This initiative is implementing the government's commitment to protect the Yarra River corridor from inappropriate development and to introduce a Yarra River Protection Bill to establish a trust to promote the river's amenity and significance.

Total EC3 investment: $1.0 m

2015-16 expenditure: $0.485 m
2016-17 expenditure: $0.515 m


This initiative continues to be funded by the Government, including funding from the fourth tranche of the Environmental Contribution, to enable delivery of the initial priority actions under the Plan.

In July 2016, the Yarra MAC published a Discussion Paper proposing a new management model, Protecting the Yarra River (Birrarung). This release marked the start of a five week public and stakeholder consultation period. Following the public consultation period, the Yarra MAC provided their recommendations to Government.

The Government released its Yarra River Action Plan in February 2017. It follows recommendations made by the Yarra MAC and outlines 30 actions to protect the Yarra River and its parklands.

One of the key actions from the Action Plan has already been completed; the Yarra River Protection (wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act 2017 came into operation on 1 December 2017.  The first of its kind in Australia, the Yarra Act identifies the Yarra River and the many hundreds of parcels of public land it flows through as one living, integrated natural entity for protection and improvement.

Another key action is to establish a council to provide ‘a voice for the Yarra’.  A call for public expressions of interest in Birrarung Council member roles was released at the end of December 2017, with appointments by mid-2018.

The other significant action, the Yarra Strategic Plan, commenced and the first phase of community engagement is now complete.  The community assemblies for developing the Yarra Vision are scheduled for early February 2018.

The action to implement stronger planning controls has been implemented.  Revisions have been made to the State Planning Policy to strengthen protections of environmental and landscape values along the river.  Stronger planning controls (height, set back and screening) have been introduced from Punt Road to Warrandyte, an area under greatest development pressure, on an interim basis. These will be finalised after Councils consult with their local communities.

Page last updated: 28/10/22