In May 2021, City of Port Phillip welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Government that it would match Council’s $2.75 million funding for the EcoCentre redevelopment.

About the project

As part of our commitment to a sustainable future, City of Port Phillip has a longstanding partnership with the EcoCentre who have operated out of the former curator’s residence in the St Kilda Botanical Gardens. 

Over the past 15 years, the Port Phillip EcoCente has delivered education, programs and services to more than 19,000 participants annually. We are keen for the Eco Centre to continue its great work transforming our community’s understanding of wildlife, waterways and climate change.  

The popularity of the EcoCentre over this time has seen it outgrow its current building which is no longer fit for purpose. That’s why we are working in conjunction with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to deliver an updated, functional and sustainable building that will improve access to the St Kilda Botanical Gardens and provide a more visually appealing presence on an iconic corner. 

In May 2021, the the Victorian Government announced it would match council’s $2.75 million funding for the redevelopment of the Eco Centre, the delivery of which will provide benefits to the the EcoCentre and the thousands of community members who use its programs and spaces and the visitors who come to our Botanical Gardens. We are working collaboratively with the EcoCentre to ensure that the new building will support increased program delivery to the community which will result in improved local waterways and protection for Port Phillip Bay. 

Benefits of the redevelopment include: 

  • an improved look and feel balancing modern and heritage elements 
  • the incorporation of functional multi-use spaces 
  • the growth of EcoCentre programs and services 
  • sustainable design and building practices 
  • better internal and internal circulation due to improved floor plans. 

About the design

The design builds on the key positive themes identified as a result of community consultation including:

  • Aesthetic appeal of the redevelopment balancing the modern and heritage elements
  • Incorporating sustainable building practices
  • Functional and multi-use spaces

The design also now includes more detail and has incorporated individual suggestions into the landscape planting and sustainability attributes.

View the updated designs (PDF 6.8 MB).

Heritage application

Heritage Victoria has reviewed the plans for the redevelopment and, following a statutory advertised public consultation process in August/September 2020, have provided a Heritage permit for the construction works.

The consultant team includes a heritage consultant who will be actively working with Heritage Victoria to ensure the permit requirements are met. 

Community consultation

In February and March 2020 we asked the community to provide feedback on this concept plan to help inform the next stages of the design. A number of activities and tools were used to seek input and feedback. This included a drop-in session with approximately 30 participants, a survey with over 270 responses, postcards delivered to local residents, social media posts and newsletters. You can read the community consultation report (PDF 3.1 MB).

You can find out more about the community consultation on the Have Your Say page.

Next steps

In May 2021, City of Port Phillip welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Government that it would match Council’s $2.75 million funding for the EcoCentre redevelopment. Construction is anticipated to begin in March 2022 and be completed in mid-2023. During this time, the EcoCentre will be relocated to the Cora Graves building adjacent to the gardens.

We will continue to update this page with project news.

For more information about the project, please contact the Sustainable Programs Team:

Online: Online Services
Phone: 03 9209 6777