TasWater and Glenorchy City Council have reached an agreement to jointly fund remediation works to transform the former Tolosa Reservoir site into an open parkland.
Following TasWater’s construction of two above-ground reservoir tanks, the Tolosa Reservoir was removed from the water network and emptied in 2018 to improve the drinking water quality for the people of Glenorchy.
Since 2018, significant work has been undertaken to develop the Tolosa Park Master Plan that will guide the decommissioning and remediation of the site.
The Master Plan, prepared by Inspiring Place, will guide the initial works with significant input from both TasWater and Glenorchy City Council.
The partnership will see TasWater and Glenorchy City Council jointly fund the first stage of works under the Master Plan for the former reservoir area.
The initial dam decommissioning and remediation works will be carried out by TasWater and begin soon.
The works will see the 20-metre-high dam wall partially demolished with the fill from the wall used to create an open parkland with completed earthworks, levelled, usable areas, water features, established grassed areas and the formation of future walking trails, which will be completed in further stages.
TasWater will then hand the area back to the Council to continue to develop in future stages.
Under the agreement, TasWater will contribute $3.2 million of the estimated $6.2 million cost of the initial works, with the Council to fund the balance.
Council’s contribution will include $695,000 allocated from the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Grant Program, with the remaining funds to come from the proceeds of its 2019 sale of the Derwent Entertainment Centre, which have been set aside to fund special projects such as this.
The initial works will be the first step towards completion of the full vision outlined in the Master Plan, with further investment by Council and other levels of government required to construct infrastructure and other park facilities in future stages.
Stage A of the Master Plan, which is to be funded under the agreement, shows an undulating site with large, flat grassed areas for passive recreation and revegetation of embankments. Water from above Humphreys Rivulet will supply a chain of ponds with wetland vegetation.
Glenorchy Mayor, Bec Thomas, welcomed news of the agreement and said it heralded a new and exciting chapter for the iconic Tolosa Park area.
“Tolosa Park is one of the jewels in Glenorchy’s crown, and we know how important it is to our community,” Ms Thomas said.
“It’s been critical to reach an agreement that ensures the initial dam decommissioning work gives us an open space area that Glenorchy City Council could then continue to develop into something truly special, without breaking our bank account.
“Our Council and TasWater have been working closely since 2018 to come up with a solution that sees the reservoir and dam wall fully decommissioned and the land converted to provide the Glenorchy community with a usable space we can all enjoy and continue to improve over time.
“Our community has told us they want a family-friendly space with shaded areas and with some kind of water feature. These jointly-funded works will deliver Stage A of the Master Plan that Council can then work from to achieve our community’s vision and make this area truly iconic.
“I am so thankful to TasWater for listening to the needs of our community and for working with us to reach this agreement.
“This would not have been possible without the cooperation and expertise of both parties, and a joint commitment to delivering an outcome that is in the best interests of our community.”
TasWater CEO, George Theo, was also enthusiastic about the agreement.
“While TasWater’s focus has always been around retiring the Tolosa Reservoir as a water supply asset, we’ve always recognised the importance to the community of the space on which it is located,” Mr Theo said.
“We’ve been working with the Council to make sure the funds TasWater had set aside for the dam decommissioning could be used to meet the needs of both organisations, and the wider Glenorchy and greater Hobart communities.
“It’s a great legacy to leave to the community – an asset which will be transformed into a parkland and used by the community for decades to come. We are excited to be a part of this project and thank the Mayor and her team for working together with us to deliver that vision.”
Development of the Master Plan was guided by the results of extensive community consultation undertaken by Glenorchy City Council in 2018.
Work at the site is expected to begin in 2022 and be completed by April 2024.