Dwarf Galaxias Fish at Hallam
14 Dec 2021
Dwarf Galaxias Fish at Hallam
Vision. Close up view of grasses and water. Time lapse photography of traffic at level crossing at Hallam South Road.
Georgia. It’s nice to just raise that awareness around the idea that you can have biodiversity in your local environment even where you might not expect it, so we’re removing the dangerous level crossing at Hallam South Road where there’s 20,000 vehicles passing through every single day.
Vision. Artist impression of rail bridge over roadway and new station.
Georgia. We’re building a rail over road bridge for the trains to go over and a new station as well.
Vision. Georgia working taking water samples next to rail corridor.
Georgia. I’m an Environmental and Sustainability Graduate on site so I work as a part of the environmental team. We do routine water quality monitoring upstream and downstream of our project site so it’s a really urban environment wherein there’s obviously the rail corridor and the trains.
Vision. Aerial view of industrial site.
Georgia. There’s a lot of heavy vehicle movement and a lot of industrial buildings surrounding the area as well.
Text. Only 200m from the new Hallam Station resides an endangered fish species, Dwarf Galaxias, which lives in the nearby drainage channel.
Vision. Photographs of the Dwarf Galaxias.
Will. We found out that the Dwarf Galaxias are everywhere in through the southeast.
Matthew. So they’re recognised as an important species for the region.
Text. Dwarf Galaxias (Galaxiella Pusilla) very small, scaleless and elongated native fresh water fish (occurs in Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria).
Will. We received the ecology report back from our ecologist. It outlined that we did have the Dwarf Galaxias in the rail corridor.
Matthew. We’ve got a little pocket of the fish down here in the drains so we need to look after them.
Vision. Photographs of the Dwarf Galaxias. Views of Will and Matthew out on site. Views of the water channel and drain.
Will. We did further investigations to determine exactly where these fish were living. That came with a lot of challenges, it took me on a really big journey of learning a lot more about where species can live in these urban environments and how they can thrive, and how we can work as a project to improve that habitat and avoid this so that we’ve got a stronghold for this community.
Vision. View of industrial building and grasses.
Will. We had multiple different ecologists working on it and then we had a range of people interpreting that information and making sure that we were going down the right pathways.
Vision. View of construction staff working in the rail corridor.
Will. The biggest hurdle can be the approvals initially and then ongoing communication with the various contracting teams, the subcontractors that come through to do various parts of the build.
Vision. View of No-Go Zone signage showing fencing and habitat protection measures.
Matthew. It sounds straightforward to fence some areas off or protect the habitat during construction but there’s also a lot of stuff that happens in the background.
Vision. View of industrial area and rail corridor showing construction staff working. View of Hallam Station sign and level crossing and Hallam Road Level Crossing Removal sign.
Matthew. As you get up that western end of the corridor it’s very tight, it’s only a 3 to 4 metre wide corridor, we put a work in there, like we’ve got services and things to go through there and it’s our access route as well for building the west embankment so it is tight, so that was certainly a challenge to be able to do that.
Vision. Artist impression of the new Hallam Station showing elevated rail and open space.
Will. We managed to avoid this habitat which allowed us to construct the station as we see it coming up today, so there was a lot of effort and a lot of work that went into the protection of a very small species.
Vision. Time lapse photography of construction works on rail corridor.
Matthew. We’ve got a unique opportunity here to demonstrate that we can develop this rail corridor and have no impact on the neighbouring environment.
Vision. Aerial time lapse photography of level crossing and car parking near station.
Will. It’s not just a tick-off process, it’s a process of understanding what’s there, protecting what needs to be protected, and building something that we can be proud of in the future.
Vision. Vies of construction workers working on rail corridor. Time lapse photography of traffic congestion.
Text. Level Crossing Removal Project. For more information visit levelcrossings.vic.gov.au. Victoria’s Big Build. Victoria State Government.