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

The Regional Riparian Action Plan was a five-year plan running from 2015 to 2020 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.

Video description: hear how the RRAP helped improve our community’s rivers

An additional $40 million was 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 was part of the broader $222 million initiative to improve the health of waterways and catchments across regional Victoria.

The action plan outlined 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.

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

After five years of the action plan’s implementation – 2015-2020 – the key outcomes achieved include the protection and improvement of:

  • nearly 3,500 kilometres of riparian land (140% of the five-year action plan target) – that’s more than the distance from Melbourne to Perth by road, and
  • over 53,000 hectares of riparian land (190% of the five-year target) – that’s more than five times the size of Phillip Island.

CMAs worked with over 1500 landholders and about 600 Traditional Owner, Landcare, angling, school and other community groups over the five years to achieve these outcomes.

Learn more about how the Regional Riparian Action Plan has supported the community across the state in these three stories.

Catchment management authorities worked with a variety of community groups to implement the RRAP.

Catchment management authorities worked with a variety of community groups to implement the RRAP. Local primary schools at a National Tree Day community planting on the Campaspe River, Axedale. Photo courtesy North Central CMA.

The action plan also identified 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.

Final achievements report 2015-2020

tree planting

A report highlighting achievements over the five years of implementation of the Regional Riparian Action Plan is available, including highlights from on-ground regional delivery and actions aimed at improving riparian management across the whole of Victoria.

Photo above: Revegetation on the Grange Burn, Hamilton. Photo courtesy Glenelg Hopkins CMA.

Annual achievements reports

The annual achievements reports for the five years of the action plan’s implementation – 2015-16 to 2019-20 – with further case studies of riparian projects across Victoria, are also available.

The next phase of river and riparian land management

The Victorian government continues to invest in rivers and riparian land management. While the targets in the Regional Riparian Action Plan for area and length of improved riparian land have been achieved, the next phase of riparian work is underway as part of the Rivers and Riparian Action Plan which will run until 2024. It follows on from the Regional Riparian Action Plan but is broader and encapsulates a range of waterway programs to improve the health of waterways in Victoria.

Page last updated: 28/04/22