The Yarra Strategic Plan

Melbourne Water is leading the development of the Yarra Strategic Plan, which will give effect to the community’s long-term vision for the Yarra and provide the basis for the future planning of the river corridor and each of its reaches.

​Following the Ministerial Advisory Committee recommendations in 2016, the Victorian Government’s Yarra River Action Plan was released in early 2017.  It detailed 30 actions to ensure the long-term protection of the Yarra River, and its environs and parklands.  

The Action Plan nominated Melbourne Water as the lead agency for seven actions including the development of a 50 year Community Vision for the Yarra, which will become the foundation for an overarching Yarra Strategic Plan (YSP).

Landmark legislation has been introduced to the Victorian Parliament to deliver the Action Plan (including the YSP) to protect the Yarra River for future generations.  In an Australian first, the Yarra River Protection (Willip-gin Birrarung Murron) Act 2017, identifies the Yarra River and the many hundreds of parcels of public land it flows through as one living, integrated natural entity for protection and improvement.

There are four key elements that will guide Melbourne Water’s development of the YSP:

  • the overall environmental health of the river (waterway and riparian land)
  • community use, access and amenity of the river and parklands
  • the river’s landscape setting and interface of the river corridor with adjacent land use
  • cultural and heritage values 

We will work in partnership with Traditional Owners and public entities with delivery responsibilities along the river to develop the Yarra Strategic Plan.

How to get involved

Continuing and expanding on the conversations started in 2016 by the Ministerial Advisory Committee, the development of the Yarra Strategic Plan will work to understand the community’s values, concerns and hopes for the river.

The first phase of engagement (September to November 2017) focused on gathering community input into the development of the 50-year vision, which will become the cornerstone of the Yarra Strategic Plan.

Melbourne Water would like to thank all the passionate people who shared their Yarra stories and contributed to the Yarra Strategic Plan in 2017.

The 50-year community vision will articulate a story that understands and celebrates the past, values people’s experiences now and imagines a healthy and iconic river for all Victorians in the future. The vision will be written by a Community Assembly in the first weekend in February 2018.

The next phase of our community engagement will commence in April 2018, in the meantime please visit to read through the many stories that make the Yarra special or to register your interest in being involved.

If you’re keen to participate please visit our engagement site or email [email protected]

Further reading

For information on the Ministerial Advisory Committee process:

Other relevant material:

Last updated:
3 January 2018