Following the release of the draft Victorian Rural Drainage Strategy in October 2017, we invited the community to have a say on the draft Strategy by:

  • Attending workshops held at various locations across Victoria
  • Making written submissions
  • Direct discussions with the project team.

Consultation feedback

Across Victoria, 160 people attended nine community and stakeholder workshops to contribute their views on the draft Strategy.

Individuals and organisations with an interest in rural drainage were well represented at the workshops. The largest group of attendees were landholders (32 per cent), followed by councils (27 per cent) and catchment management authorities (18 per cent).

Feedback through 49 written submissions captured comments on all aspects of the draft Strategy. The largest number of submissions came from landholders, followed by local councils.

There were also submissions from government agencies, environment groups and community groups, such as the Yarragon and District Community Association.

You can view the public submissions below.

Pie graph showing who submissions came from: 32 per cent from Landholders, 27 per cent from Council, 15 per cent from Catchment Management Authorities, 7 per cent from Aboriginal Victorians and Traditional Owner Groups, 7 per cent from Environment Groups, 17 per cent from Others.

Those who opted to contribute to the consultation through direct one-on-one engagement included environment groups, landholders and councils.

What we heard

Stakeholders strongly supported the intent to deliver a Strategy and offered a range of views and suggestions on all aspects of the draft Strategy. These included:

  • Suggested improvements to the vision statement.
  • Calls for stronger recognition of differences in drainage issues across the state, such as the impacts of drainage on water quality in the Gippsland Lakes, flat landscape and wetlands in the Wimmera, and development upstream of the Trafalgar Flats drainage area.
  • Widespread support for agricultural productivity and streamlining environmental approvals, but not at the expense of the environment.
  • Ways we could improve or clarify roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders.
  • Requests for greater information and detail on compliance, enforcement, and dispute resolution.
  • Requests for guidance on specific issues such as climate change and cultural heritage.

Stakeholders (seated) listening to a female speaker (standing)

How we responded

In line with the commitments in DELWP’s Community Charter, the final Strategy has been revised in a number of ways. This final Strategy includes:

  1. A revised vision statement.
  2. 11 pilot projects have been funded across the state that will support landholders and agenices to; address the different regional rural drainage issues; increase local capability to deliver the strategy; and support landholders to prioritise any required on-ground works.
  3. A continued focus on agricultural productivity, and a commitment to simplify the approvals for rural drainage while protecting and improving environmental and cultural values. Pilot projects in the north and west of the State will consider opportunities to restore old drainage areas for environmental and cultural benefits.
  4. The strategy provides clear roles and responsibilities for agencies and landholders. It is supported by a Drainage Resource Kit that includes a decision making process for how landholders can manage rural drainage under the range of options available to them and the support they will get for each option.
  5. A commitment to develop a simplified consistent approvals framework for landholders considering rural drainage, along with clear roles and responsibiltiies for compliance and enforcement.
  6. A table of options to consider dipute resolution based on a range of causes of diputes.
  7. A tool to consider investment in rural drainage under a range of climate scenarios.
  8. Greater clarity on the roles and responsibilities for managing cultural heritage and a pilot project to develop a Voluntary Cultural Heritage Management Plan.

View written submissions

Aboriginal Victorian and Traditional Owner Groups

Page last updated: 15/10/2018