Land that runs along rivers, creeks, estuaries, lakes and wetlands is known as riparian land (often called ‘frontage’). Riparian land can vary in width from a narrow strip to a wide corridor.

riparian land

Riparian land provides a range of important social, environmental, economic and recreational values. It is of critical importance to Traditional Owners. It is used and valued for agriculture, for recreation especially fishing, through contributions to regional economies via tourism, for cultural heritage values and for many environmental values. For more information, go to The importance of riparian land.

There are several threats to the condition of riparian land, particularly uncontrolled stock access and recreational pressure.

These threats have all affected the condition of Victoria’s riparian land. The third statewide benchmarking of riparian land condition showed that 32 per cent was in good to excellent condition, around 40 per cent was in moderate condition and 28 per cent was in poor to very poor condition. For more information, go to Threats to riparian land.

Victorian riparian land and its management

Victoria has a unique network of public riparian land known as Crown frontages (owned by the State). Of the estimated 170,000 kilometres of river and creek frontage in Victoria, about 30,000 kilometres are Crown frontages. The remaining riparian land is a mix of privately owned and other types of public land (e.g. in national parks).

Given the broad range of values and complex ownership and management of riparian land, there are many stakeholders with different roles in the management of riparian land. In particular, landholders, waterway managers and DELWP play major roles. For more information about riparian land and its managers go to Riparian land in Victoria.

Over the last 20 years, waterway managers in Victoria have worked in voluntary partnerships with landholders to undertake riparian management activities. These activities typically include stock management fencing, revegetation, weed management and the construction of off-stream stock watering infrastructure. These works are primarily funded from the state and Australian governments. In particular, through implementation of the Regional Riparian Action Plan, an additional $40 million is being provided for riparian works from 2015 to 2020. For more information go to Managing riparian land.

Riparian reports, tools and guidelines

DELWP is progressively undertaking a range of riparian projects including various investigations, developing tools and guidelines, and developing information sheets about a range of riparian issues. For more information, go to Riparian reports, tools and guidelines.