Protecting the Yarra River

Protecting the Yarra River Update - December 2017 

Yarra River Action Plan

The Victorian Government has committed to protecting the Yarra River’s amenity and significance by introducing legislation, stronger planning controls and a Trust (or similar entity) to ensure this valuable asset is protected for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

On 26 February 2017, the Victorian Government released the Yarra River Action Plan, containing 30 actions with assigned timeframes and lead agencies. These 30 actions include:

  • The preparation of a Strategic Plan led by Melbourne Water with a 50 year community vision. 
  • The preparation of stronger and more consistent planning controls for the Yarra River Corridor.
  • The preparation of a Yarra River (Birrarung) Protection Bill to establish an overarching planning framework for the Yarra River. The aim of the framework is to coordinate waterway, public land and infrastructure management, cultural and heritage and statutory land use planning.

Project background

In December 2015 the Minister for Planning and the then Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water appointed the Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee (Yarra MAC) to provide independent advice to government on the key issues and opportunities for the river as well as improvements to governance arrangements.

As part of its deliberations the Yarra MAC sought feedback from the community on the key issues and opportunities for the river. A discussion paper, Protecting the Yarra River (Birrarung) outlined the key issues and proposed a new management model for the river.

Is Your Property Affected?

View Clause 43.02, Schedule 3 of the Stonnington Planning Scheme. Community consultation will continue from early 2018.

Further Information

Visit the Yarra River Protection website or call 1300 366 356

For more information and progress about the Strategic Plan and Protection Bill, visit Melbourne Water’s website.

For more information on the planning controls, visit the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s website.

Protecting the Yarra River Update - October 2017 

Melbourne Water is leading the development of the Yarra Strategic Plan and is seeking the community’s input and stories about the Yarra River.

The Yarra Strategic Plan will provide the framework for future planning of the river corridor. Visit the Melbourne Water website for more information.

Protecting the Yarra River Discussion Paper - August 2016 

The State Government of Victoria is inviting Victorians to have their say on future management options for the Yarra River.  A discussion paper has been prepared by a Government appointed Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee, to generate discussion on how the Yarra River is managed and protected in the future. It is open for public comment until Friday 5 August 2016.

Community workshops and listening posts are being held late July and August by the Advisory Committee.  For dates and times visit

The City of Stonnington welcomes the release of this paper and encourages residents to contribute their ideas to the future planning process.

Having initiated the Lower Yarra River Biodiversity Linkages Project within Stonnington, Council has so far invested more than $5 million towards the protection and rejuvenation of the Yarra River, and is committed to ensuring the sustainable future of this major waterway and its surrounds.

The project has already seen an increase in habitat connectivity and an improvement in water quality through native revegetation and the installation of a bioretention water treatment system. The construction of an ephemeral wetland system is helping to filter storm water run-off into the river, and more than 200,000 new plants are providing shelter for a growing number of birds, fish and wildlife.

The City of Stonnington Mayor, Cr Claude Ullin said “In line with our Sustainable Environment Strategy, Council will continue to work in partnership with the community and the State Government to protect and enhance the Yarra, and the natural and urban environments surrounding it.

The consultation stage of the State Government’s discussion paper is an important part of this work, and Stonnington residents are strongly encouraged to join the conversation,” he added.