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 support collaborative management of the river.
Melbourne Water has undertaken significant engagement to inform the development of the Yarra Strategic Plan, with over 3,300 community members contributing so far.
Melbourne Water is leading the collaborative development of the plan alongside Traditional Owners and state and local government partner agencies.
As Traditional Owners, the Wurundjeri Woi wurrung people have contributed their unique knowledge and understanding of the river to the development of the plan.
Once complete, the Yarra Strategic Plan will give effect to the Yarra River 50 Year Community Vision and enable collaborative management of the river with Traditional Owners, to ensure the Yarra is managed as one living and integrated entity.
The draft Yarra Strategic Plan is currently being written. Once approved by the project partners, the draft plan will be released for public comment.
Following the Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee’s 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 parklands.
The landmark Yarra River Protection (Willip-gin Birrarung Murron) Act 2017 calls for the development of the Yarra Strategic Plan and identifies the Yarra River and the public land it flows through as one living, integrated natural entity for protection.
In 2017 Melbourne Water was nominated to lead the development of the Yarra River 50 Year Community Vision and the Yarra Strategic Plan.
Ministers Lily D'Ambrosio, Richard Wynne and Lisa Neville at the launch of the Yarra River 50 Year Community Vision, May 2018
Beginning in September 2017, the first phase of engagement focused on finding out what the community value about the Yarra River to inform the development of the long-term community vision. Over 2500 contributions were collected.
In February 2018 Melbourne Water brought together 24 passionate citizens, known as the Yarra River Community Assembly, to write the community vision for the Yarra.
Members of the assembly heard from experts, including Wurundjeri Elders and community, about the history of the Yarra and its significance to Traditional Owners.
The group used the stories gathered from the broader community to write the Yarra River 50 Year Community Vision.
The vision was launched in May 2018 and provides direction for the Yarra Strategic Plan to ensure the river remains a proud part of Victoria’s identity.
Between May and August 2018 Melbourne Water undertook community engagement to build the content of the draft Yarra Strategic Plan.
This engagement included a series of community workshops, an online survey and an interactive online map.
Yarra Strategic Plan phase one community engagement, Abbotsford Convent, October 2017
How to get involved
Melbourne Water would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the Yarra Strategic Plan so far.
The next phase of community engagement will commence once the draft Yarra Strategic Plan is approved by all agency partners.
For information on the Ministerial Advisory Committee process:
- Protecting the Yarra River (Birrarung) Discussion Paper
- Community Views Report (PDF, 4.2 MB)
- Protecting the Yarra River (Birrarung) Ministerial Advisory Committee Final Report
- Yarra River Action Plan