• “Brownhill Creek Recreation Park has long been cherished by South Australians and as one of our State’s oldest parks, it is rich with cultural heritage” (Minister John Hill, 2003).

Read full quote:Minister John Hill MP


  • “The Bureau of Meteorology has provided revised rainfall data that indicates that a flood control dam does not provide a feasible solution for the Part B Works. Further investigation using the data shows that the best solution is upgrading the existing creek at critical sections along the length of Brownhill Creek”  (Ian Hunter MLC; Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation; Minister for Water).

Read full quote: Letter From Minister Hunter


  • “Option D has been identified by the BHKC Stormwater Project as the preferred option for Part B flood mitigation works”. (BHKC Stormwater Project Summary Brochure: Managing Stormwater Flows in Upper Brownhill Creek, Page 7). Please note that Option D is the No Dam option.

 BHKC Summary Brochure May 2015


  • “The task of this department is to help our communities find a balance so that our impacts do not diminish the natural capital of the state. We express that as – our vision is a sustainable and prosperous South Australia where natural resources are used wisely and a healthy environment is understood to be the basis of a good quality of life (Allan Holmes, Former Chief Executive, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources).

Read full quote: Our Chief Executive


  • While I recognise the need to make reasonable provision to protect those at risk from flooding, there are many ways of achieving this that do not detract from, or destroy, areas which should remain unspoiled for future generations” (Barbara Hardy AO, Order Of Australia and Patron of Nature Foundation SA).

Read full quote: Barbara Hardy & Brown Hill


  • The Brownhill Creek Stone Pines are undoubtedly Living Monuments of great historical significance for Mitcham and the State of South Australia. They also have botanical and scientific significance at National and International levels. The Stone Pines at “Seven Pines” are now listed on the Significant Tree Register of the National Trust of South Australia. Their nomination to the Register of Significant Trees of the National Trust of Australia accounts them new status (Charlie Buttigieg, Tree Nominator to the Register of Significant Trees of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria and South Australia).

2013 Trust News Feb issue Charles Buttigieg & SA historic trees

Final Report on The Seven Pines at Brown Hill Creek Recreation Park






Note: Out of over 2,000 comments received, only 3 favoured a dam. One of the three mistakingly thought that the dam would permanently store water. We have included a selection of 41 community comments for you to view.

Special Artistic Comment




42 thoughts on “Comments

  1. Emily Foreman

    I would just like to express firstly, my great appreciation for the people who have invested their time and energy to come together for this cause & secondly, my deep regret that such a proposal could ever be thought for such a natural wonder that we are so lucky to have in Adelaide.

    Having strong family ties to the area that go back a long way, Brownhill Creek holds not only so many memories for me, but ones that I hope are still yet to be had for all future generations. This beautiful place has such a presence about it, and for any council to come in a destroy it with yet another kneejerk reaction, would truly be a tragedy & one that I will do whatever I can to stop from happening.

  2. sympathetic hills resident

    There was a time where Adelaide’s proximity to conservation parks was a major draw card of the city. But without proper management these natural sancturies are being ruined. In the suburb of Skye on Horsenells Gully Rd, treacles a beautiful creek. The flow of this creek has in recent times been negatively impacted due to a large concrete brick weir built by the mining company that operates further up the road. This weir pools a significant amount of water for purposes only they know of. This construction has NOT recieved approval from either the Burnside council or the National Resource Board. Please show your concern by contacting the Burnside council. You can contact them pretty easily through their website.

  3. Nikki

    I also submitted a signed document in to the Brownhill Creek Stormwater Mgt Public Consultation Process, which incuded my personal details, and have recieved no acknowledgement. A dam in Brownhill Creek Rec Park must not go ahead; not only for the environmental impact concerns which are many, but also for the future generations of citizens to enjoy and appreciate this lovely open space that we have at the city’s doorstep.

  4. Audrey Forbes

    The Public Consultation Report states that the proposed dam “was the least supported component of the Draft Plan overall”. An overwhelming majority oppose the dam, despite a misrepresentation of the dam to the public. The permanent dam is only a minor component of the Draft Plan and it can be replaced with effective solutions that cause only temporary disruption.
    Brownhill Creek Recreation Park, just like the Adelaide Parklands, should be preserved for future generations. Heritage parks are precious now, but with Adelaide’s population set to increase, these community assets will be even more valuable in the future. We cannot afford to give in to short term thinking.
    Only 4 kilometres of Brownhill Creek is left under public protection and this is contained in Brownhill Creek Recreation Park. A Key Objective in the Brownhill Creek Recreation Park Management Plan “is to maintain natural hydrology as far as possible”. Let us do just that!

  5. heather ruth farrent

    I have just visited this beautiful area today. If there are other options to stop flood damage, it would be a crying shame to build an ugly dam here. It would not only destroy the lovely Seven Pines area, but possibly other places full of history upstream. For example, my mother used to go to an old school near the ford on Tilley’s Hill Road. There is a private house there now. Areas along the creek were her playground when she was a kid. What would happen to an old quarry and the manure pits and other historical features along the Brown Hill creek road if the dam(n) was built? Would history, both Kaurna and early colonial be destroyed?

  6. Patrik Seibert

    When I came to Adelaide I thought, the brownhill creek is the most amazing part of Adelaide. So close to the city and so far. It is valley with its own environment. When you there you can forget all about the city sitting just around the corner. It is small and long valley. If you build the dam in the middle of it, it is disturbed forever. It is enough, there is a road going nowhere, but supporing those few residents in there. I wonder about the people, who want to build the dam. For them the life is just about money and no regard for environment and beauty. Is the flood really a problem? Perhaps the problem is not the flood, but desire of several councils to participate in something big. Big project, big money, problem solved and we all pay for it. Solved till 100 years later, we might find the dam didn’t work. (Doubt the concrete can survive 100 years.) But then those responsible won’t be here.

  7. Patrik Seibert

    I am a resident in Unley and our council is making all sorts of attempts to hide any storm water canals or creeks. However council wants more land to be occupied by residents, who pay rates, so they streamlined water on its way to the sea and hid it underground. People might wonder why we need desalination plant? Another smart and expensive project. Now the councils want more land from all of us to concrete and even want us to pay for it. They caused the problem in the first place by allowing people to live in flood risk areas. They cashed this extra money for years. All councils should try to mitigate the flood risk first in their council district as best they can before suggesting any solution outside. I could not see any flood safety measures taken anywhere in SA. Creeks virtually flow under or right next to the houses.

  8. Barry Hailstone

    The interview in Eastern Courier (Feb.1) with reporter Emma Altschwater and MIKE SALKELD, Brownhill Creek project adviser, shows clearly that the proposal for a dam is based on bad planning, false premises and the usual SA stunt of “lets do it on the cheap”.
    In the same issue there is a letter by KEN SIEVERS OF Coromandel Valley who hits the nail right on the head when he says the dam is only necessary because local counlcils did not put in a better system in the first place. Why should we put up with an ugly dam for the remote possibility of a flood in 100 years time to rectify something that is not of our making. Over to them. Mitcham Councillors and the |Mayor should be very careful about their decisions.

    1. Ava

      I agree completely, and I can’t believe that they’re even thinking of putting it in such a beautiful park!
      I have done a fair bit of research on this project, and there are other alternatives avaliable that are just as effective as the dam, and don’t harm the enviornment

  9. Rachael Temby

    Although at such an age of sixteen my comment will not amount to much, I still feel some value in expressing it. Brown Hill Creek has been my ‘safe place’ since I was young. From every visit I always gained a sense of ‘being’, the whole environment taught me about life, from birth, through to death. Brown Hill creek has always been a part to my story, and losing it would be absolutely devastating. I will do whatever is in my power to help out and stop this dam from proceeding.

