Healthy riparian land – land that runs along river banks and wetlands – is critical for healthy waterways.

The Regional Riparian Action Plan is a five-year plan to accelerate on-ground riparian management works to improve the health of riparian land along Victoria's regional rivers, estuaries and wetlands. Works include fencing to manage stock, revegetation programs, weed management and construction of off-stream stock watering systems.

An additional $40 million is being provided by the state government for riparian works from 2015 to 2020 to implement the action plan - $10 million in 2015/16 followed by a further $30 million from 2016/17 to 2019/20 which is part of the broader $222 million initiative to improve the health of waterways and catchments across regional Victoria.

Regional Riparian Action Plan (PDF, 3.1 MB)
Regional Riparian Action Plan (DOCX, 72.3 KB)

The action plan outlines priority riparian management outcomes to be achieved across regional Victoria over the period of 2015/16 to 2019/20. These priorities were informed by regional Waterway Strategies, which were developed by catchment management authorities in consultation with catchment communities.

Hear how the Regional Riparian Action Plan is improving our community’s rivers.

The action plan is being delivered by a range of stakeholders including the nine regional Victorian CMAs, farmers, Traditional Owners, Landcare, angling and other community groups.

After three years of the action plan’s implementation – 2015 to 2018 - the key outcomes achieved include the protection and improvement of

  • nearly 2,300 kilometres of riparian land (92% of the five-year action plan target) – that’s almost the distance from Melbourne to Cairns, and
  • 33,000 hectares of riparian land (117% of the five-year target) – that’s more than three times the size of Phillip Island.

CMAs worked with just over 1000 landholders and about 200 Traditional Owner, Landcare, angling, school and other community groups over the three years to achieve these outcomes.

The action plan also identifies state-wide initiatives required to accelerate the delivery of on-ground riparian management works, complementing the riparian actions and policy in the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy.

Implementing the Regional Riparian Action Plan is also a key commitment in Victoria’s Water Plan, Water for Victoria.

The action plan was developed in consultation with key stakeholders including catchment management authorities, Traditional Owner groups, Landcare, Environment Victoria, the Victorian National Parks Association and Victorian Farmers Federation.

Healthy riparian land is important for a range of reasons including as habitat for native animals, providing a connection between areas of remnant vegetation, and as a filter for nutrients and sediments from catchment run-off. Riparian land and waterways hold important cultural values for Victoria's Traditional Owners. Waterways are also important drivers of social, recreational and economic activity through fishing, tourism, walking and boating.

Well-managed riparian land also has benefits for farmers including easier stock management and access to better quality water for stock from troughs. Riparian vegetation also acts as windbreaks for protecting stock and reducing soil erosion.

The following regional plans have been extracted from the above full Regional Riparian Action Plan.

Year 3 achievements report (2017/18)

During the third year of the implementation of the Regional Riparian Action Plan, catchment management authorities - working with nearly 250 landholders and about 120 Traditional Owner, Landcare, angling, school and other community groups - protected or improved over 760 kilometres and over 6,800 hectares of riparian land.

For further details of achievements in 2017/18, including some regional riparian project case studies, download the Year 3 achievements report (PDF, 276.6 KB) or accessible version (DOCX, 681.7 KB).

Previous years' achievements reports

The achievements reports for the first two years of the action plan’s implementation – 2015/16 and 2016/17 – with further case studies of riparian projects across Victoria, are also available.