COVID-19 update: Melbourne Water is continuing to deliver grant programs to councils and the community during this time, and working to minimise any changes to processing times. For enquiries about existing grant projects and Melbourne Water’s Incentives programs, contact the Customer Service Centre on 131 722 or email [email protected]

Stream frontage management program

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.

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

Preferred applicants

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

Fencing contributions

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​
10 metres​ 50%​
15 metres​ 65%​
20 metres​ 80%​

Your role

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.

A new incentives program is coming soon – we are broadening our existing incentives and grants offerings to better support our customers and the community by creating a new Incentives Program. This does not affect your existing grants at this stage and existing programs remain open for new applications. We will engage with you further once the new program is refined.

Contact us

Contact the River Health team for more information to help with your application:

 Submit an enquiry form  

 131 722

Last updated:
12 August 2019