If you plan to construct or make changes to a low-risk stock crossing as part of a Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways grant project, you must get our approval.

A low-risk stock crossing is any stock crossing or culvert passing over a Melbourne Water creek, river, stream, drain or formed channel.

Any works undertaken without Melbourne Water approval are considered illegal under the Water Act.

Before you apply

Prior to applying, make sure you have:

  • submitted a grant application through the Liveable Communities, Liveable Waterways (LCLW) program and have a LCLW ID
  • discussed your project with a Waterways and Land Officer or Rural Land Officer
  • attended a site visit with Melbourne Water and a consultant (engaged by Melbourne Water) to develop design drawings
  • reviewed and acquired an indicative cost for the crossing construction, and in-principle support the design drawings supplied via Melbourne Water.

You should also consider:

  • approvals from other authorities or private owners who may be affected by your works – we may need evidence of this before giving formal approval
  • planning permit – ask your council if one is required.

Approval process

When reviewing your plans, we consider how the crossing will be used and the characteristics of the waterway or drain. We assess impacts on the environment and flood levels for surrounding properties, as well as safety and risk.

Concept review

Submit the following documentation for our review:

  • design drawings 
  • exact location of works (include Melways reference if known)
  • photos of the proposed site
  • extent of proposed rock work, vegetation removal or revegetation (if applicable) 
  • any existing crossing.

We will respond with any requirements your plans must meet.

Formal design approval

You will need to submit:

  • detailed design plans of proposed work
  • survey plans indicating bank cross section/profiles (if applicable)
  • hydraulic assessment
  • environmental assessment
  • any other requirements we requested at the concept review stage.

We will confirm if we approve your crossing plans, and may also request copies of approvals from other relevant agencies.

Formal agreement

Before you start work, you’ll need to enter into a formal agreement with us.

Private crossings will require you to enter into a Low-risk stock crossing agreement that defines liability and ongoing maintenance. Agreements are sent electronically via a highly secure, encrypted online platform. 

You may need to respond with a written acceptance to comply with our conditions.


Before starting works, you must contact our Waterways and Land Officer or Rural Land Officer for a pre-commencement discussion with your contractor onsite.

A final inspection is required upon completion of works.  


There are no application fees.

Important information

Your application may experience a delay if there are any issues. Delays in the application process may happen if:

  • The information and documentation are incomplete or missing.
  • We need to further investigate the complexity of the development.

We assess applications on a case-by-case basis and will notify you of the following outcomes once we have completed the review.

  1. The application approved. Project can move forward. 
  2. The application approved. Conditions need to be met before the project can move forward. 
  3. The application declined. We will notify you of the reasons the project cannot move forward. (reasons given). 
  4. Application needs to be assessed further, and we need more information.

Contact us

If you need any help completing this application, contact us on 131 722.

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