Catchment Management Authorities are established for each of the ten catchment and land protection regions under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994.

Board members have experience and knowledge in land and water management, water resources and the water industry, environment or natural resource management, primary industry, strategic or business planning, and financial management. More than 50 per cent of board members must be primary producers (except for the Port Phillip and Westernport region).

They are responsible for the development, coordination and monitoring of Regional Catchment Strategies; advising ministers on regional priorities and resource allocation, and the condition of land and water resources; coordinating works to protect and enhance land and water resources; and encouraging participation of land managers in integrated catchment management. They have stewardship roles for Landcare, biodiversity, pest and salinity management.

Catchment Management Authorities have specific responsibilities for waterway management under the Water Act 1989, except for Port Phillip and Westernport region where Melbourne Water has the waterway management responsibilities. Collectively, the nine CMAs and Melbourne Water are referred to as the waterway managers. The waterway managers have the lead role in developing and delivering regional programs for waterway management, in particular developing Regional Waterway Strategies and associated action plans. They develop and coordinate implementation of floodplain management plans, have drainage management responsibilities, and respond to natural disasters, incidents and emergencies.

Catchment Management Authorities are referral authorities for land use planning and building approvals, and provide advice in relation to land management, waterways and flooding. They also provide advice on planning scheme amendments for consistency with Regional Catchment Strategies, Regional Waterway Strategies and drainage programs.

The Commissioner’s role is to report on the condition of Victoria’s natural environment, encourage decision making that facilitates ecologically sustainable development, enhance knowledge and understanding of issues relating to ecologically sustainable development and the environment, and encourage Victorian and local governments to adopt sound environmental practices and procedures.

The Commissioner prepares the five-yearly State of the Environment Report for Victoria, undertakes annual strategic audits of the environmental management systems of Victorian Government agencies and public authorities, and works and consults with all sectors of the Victorian community.

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources aims to sustainably grow Victoria’s economy and employment by working with the private and public sectors to foster innovation, productivity, investment and trade.

The department includes the agriculture, fisheries, biosecurity, forest industries, regional development and tourism portfolios.

The department manages Victoria’s natural and built environments to create and maintain liveable, inclusive and sustainable communities.

It assists ministers of the environment, climate change and water, planning and local infrastructure portfolios to manage their responsibilities under legislation through policies and programs, investment and regulation, governance, administration of government agencies including Catchment Management Authorities, and integrated place-based service delivery in regions.

In partnership with government agencies, the department manages public land, forests, water resources, catchments and waterways, and infrastructure; responds to the impacts of climate change; undertakes fire, flood and emergency management; provides biodiversity research; and works closely with local communities, land managers and groups such as Landcare.

The Environment Protection Authority’s main role is to protect air, water and land from pollution, control industrial noise and minimise waste generation through the administration of environmental protection policies. Its functions include conducting environmental impact assessments, preparing statutory policies for environmental protection, publishing guidelines for managing environmental impacts, and providing strategic advice to the ministers.

Victoria’s 79 local councils are significant contributors to catchment management through the regulation of land use and development; public land management; strategic planning including environmental strategies and urban stormwater plans; and support to landholders and community groups in the form of incentives, rebates, grants and community capacity building and education opportunities.

The Municipal Association of Victoria is the legislated peak body for local government in Victoria. MAV advocate local government interests, build the capacity of Victorian councils, facilitate effective networks, initiate policy development and advice, support councillors and promote the role of local government.

Parks Victoria is a statutory authority created by the Parks Victoria Act 1998 that reports to the minister. It manages the state’s network of national, state, regional and metropolitan parks, other conservation reserves, and many significant cultural assets.

Parks Victoria provides services for the management of waterways and land for the purposes of conservation, recreation, leisure, tourism or water transport, and for the management of land used for public purposes.

Trust for Nature was established under the Victorian Conservation Trust Act 1972 to provide statewide private land conservation services to the community, government and landowners. These services include land protection through conservation covenants, engagement, education, stewardship and environmental markets, conservation reserves, and the Revolving Fund.

Appointed under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, the Victorian Catchment Management Council is the state government’s key advisory body on catchment management and the condition of land and water resources. Members reflect the major land and water uses in Victoria including rural, urban, private and public uses, and have experience and knowledge of land protection, water resource management, primary industry, environment protection and conservation and local government.

The council is responsible for advising the minister on catchment management priorities, condition of land and water resources and research and investigation priorities; encouraging the cooperation of those involved in the management of land and water resources; promoting community awareness and understanding of issues; reporting annually on the operation of the Act; and reporting every five years on the condition and management of land and water resources, through the Catchment Condition and Management Report. They also advise the minister on the declaration or revocation of pest species, and establish guidelines for the development and review of Regional Catchment Strategies prepared by Catchment Management Authorities.

Under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988, the council may provide comment on final recommendations of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Scientific Advisory Committee for listing a species and provide advice on action statements.

The Victorian Coastal Council is appointed under the Coastal Management Act 1995 as the peak body for the strategic planning and management of the Victorian coast. Members have experience and knowledge of conservation, tourism, business, recreation, commerce, issues relating to Aboriginal peoples, community affairs, town planning, local government and coastal engineering. The council’s responsibilities include preparing and coordinating the implementation of the Victorian Coastal Strategy; facilitating the operation of Regional Coastal Boards; monitoring the development and implementation of coastal action plans; publishing guidelines for the planning and management of the coast; and encourage the cooperation of those involved in the planning, management and use of the coast.

The Victorian Environmental Water Holder is an independent statutory authority appointed under the Water Act 1989 to manage Victoria’s environmental water entitlements. It works with the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, Catchment Management Authorities and Water Corporations to ensure water entitlements are used to achieve the most efficient and effective environmental outcomes.

VicWater (Victorian Water Industry Association) is the peak industry association for water corporations in Victoria. VicWater plays an important role in the Victorian water industry in influencing government policy, providing forums for industry discussions on priority issues, disseminating news and information on current issues to stakeholders, identifying training needs, and the production of performance reports and industry guides.

Victoria’s state-owned water sector is made up of 18 water corporations constituted under the Water Act 1989. They provide a range of services to customers comprising urban and rural water supply, sewerage and trade waste disposal and treatment, recycled water and drainage services. Four of the water corporations provide rural water services, which include water delivery for irrigation and domestic and stock purposes, drainage, and salinity mitigation services.

As storage and resource managers, they are responsible for delivering water to entitlement holders. They work with the Victorian Environmental Water Holder and Catchment Management Authorities to deliver environmental water according to agreed regional watering proposals.

Page last updated: 01/07/21