If you own land that fronts onto a river or creek, you may be eligible for funding to help you manage the land. Our Stream frontage management program supports work that protects or enhances riverbanks, such as weed control, fencing and planting native vegetation.
Find out if you are eligible and how to apply.
Audio described version
Melbourne Water’s Stream Frontage Management Program (SFMP) provides cost-share project funding to private landholders who manage a waterway frontage on their property.
Who can apply
To be eligible, you must live in the Port Phillip and Westernport region and either:
- own freehold land that fronts onto a river or creek
- manage crown land that fronts onto a river or creek (licensed through the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
We give preference to frontages greater than 50 metres along rivers and creeks in the Port Phillip and Westernport region.
We also prioritise applications for frontages with links to areas of high value vegetation or other waterway improvement work.
In urban areas we give preference to stream frontage land if neighbours are joining together to protect their local creek.
How to apply
Please complete an expression of interest form and return it to us. We will send you an acknowledgement when we receive your application.
If you are eligible, we will contact you to arrange a site assessment. This allows us to discuss the project with you to develop it further, ensuring the work meets everyone’s requirements.
We may need to hold your details on file until funding becomes available – this date varies each year.
Types of work funded
We help fund a range of materials and works, including:
- streamside fencing
- weed control
- setting up watering points for livestock away from rivers
- new planting or revegetation
- minor work to stabilise riverbanks
- some ongoing maintenance
You could also apply for funding to cover the costs of:
- technical advice
- training and education
We fund a greater proportion of fencing costs the further you set back your fence from the riverbank. The minimum average set-back we will fund is 10 metres.
The table below outlines our contributions.
|Fence distance (from top of riverbank)||Our contribution|
Depending on your project, you may need to:
- organise contractors to carry out works
- complete the works within the agreed time period – usually 12 or 18 months
- fence off the waterway to the agreed set-back and keep fences and gates in good order
- maintain new plantings
- organise initial and follow-up weed control
- keep livestock out of revegetated or regenerated areas
- use sympathetic farm and land management practices
- continue to manage the land in the long term
Benefits of the program
Stream frontage management funding aims to improve and enhance riverbanks in order to protect river health. The benefits to you include:
- increasing your land value through improved landscapes and stable land
- improving riverbed and bank stability
- improving the productivity of farms, through better livestock and pasture management, and shelter for crops
- increasing the amount of wildlife living in and near the river, creating healthy habitats and ecosystems
- improving water quality
If your project is long-term or will be completed in stages, we will consider providing ongoing funding.
Contact the River Health team for more information to help with your application: