PLANS to transform a stretch of the Bendigo Creek could pave the way for hundreds of years of landscaping and modifications, an Indigenous leader says.
City planners are considering the plan to add ripples, eddies and fast-flowing water to the creek mimicking a natural watercourse, papers lodged with the City of Greater Bendigo show.
The 630 metre stretch between Weeroona Avenue and Knight Street is one of two plans proposed for White Hills.
The other would be a series of ponds downstream at The Boulevard that would act as a mini-wetland harvesting stormwater for irrigation.
Both are part of plans by traditional owners the Dja Dja Wurrung to improve water quality and native habitats.
The plans would mimic the original creek's flow, before the transformation brought on by 170 years of mining, agriculture and urban development.
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It could take hundreds of years to connect disparate stretches of the creek through re-engineering and landscaping, Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation CEO Rodney Carter said.
"We have expected, in the past, to see our creeks and streams as a type of drain to get rid of stormwater," he said.
"Now, we are realising that water is one of our greatest assets and the longer we have it in the landscape the better. It's not just good for wildlife. It's good for people too.
"I would love to see kids come beck into the environment and away from those smart phone apps. If we can get them away even for a few moments, that's got to be a win."
The $80,000 Knight Street stretch would act as a pilot project for future works along the creek, the planning application stated.
The project has already thrown up challenges.
"The original intent of the project was to return (this) small section of the creek in-stream ... back to a chain of ponds," the application states.
However there were concerns about the volume of water and engineering challenges at that site, Mr Carter said.
Building "riffles" - rocky or shallow parts of the stream where water flows brokenly - would mimic a chain-of-ponds as much as possible, the application stated.
Rock chutes would be used to back water up before being funneled through the riffles.
The project would improve water quality and the habitat in and around the creek, the plan stated.
Couch grass and a date palm would be among weeds removed, while some native vegetation would also need to make way for plants once prolific to the area and that were culturally significant the Djaara people.
"I have in my own mind's eye the historic images and older people's stories and experiences. I think we are really on to something," Mr Carter said.
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