. The proposed works will maximise underground planting conditions to support tree growth, passively direct road runoff into soil areas to irrigate the trees and reduce stormwater runoff volumes and protect our waterways.  Once construction is complete, the 3-year research project will track the performance of these systems as part of efforts to address climate change impacts using stormwater to irrigate city trees, achieve greater canopy cover and cool urban areas. The construction works include kerb adjustments, construction of infiltration zones, v-shaped channels to direct water and junction pits as well as installation of pipes in the passive irrigation systems.

If you have any questions or would like to join our mailing list to be kept up to date with project developments, please email shrine.to.sea@delwp.vic.gov.au.

As previously communicated in the April update, the Department of Transport (DoT) announced in April the withdrawal of proposed designs for the trial of a protected bike lane on Kerferd Road as part of their Pop-Up Bike Lanes program.

This decision has considerably impacted the development of the Shrine to Sea masterplan.  We are aware of the petition and counter petition submitted at the time to DoT and the more recent decisions by City of Port Phillip (CoPP) Councillors concerning other DoT Pop-Up bike lanes across the municipality.

We are working closely with DoT and CoPP to ensure all the views, feedback and learnings are being taken into account in our project.

Our objective to create safer, clearer links and connections and promote active transport remains a priority. Improving safety for all road users, including cyclists, pedestrians and motorists, continues to be a key outcome for Shrine to Sea.

In response to the current feedback, we are investigating further alternative bike lane design options for Kerferd Road, requiring additional concept designs, traffic modelling and road safety assessments. This will take more time to ensure the designs meet the project objectives and are ready to be communicated and tested through community engagement before any decisions are made. Each design option we consider will be presented graphically for the community to review as part of the draft masterplan engagement process.

As a result of this work, we expect delays to our timeline and now anticipate the draft masterplan will be available early in 2023.

We understand that some members of the community may feel frustrated by this development as they want to see the project move forward. That is why we are continually evaluating which elements of the project may be able to progress in the meantime, given strong community support already received through the engagement feedback to date.

One such example is the tree planting which commenced last month, with nearly 150 new trees planted along the boulevard (click on the June 2022 update for more info). We hope you share in our excitement seeing the new trees in the ground as part of our objective to the enhance the green boulevard.

We will also be looking to share some short stories about the local history soon to progress the delivery of our objective ‘Celebrating Local Stories’. We will have more to share with you about this in the coming months.

If you have any questions or would like to join our mailing list to be kept up to date with project developments, please email shrine.to.sea@delwp.vic.gov.au.

The three-kilometre link between Domain Gardens and Port Phillip Bay will become greener, cooler and more biodiverse as nearly 150 trees are planted as part of the Shrine to Sea project over the coming months.

While we are currently working on a draft masterplan, we have already heard through extensive public consultation, the community’s aspirations for improved shade and more flowering habitat trees along the corridor.

In partnership with City of Port Phillip, the following trees will be planted as part of this renewal program:

  • On the Kerferd and Albert road nature strips, to fill gaps in existing planting and replace unhealthy or unsafe specimens
  • Down the outer separators of Albert Road
  • In the central median reserve on Kerferd Road.

A mix of native and introduced species, including Eucalypts, Jacarandas, Banksias and Brachychitons, have been selected, based on resilience to climate change and site-specific suitability. They will also bring colour to the boulevard and attract birds and insects to the streetscape throughout the year.

Smaller-growing species have been chosen for nature strips where powerlines are present. In other locations, such as the median strip, trees will grow up to 10-15 metres.

Included in the selection are 23 Angophora floribunda (Rough-barked Angophora) in the central median reserve on Kerferd Road between Page Street and Danks Street.

Rough-barked Angophora make excellent shade trees. They are a tall, spreading, evergreen tree, with a picturesque form. They will provide important habitat for fauna, seeds for birds and pollen for bees.

Following an arborist’s report commissioned as part of the Shrine to Sea project, five trees in the central median reserve have been identified as showing poor structure and health and will be removed as part of this planting renewal program. These trees are Corymbia ficifolia (Red Flowering Gum). There are an additional three of these trees which are thriving and will be retained.

A selection of Jacarandas within the Albert Road outer separators will be included in a passive irrigation trial being carried out by the University of Melbourne, City of Port Phillip and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The three-year project will direct water runoff from Albert Road into adjacent median strips to irrigate the new plantings. The remainder of the trees will be irrigated and maintained as they establish over the next few years.