    1. Info

      As a sixteen year old your comments can be more important because you represent the future of our society and environment. I found your words to be touching and powerful.

    2. Barry Hailstone

      Good on you Rachael. I am a grandfather. I went to Brownhill Creek when I was a kid. I took my children there when they were small. I take my grandchildren there now – to the same spots that I enjoyed when I was a child. My son and daughter ran along the running track when they were at school. My daughter rode a horse along the paths. Now there is a generation of people who want to stop this for no sensible reason! Your comment is more valuable than that any of the councillors or mayors who want change! We must fight them.

  10. Sam Polacek

    The building site of the Dam at Brownhill creek is conservation listed, and is an excellent recreational area that is easily accessible to the community in this area, provides a habitat for a few unique endangered species and a much wider range of other native fauna and flora. It has taken 5 years of volunteer effort to revegetate the area, with plans to continue this process upstream.

    I have a personal interest in that I personally use this space for walking and cycling, and I love to simply relax by the creek. A dam here will be an eyesore, and a five year construction plan will be devastating to the local ecology, damaging an area that is used not only be local residents unaffected by flood risk, but also people like myself who take residence in suburbs like unley or millswood, in high risk flood zones.

    If this dam is the only method of maintaining a good flood mitigation plan for a 1/100 or 1/500 year flood, then i am in full support of its construction. Keep in mind that these numbers are a probability, not an implication that it will happen 100 years from now, rather, it could happen at any time in the next 100 years.

    However, the brownhill creek association is demonstrating, and so far as I can see, has already demonstrated that there are not only other methods of controlling flow rates in the event of a 1-2 day constant rain event which could cause flooding, but that it can be done cheaper than the current plan which includes the construction of the proposed dam. The dam makes up less than 9% of the current budget, and has been underbudgeted by around 10%. Street level flood management, awareness programs and vegetation control can do just as much for flood mitigation as this dam, which is designed only to be effective in the event of a significant flood, and not in the event of a minor flood. Other, cheaper methods can not only be as effective as managing exceptionally high flow rates, but also flow rates that are above average, but not as rare as the proposed 1/100 or 1/500 year events, something which this dam is not designed or intended to manage.

    Flood mitigation is important, not because its a likely event, but because in the unlikely event, it will and can cause unheard of damage. 7000 homes flooding can cause damage in the range of 70 million to 7 billion dollars depending on the severity of the flood.

    As such, this flood mitigation plan should by no means be scrapped, but it can be made cheaper, more effective, and not at the cost of a rare snippet of natural ecology remaining in metro adealide, which also happens to be an excellent recreational and educational watering hole for families, joggers, cyclists, picknickers and local schools alike.

  11. Ron Bellchambers

    Our attempt to save the unique environment and heritage of Brownhill Creek Recreation Park, gifted to the people of South Australia in 1841 by Governor Grey for present and future generations, cannot sensibly be described as ” purely a self interest approach “. We care about the Park and we care about downstream residents. Our large community group is working hard with engineers to ensure that any No Dam option provides the same level of flood mitigation for downstream residents, minimizes disruption to Mitcham and Unley residents and limits any additional costs to the project. The proposed dam is only $10m out of the total project cost of $133m (7.5% ) and the catchment above the dam is less than 1/4 of the total catchment for stormwater. The dam is only a small part of the project and our aim is to find a viable alternative that is acceptable to the 5 catchment councils. Worley Parsons are currently assessing some promising No Dam options.

  12. Luke Frankham

    No Flood – No dam – No worries.
    Just imagine a world where Brownhill Creek didn’t have one in one hundred year floods and there was no dam across Brownhill Creek Valley. It would be ideal – no citizens worried about damage to their properties and a beautiful valley in its natural state without an ugly dam. Is this possible?

    By taking a step back, the warring parties can achieve this by studying the very report that has created the fear and loathing surrounding the proposal to dam the Brownhill Creek Valley.

