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 support collaborative management of the river.

Delivering the plan is a Victorian Government commitment to protect our treasured Yarra River, Birrarung, and its parklands for future generations.

Imagine the Yarra: Yarra Strategic Plan

Finalising the Yarra Strategic Plan

In January 2020 we released the draft Yarra Strategic Plan for public comment – our first ever integrated corridor plan developed collaboratively by Traditional Owners and all 15 state and local government agencies involved in managing the river.

We’ve gathered a breadth of input from those passionate about the Yarra River and will now be incorporating this into the final plan, due to be released later in 2021.

View an overview of the draft plan

To view the draft plan in full, or further updates, please visit the Imagine the Yarra website:



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 and 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.


Developing a vision

Yarra Strategic Plan phase one community engagement, Abbotsford Convent, October 2017
Yarra Strategic Plan phase one community engagement, Abbotsford Convent, October 2017

Beginning in September 2017, the first phase of engagement focused on finding out what the community valued about the Yarra River to inform the development of the long-term community vision. Over 2,500 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.

Drafting the plan

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.

The draft Yarra Strategic Plan was launched on 22 January 2020 and was open for public consultation until 29 March 2020. During this final phase of public consultation, stakeholders and community were consulted in a variety of ways on what they would like to see incorporated into the final plan. These included stakeholder briefings, focus groups by invitation, community pop-up events, online surveys and written submissions.

Now that public consultation has closed, this feedback will be used to inform the final plan, due to be released later in 2021.

Further reading


For information on the Ministerial Advisory Committee process:

Last updated:
24 August 2021