This planting renewal program will occur during July-September 2022.

New nature strip trees for Kerferd Road

In April 2022, the Department of Transport announced the withdrawal of proposed designs for the trial of a protected bike lane on Kerferd Road as part of their Pop-Up Bike Lanes program. This decision will affect the development of the Shrine to Sea masterplan and our objective to create safer and clearer links and connections. Improving safety for all road users, including cyclists, remains a key outcome for Shrine to Sea and further design options will need to be considered in light of this decision.

The project team is now consulting with all parties involved, including the Project Control Group, to review the impacts this decision has on current planning, timelines and the way forward for the Shrine to Sea masterplan. We will consider which aspects of the overall draft masterplan, such as Albert Road, can be tested with the community and progressed without impacting any future Kerferd Road bike lane design options.

  • Following a series of meetings and workshops throughout 2021, the Shrine to Sea Community Panel presented their report of recommendations to DELWP in November. Click here to view a copy of their report. The Shrine to Sea project team has reviewed the panel’s recommendations and provided an official response. Click here to view a copy of DELWP’s response to the Community Panel.
  • The project team has also analysed the community feedback received during the Engage Victoria online consultation opportunity conducted in September–October 2021.  A total of 236 survey responses were received from 145 individuals across the four objective surveys. Click here to view or download the summary report of this consultation.
  • The project team is now synthesising various inputs as we prepare the draft masterplan. These inputs include relevant policies and strategies, technical reports, site assessments, information from project partners and Traditional Owners as well as the detailed feedback gained through the extensive community engagement program. The draft masterplan will be available for public comment in 2022.
  • The most recent round of community consultation was conducted via Engage Victoria during September and October 2021. The project team are currently reviewing the community feedback and will report back to the community later in 2021.
  • There’s no question the past 18 months have been challenging, and delivering on projects such as Shrine to Sea has required resilience and flexibility. A number of cumulative impacts and changes to intersecting projects have affected the project’s timeline. The inability to meet face-to-face has caused the delay of our third Community Panel workshop and plans for broader community engagement. Our engagement program is key to the success of the project so these delays will impact the delivery of the draft masterplan. However, our project team is busy adapting to these challenges and looking for ways to minimise the impact of the delays.
  • Since the inception of the Shrine to Sea project, DELWP has partnered with the Traditional Owners of the land in the project area. Prior to 1 July 2021, the area had “shared interest land status” with three groups declaring they had shared interest in the area: Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, the Boon Wurrung Foundation and the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation. The Shrine to Sea project team conducted site walks and meetings with all three groups with a view to understanding their interests, connections to country and opportunities within the project.
    On 1 July 2021, the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (VAHC), which registers Aboriginal parties (RAPs) under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, announced variations to its registration boundaries. The Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation’s RAP status boundary now takes in the entire Shrine to Sea project area. This includes changes in many local government areas, including the City of Port Phillip. More information about this decision can be found here on the Aboriginal Heritage Council Victoria website.
    In line with the VAHC’s decision, we will continue to work with Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation in relation to this project as they have been recognised as having exclusive rights to speak for their Country.
  • We will re-engage with the community in the second half of 2021 via Engage Victoria - the online consultation platform. This will involve gathering community sentiment on various planning options and proposals to inform the draft masterplan.
  • If you would like to join our mailing list to keep up to date with project developments, please email shrine.to.sea@delwp.vic.gov.au.
  • The 26 Community Panel has met three times now including two full day workshops. At the most recent workshop on Saturday 22 May 2021, the panel had the opportunity to hear from experts in their field and discuss ideas with a variety of technical specialists on the four project objectives: Celebrating Local Stories, Green Boulevard, Links and Connections and Usable Open Space.
  • We have a series of Listening Sessions scheduled for June 2021. These sessions are specifically designed to give directly impacted residents and businesses the opportunity to hear from the Shrine to Sea team and ask questions about the project.
  • Planning has commenced to undertake more engagement with the broader community in the second half of 2021. This will involve the testing of various planning options and proposals with the community to inform the draft masterplan.
  • We have been progressing our work with Traditional Owners. While there is no recognised Registered Aboriginal Party for the Shrine to Sea area, we have conducted three separate site walks with the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation, the Boon Wurrung Foundation and the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, all of whom we recognise as having shared interest in the area. This approach allows each group to share their stories and their views on the project. This feedback and our ongoing engagement will be used to inform the Thematic History and Aboriginal Cultural Values Report which Context heritage consultants are currently preparing as part of our response to the Celebrating Local Stories objective.
