You are here

Melbourne's garden, Uno's Garden and the Urban Growth Boundary - by Catherine Manning

Image from cover of Graeme Base, Uno's Garden, Viking, Penguin Australia, 2006

Re: Proposed Urban Growth Boundary changes.

There is a fantastic book by renowned author Graeme Base, that I often read to my children. It’s called ‘Uno’s Garden’. It’s about a guy named Uno, who arrives in the forest one beautiful day, where there are many fascinating and extraordinary animals there to greet him. And one entirely exceptional Snortlepig.

Uno loves the forest so much, he decides to live there. But, in time, a little village grows up around his house. Then a town, then a city….and soon Uno realises that the animals and plants have begun to disappear….
(sounding familiar?)


Graeme Base starts his book with this rhyme:

‘The animals go one by one
A hundred plants, then there were none
And all the while the buildings double…
This numbers game adds up to trouble’

So significant is this story, that it featured as the Myer Christmas windows in 2007. If you haven’t already read the book, I urge you to get a copy. It really is easy to read, and makes perfect sense.

On behalf of my children, I would like you to seriously consider the moral of this story when determining the UGB and population expansion.

Sharing our backyard on the periphery of the proposed new South East UGB, are EPBC listed, endangered Southern Brown Bandicoots. To my kids, these are like the ‘Snortlepig’ in the story. They think the Government must be careful to protect them as it’s important we have biodiversity. They really get that. What they don’t get, is that the Government is now planning to shift the boundary of the Urban Growth Corridor encroaching into Green Wedge land further threatening the SBB’s, to make way for more ‘concrete and McMansions’. They are worried that it will never end, and wonder where all the animals and farmers producing our food are going to go. They are worried that when they get ‘old’, their children and grandchildren will suffer for today’s government’s seeming lack of concern for the environment.

What should I tell them?

Submitted by: Catherine Manning [to the Growth Areas Authority]
Friday 17th July, 2009.

Photographs of Southern Brown Bandicoots in our backyard near Clyde.

Image icon unos-garden.jpg106.11 KB
Image icon uno's-garden-little.jpg6.72 KB
Image icon bandicoot1.jpg47.69 KB
Image icon bandicoot2.jpg65.16 KB
Image icon bandicoot3.jpg65.05 KB


Dear Catherine,

I found your comments about bandicoots in Clyde.
Seeing that you are living in the area I thought you might be interested in its history.

I'm Joan and grew up in Clyde.



Joan Vanderhorn