The Minister for Water and the Minister for Planning established a Barwon River Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) to make recommendations to inform an Action Plan for future management and protection of the Barwon River and its tributaries.

The MAC will work in partnership with Traditional Owners, and with communities, to develop a vision and make recommendations for specific actions that support that vision.

The geographic scope of the MAC’s work includes the Barwon River, its catchments and tributaries, plus connected waterways including the Moorabool River and its catchment.

The MAC will build on existing information and recent community engagement in the region and will look for opportunities to address any gaps or emerging issues without duplicating processes already underway.

Christine Forster has been appointed Chair, bringing her extensive experience in water management and planning to the Committee. Ms Forster is highly regarded in the field of water reform and this role will build on her experience and decades of work in the water sector. This includes leading water reform as a member of the reference group in the development of the Victorian Government’s water plan, Water for Victoria, that supports the work for the protection of the Barwon River.

The Committee members also bring a range of skills and experience from the planning, environmental and cultural sectors.

  • Peter Greig is Chair of the Upper Barwon Landcare Network.
  • Chris Harty is a specialist in town planning and environmental science and is a sessional member of Planning Panels Victoria. He has run his own consultancy for 33 years.
  • Melinda Kennedy is a Wathaurung woman with extensive knowledge of traditional land and water practices and contemporary natural resource management. She engages with new and older residents in the urban growth communities on Wathaurung Country to provide them with cultural awareness that connects them to their place.
  • Kirsten Kilpatrick is an experienced town planner and passionate about the Geelong region. She has played an influential role in the direction of planning and efforts to advance prosperity and community wellbeing in Geelong, and the wider Barwon region.

platform along the Barwon River at dusk. Photo Courtesy of the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority

- Rowers on the Barwon River. Photo Courtesy Corangamite Catchment Management Authority

Images courtesy Corangamite Catchment Management Authority

Also announced in October 2018 was a partnership between the Victorian Fisheries Authority and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority which will fund $480,000 to build all-ability platforms for recreational access and activities access along the iconic Barwon at a number of points in Geelong.

More information

To keep up-to-date about the progress of the Barwon River Action Plan, register your interest by emailing

Page last updated: 12/04/19