The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) shares the responsibility for Melbourne's waterways and development of the surrounding land with a range of state agencies and local governments. Melbourne's two main rivers are the Yarra and the Maribyrnong. Many other waterways make a significant contribution to Melbourne's landscape and liveability.
The State Government is committed to protecting both the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers from inappropriate development and safeguarding public access.
A series of projects under way provide actions to guide the future enhancement and protection of the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers and other waterways – both for the adjoining land and the waterways themselves. Each project has a distinctive purpose relating to protection, conservation and future enhancement of the rivers and their immediate surroundings or catchments.
Port Phillip and Westernport Regional River Health Strategy
The regional river health strategy provides a five-year blueprint for Melbourne Water and the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority to work with councils, community groups and environment and industry associations.
The goal of the river health strategy is to ensure that the 8000 kilometres of rivers and creeks in the region are healthy, with increased numbers of native fish, platypus, other fauna and plants. The aim is that all natural rivers and creeks be in a good or better condition by 2025. Melbourne Water in partnership with the Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority, released the Port Phillip and Westernport Regional River Health Strategy in 2007. This is an important component of the Port Phillip and Westernport Regional Catchment Strategy.
For more information read the Melbourne Water project website.
Port Phillip and Westernport Regional Catchment Strategy 2004 - 2009
The regional catchment strategy applies to the Port Phillip and Western Port region. The strategy describes the natural assets of the region and how they are interrelated. It outlines what needs to be done to manage and use the assets in a sustainable way. The Port Phillip and Western Port Regional Catchment Strategy (RCS) was accredited by the State and Commonwealth Governments in December 2004.
The RCS is an important planning and working document for all organisations and people involved in natural resource management in the region - including government agencies and councils, water authorities and Landcare and community groups. Its main focus is the land, water and biodiversity in the region including coastal and marine areas. It provides a framework for effort, an investment guide, a means of integrating policy and an action plan for catchment works. It allocates tasks, defining the roles and responsibilities for many stakeholders in the delivery of environmental programs across the region. It is also a regional investment guide, informing the allocation of State and Commonwealth investment in natural resource management in the region.
For further information read the CMA project website.
The Yarra River environs contains some of the most valuable landscape, flora, fauna, geological and geomorphological assets in metropolitan Melbourne.
The Maribyrnong River is a unique environment and a recreational resource for Melbourne's western suburbs. Members of the local community have a strong attachment to the river, including an appreciation of its industrial and cultural heritage, environmental values and the sense of remoteness still available in the upper reaches of the river.
Kororoit Creek is one of Melbourne's major waterways and an important natural asset of the western suburbs. It is significant to the public, with environmental and cultural values while also providing recreation, walking, and cycling opportunities for the local community.
Two Rivers Project
The focus of this project is on integrated planning for the use of the navigable sections of the waterways for recreation and tourism. Parks Victoria is responsible for the Two Rivers Project, which aims to bring together the key management agencies to develop a shared vision for access to the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers. The Two Rivers Project Steering Committee includes DPCD, the Cities of Melbourne and Maribyrnong, Tourism Victoria, Port of Melbourne Corporation, Marine Safety Victoria, VicUrban and Melbourne Water.
There are a number of inter-related plans which include:
Sustainable Dredging Strategy
Event Management Framework
River Traffic Management Plan
Licensing System and Berthing Plan
Water and Land Access Master Plan
Responsible Government Agencies
The future planning and management of Melbourne’s two major rivers – the Yarra and Maribyrnong - involves several State Government agencies and local government:
- Local councils
Other Waterway Links
- Merri Creek Management Committee
- Darebin Creek Management Committee
- DSE Water Sector
- Moonee Pond Creek Coordination Committee
- Living Links (Dandenong Creek Catchment)
- Kororoit Creek Catchment Coordination Project