Recognising Recreational Values

The Recreational values program has been delivering on the Victorian Government’s commitment to recognise the recreational values of water in the way our water and waterways are managed, as articulated across the three actions in Chapter 7 of Water for Victoria:

  • Action 7.1. Include recreational values in water and waterway planning
  • Action 7.2. Help communities understand how to achieve their recreational objectives
  • Action 7.3. Support recreation at water storages through infrastructure and better information

EC4 Expenditure to date

Enhancing waterway management for recreational values $1,110,000 $140,000 - -
Water for Victoria: Recognising recreational values - $1,532,000 $1,014,000 $986,000
Remediate Green Lake (Sea Lake) - $1,880,000 - -
Boosting Recreational Water Use – Victorian Government Recreational Water Initiative - - $1,595,000 $1,595,000

Action 7.1

The program has clarified expectations and created better linkages across the water sector (all water corporations, catchment management authorities (CMAs) and the Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH)) to incorporate recreational values and objectives in water and waterway planning.

  • The Water and Catchments Amendment Act 2019 enshrined the consideration of social and recreational values in waterway management into law for the first time across Victoria.
  • In addition, the Recreational values team
    • Reviewed water agency annual reports and provided guidance for corporate planning to incorporate recreational values and meet the requirement following the legislative change.
    • Improved water agency corporate planning and reporting to incorporate recreational values, with 30 organisations now meeting benchmarks to provide information on recreation in their Corporate Plans and Annual Reports.
    • Supported the technical investigations into options for project partners to improve water-based recreational experiences.

Actions 7.2 and 7.3

The program has partnered with delivery agencies to complete a suite of projects to address these key actions over the past four years:

  • Clay-lined the iconic Green Lake in the Sea Lake region in north-west Victoria, so that the community has been able to welcome visitors and boats onto the water for the first time in eight years.
  • Delivered water to Toolondo Reservoir in August 2017 via a transfer of water from Rockland Reservoir. This attracted more recreational fishers to the reservoir as a trout fishing destination, resulting in a boost to the local tourism industry in the region.
  • Delivered water to Donald Weir Pool in March 2018 after construction works were completed in June 2017. The Donald community can now enjoy better swimming, fishing and other recreational activities at the iconic Donald Weir Pool.
  • Opened seven new water storage locations for on-water access across the State. On-water access is now available at Barkers Creek, Tullaroop, Upper Coliban, Hepburn Lagoon, Malmsbury and Lauriston Reservoirs from 2019. Dartmouth Pondage access was made available in 2018.
  • Six iconic waterbodies across the State have had targeted on-ground works to improve recreational access, facilities and visitor experience (Wimmera River, Lake Eildon, Lake Eppalock, Maribyrnong River, Blue Rock Lake, Campaspe River)
    • On the Wimmera River, new shelters, seating and canoe launching facilities have been installed at Horsham Weir Pool. At Dimboola the rowing pontoon has been upgraded to enable boat launching at a variety of water levels, improving the safety and experience for recreational users.
    • At Lake Eildon, improvements include the widening of the Alliance boat ramp to dual lanes, the replacement of the ageing Jerusalem Creek toilet block, and the upgrade of the facilities at Hutchinson's Rd to formalise vehicle and boat trailer parking as well as subsurface drainage installation.
    • At Lake Eppalock, Randalls Cove and Kimbolton, foreshore areas have received new toilet facilities, an upgrade of shelters, new bollards and signage.
    • On the Maribyrnong River, new picnic facilities and a floating pontoon for boat launching and fishing are now open.
    • At Blue Rock Lake’s recreation area, a new all-abilities adventure playground has been constructed.
    • On the Campaspe River, a new fishing platform and kayak launch facility has been installed at the Rochester Riverside Holiday Park.
  • Three more sites are on track for completion by mid-2021:
    • At Werribee River Park, rock terraces will provide new access for fishing and boat launching on the lower Werribee River to be completed by March 2021, in addition to improvements to the adjacent River Red Gums walk and the production of a Water Recreation Plan for the lower Werribee River
    • On the Barwon River, the Yolinko Wetland Walk has been improved to better allow all-abilities access, and three further multi-use platforms will be upgraded for fishing, rowing and canoe launching by April 2021
    • On Moonee Ponds Creek, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge will be completed by May 2021, linking Brunswick West to Essendon, creating a new commuter route and supporting local connection to nature.

Page last updated: 28/10/22