  • We have been working closely with the Department of Transport on a Movement and Place assessment. The Movement and Place assessment seeks to understand how the transport network is currently performing, identify gaps in performance, and consider future needs to support our growing population with place specific integrated transport options.
  • We are working with the City of Port Phillip and Melbourne University on a passive irrigation trial to look at ways to capture stormwater and direct it to irrigate existing trees and future plantings along the boulevard. This process helps increase the health and growth of the trees and reduces the stormwater runoff in the area. Passive irrigation can also help filter some pollutants through the soil. We are currently in the detailed design phase of the system which includes better understanding the soil structure and water infiltration capacity. You may have noticed sample holes dug in our trial areas as part of this work.
  • We are in the process of synthesising much of the information gathered to date through technical reports, site visits and analysis, and stakeholder and community engagement feedback into a comprehensive ‘Opportunities and Constraints’ document. This document looks at the site as a whole and identifies opportunities and constraints at more local scales in recognition of how the character of the roads, architecture and landscape changes along Albert and Kerferd Roads.
  • We have established a Community Panel of 27 representatives who will come together for 2 meetings and 4 workshops over the course of the year. We received 209 expressions of interest and deployed a rigorous selection process which focussed on diversity and inclusion. The panel will work as an advisory panel which will feed into the development of the masterplan. The first meeting was held on Wednesday 17 March 2021.
  • In February 2021 we conducted a series of Public Life Study focus walks which involved five individuals from the local community walk the project site one on one with a DELWP project team member. Our objective was to investigate the physical and social elements of a place.
  • The first round of broad community consultation was conducted in October 2020 – November 2020 which provided us with valuable insights into how people use the project area and what they would like to see happen to improve their enjoyment of the area.  View the Community Engagement Summary Report for this online consultation.
  • We are continuing to have conducted a number of one-on-one stakeholder meetings with diverse interests and points of view, discussing issues including, but not limited to, education, cycling, heritage, horticulture, transport, and we are engaging with multicultural communities, older person’s groups and other interest groups.
  • We are continuing to work closely with Traditional Owners to ensure they help shape the project.
  • We are continuing to gather historical and heritage information to better understand pre and post colonisation values and narratives.
  • We are continuing our work with the City of Port Phillip and Melbourne University on a passive irrigation trial to look for ways to improve and sustain the health of the boulevard vegetation.
  • The first round of broad community consultation was conducted in October 2020 – November 2020 which provided us with valuable insights into how people use the project area and what they would like to see happen to improve their enjoyment of the area. We were pleased to have received hundreds of comments and we are currently working on reporting back to the community with our findings.  A summary will be posted on this webpage and publicly available in early 2021.
  • We have conducted a number of one-on-one stakeholder meetings with diverse interests and points of view, discussing issues including, but not limited to, education, cycling, heritage, horticulture, transport, and we are engaging with multicultural communities, older person’s groups and other interest groups.
  • We have established relationships with Traditional Owners to ensure they help shape the project early in the process.
  • We are gathering historical and heritage information to better understand pre and post colonisation values and narratives.
  • We are partnering with the City of Port Phillip and Melbourne University to conduct a passive irrigation trial to look for ways to improve and sustain the health of the boulevard vegetation.
  • We are currently establishing a Community Panel, due to commence in March 2021.

Project location

The Shrine to Sea project area is highlighted in red and connects Domain Gardens to Port Phillip Bay along Albert and Kerferd roads.

Map of Albert Park with highlighted area signifying project location

Community involvement

Engagement background

Parks Victoria led the initial community engagement process between September and November 2018 to inform the project aims and scope. You can read more about that Parks Victoria’s Engagement Findings Report found in the Related Documents section below.

Since DELWP became the lead agency in late 2019, we have been further developing the engagement program to ensure we are connecting with a wide range of stakeholders to understand the different issues, needs and opportunities, recognising the changing urban character and challenges along the route.

We are continuing to engage with residents, visitors, businesses, schools, agencies and local interest groups throughout the planning process to ensure all voices are heard.

Be sure to check this page regularly as we will be updating it as future opportunities for engagement become available.

Related documents

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to be added to the Shrine to Sea mailing list, please contact us.

Email: shrine.to.sea@delwp.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 14/11/22