    The Worley Parsons report is based upon the assumption of a computer model of a one in one hundred year rain event. This model is hypothetical and is based on variable projections. To take this assumption as an established unquestionable fact is naive.
    Your readers may be surprised to know that in the 200 years or so of white settlement no flood of this size has EVER been recorded in Brownhill Creek – in fact nothing close has ever been recorded.
    This fact was confirmed by consultants Worley Parsons at the City of Mitcham Council Chambers at the recent public meeting. The rain event that occurred in 2006 that has got a lot of people worried has been called a one in 20 year rain event by Worley Parsons. However you would need to go back to 1931 to find any similar rain event – almost 80 years. And before this there are no accurate records to support the existence of a rain event that we are told will happen ever hundred years. I recall the Premier Mike Rann calling the rain in 2006 a one in two hundred year flood at the time. It is clear that this is not a very exact science.
    Other factors put these dooms day predictions in doubt. Climate change predictions expect less rain not more. There is less water flowing out of the Brownhill Creek Valley than in the past – in fact the creek has been stopped flowing four out of the past five years.
    When looked at from a common sense point of view it is clear that this dam and fear of flooding is unnecessary . I and many others believe that there has been a campaign to scare the citizens who live along the upper and lower Brownhill Creek into accepting this project without questioning it’s accuracy . Recently tens of thousands of dollars was spent distributing a leaflet to residents to convince residents that the work is necessary.
    But why? Here are some good reasons for certain interest groups to push this project. Politicians and mayors love dramatic situations – they come to the rescue, miraculously solve the problem using rate payers money and take all the credit. Consultants and engineers love creating reports – it’s how they make a living. Construction companies love big projects – it’s how they keep shareholders happy. Developers who own land in areas zoned as flood prone love to have their land rezoned – they can build houses on creek beds they bought for nothing. It’s called a gravy train.
    It is now time for all citizens who are affected by this dam proposal to stand up as a united group and say to our elected representatives -“enough is enough, stop wasting our money, stop running fear campaigns, start working for the community not against it”.
    Only then will we have our ideal world with a beautiful creek meandering through a gorgeous valley without fear of flooding.

  13. Noel Cahill

    I am mobility disabled but have worked hundreds of hours in the park as a volunteer and oppose the dam proposal. Why hasn’t revegetation of cleared areas of the catchment been properly explored as a solution to flooding, when studies have shown this can diminish runoff by 14%?

  14. David Jackson

    Brownhill Creek is not the whole cause of any intermittent flooding downstream anyway. There must be a better use of the money than to build such an ugly monument which would only be used once in a hundred years. The ratepayers wold be sure to remember this at next Council elections if it went ahead

  15. John K. Lesses AM JP

    I’ve enjoyed the amenity of BHC reserve since 1955. Thanks to the group for the info leaflet that exposes the local councils inertia to address the issue in a collective manner-if only they did so once in 100 years.
    The plan white washes as it presents a preferred dam option. It appeals to an emotional response citing inconvenience to public due to alternative proposed road and storm water infrastructure works.
    Let’s utilise the 21 century’s bio-diversity options first without resorting to a 19 century solution.
    Make local councils take responsibility for long overdue action and hold them accountable to rate payers.
    Hands off our 170 year heritage site and icon national park.
    Organise to defend BHC as we now have it-stand up to the challenge!

  16. Charlie Watson

    Brownhill creek should be preserved, and not overrun with earthmoving equipment and machinery. Why the council spend this huge amount of money on something that is preparing for a 1 in 100 year flood event is beyond me. So much time has been spent planting trees and rehabilitating this great area by volunteers, and now they plan on wrecking it! Sounds like pure job justification to me.

  17. Jon

    My suggestion would be the revegetate the Brownhill Creek Catchment to hold back the designed amount of water to be held by the propsed dam. Therefore we have no dam. This is a long term solution as we have to wait for the trees to grow . More natural than a concrete structure .


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