After an extensive period of consultation with the Traditional Owners, community and stakeholders, we now have the first draft plan to holistically protect and enhance the entire Yarra River corridor - the draft Yarra Strategic Plan.
In 2017, the landmark Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act (the Act) passed through the Victorian Parliament, enshrining in law the protection of the Yarra River and its parklands.
The Act identifies the Yarra River and its corridor as ‘one living, integrated natural entity for protection and improvement’. This legislation enshrines in law the protection of the Yarra River corridor and acknowledges the significance of the river to the Wurundjeri Woi wurrung people, highlighting their ongoing role in its management.
The Act calls for collaborative management of the Yarra River corridor, driven by the development of a long-term community vision.
The draft 10-year Yarra Strategic Plan sets the foundation to achieve the Yarra River 50 Year Community Vision and deliver on aspirations contained in the Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation’s Nhanbu narrun ba ngargunin twarn Birrarung (Ancient Spirit & Lore of the Yarra) water policy. This draft has been developed by Melbourne Water, as lead agency, in collaboration with 15 state and local government entities.
Delivering the Yarra Strategic Plan is a Victorian Government commitment to protect our treasured Yarra River, Birrarung, and its parklands for future generations.
Collaborative responsibility for delivering the Yarra Strategic Plan
The draft Yarra Strategic Plan has been prepared by the Yarra Collaboration Committee. The Committee is made up of Melbourne Water, as lead agency, and representatives from Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation; Banyule City Council; Boroondara City Council; the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning; Department of Transport (including VicRoads); Manningham Council; Melbourne City Council; Melbourne Water; Nillumbik Shire Council; Parks Victoria; Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority; Stonnington City Council; Victorian Planning Authority; VicTrack; Yarra City Council and Yarra Ranges Council.
The draft Yarra Strategic Plan Framework
The draft Yarra Strategic Plan is delivered in two parts.
Part 1: Working together to deliver the Community Vision details the following key areas:
- What we are already doing for the Yarra River: current investment and management for the protection and improvement of Yarra River land (state-owned land within 500 metres of the river).
- Custodianship of the Birrarung: Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation bring their unique knowledge and understanding of the river to the Yarra Strategic Plan. Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation involvement in policy planning, decision-making and management of the river will help preserve and restore the wellbeing of the Birrarung.
- Collaborative actions for the next 10 years: outlines changes to our current governance models to align activities and coordinate investment. The draft plan sets out a series of foundational actions to enable collaborative management of the Yarra River and Yarra River land and achieve the 10-year performance objectives.
Part 2: Land Use Framework:
- The Land Use Framework is a regional planning framework that ensures the Yarra River is at the centre of future land use and development decisions. It provides maps and land use directions to ensure that activities on public and private land one kilometre either side of the river align with the 50 Year Community Vision and Nhanbu narrun ba ngargunin twarn Birrarung
- It is proposed that the Land Use Framework strategic directions will be referenced or incorporated into local planning schemes, once public feedback on the draft Yarra Strategic Plan has been considered and the panel has made its recommendations (see the timeline and FAQs for more details regarding these processes).