What we are asking

Help us realise the community’s vision for The Briars – a much-loved local landmark and visitor attraction.

We want to unlock the natural, cultural and heritage potential of The Briars – keeping what is already loved and creating new, carefully considered experiences to allow more people to enjoy this wonderful community asset.

  • Full realisation of The Briars Master Plan – $29.5 million or
  • Stage one (Gathering Space and Tichin-Gorourke Children’s Garden) – $10 million. This would deliver a world-class visitor centre, education space and garden, immersing children in Aboriginal stories and the wonder of wetlands, with a focus on frogs to pay tribute to the site’s original name (Tichin-Gorourke is the Boon Wurrung word for ‘voice of many frogs’).

The full plan

The Gathering Space and Tichin-Gorourke Children’s Garden – $10M

The Briars Wildlife Sanctuary – a close encounters wildlife viewing space – $9M

The Briars Sanctuary Dreaming – an accommodation precinct within an expanded wildlife sanctuary – $2M

Heritage Precinct – The Briars Homestead – full restoration of this iconic homestead – $2M

Heritage Precinct – The Village – the transformation of a historic brick barn into a family-friendly, farm-chic restaurant serving food made from local produce, including produce grown at The Briars – $3M

Green Dreaming – demonstration space for best practice regenerative agriculture techniques, an expanded nursery, children’s play garden, Aboriginal Food Garden and a dedicated education area – $3.5M

Progress to date

In 2022 the Shire was fortunate to receive $1.53M from the Regional Tourism Investment Fund to deliver the Sanctuary expansion. The expanded Sanctuary will include a unique glamping experience, education spaces and expanded walking tracks to cater for people of all ages and abilities. A major focus of the sanctuary will be the reintroduction of locally endangered and extinct species.

The Heritage Homestead Restoration project received $155,000 from the Living Heritage Fund to support the revitalization of one of the oldest European Homesteads on the Peninsula.

The Briars provides walking trails and picnic areas, a refuge for wildlife and indigenous flora, and one of the first farms established locally, with a vibrant and unique European heritage.

It is a much-loved community asset with significant potential to be further enhanced. The full Briars Master Plan has the potential to stimulate significant economic activity within the region.

The project will provide more opportunities for people of all ages to connect with the site.

The business case (Urban Enterprises 2019) for the plan forecasts the development and operation of the Master Plan will “generate substantial benefits for the Mornington Peninsula economy through increases in economic output, job creation, wages and value-add to the economy”.

During the construction phase, the project is estimated to have an output of $32-$37M, employ between 80 to 90 people, pay between $6.5-$7.5M in wages, and provide a value add of between $12.5-$15M.

During the operational phase the project is estimated to have an output of $18-19M, employ 120 people, $6M wage expenditure and provide a value added of approximately $10M.

The business case also identifies significant qualitative benefits generated by the implementation of the Masterplan including:

  • Enhancing the Mornington Peninsula’s status as a desirable visitor destination, particularly for visitors seeking high-quality nature-based experiences. This is likely to stimulate the visitor economy through increases in visitation (and visitor yield), resulting in flow-on effects to other tourism and hospitality businesses in the area
  • Providing local employment and training opportunities, developing local skills
  • Improving community access to passive and unstructured recreation opportunities
  • Strengthening visitor dispersal across the Mornington Peninsula (from the busy coastline attractions).

The Briars Masterplan supports many Victorian and Shire strategies:

  1. National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Strategic Plan 2018-2022
  2. Mornington Peninsula Shire Reconciliation Action Plan 2020
  3. Mornington Peninsula Region Destination Management Plan
  4. Mornington Peninsula Shire Economic Development Strategy
  5. Mornington Peninsula Shire Disability Inclusion Plan 2018-2022
  6. Our Health and Wellbeing: A Plan for the Mornington Peninsula 2017-21
  7. Climate Change Community Engagement Strategy (MPS)
  8. Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037

The Briars Master Plan is intrinsically linked to each theme of the Council Plan 2021-2025

Theme 1: A healthy natural environment and well –planned townships.

Theme 2: a robust, innovative, and diverse economy.