The environmental and waterway health benefits of undertaking riparian management are fairly well known. The benefits to landholders of undertaking the works, however, have been less well documented. They have been based on 'what people expected the benefits should be'.

To fill this gap, DELWP commissioned a consultant to investigate the benefits to landholders of undertaking riparian management works, by reviewing existing literature and reports. These works include fencing, revegetation, off stream stock watering and weed management.

Dead cow in stream

Photo, above: riparian fencing can improve mustering and minimise stock lost in boggy areas and falling from steep banks. A dead cow that fell from the bank of a tributary of the Wando River, South West Victoria. Photo courtesy Glenelg Hopkins CMA.

The final report shows that, based on well-documented evidence, there are some very clear benefits, in particular:

  • Reduced costs to landholders through increased ease of mustering;
  • Access to high quality water for stock leads to increased water and forage intake which leads to increased weight gain or milk production;
  • Keeping stock out of waterways reduces risk factors for stock diseases including mastitis;
  • Riparian shelter belts improve stock health and increase stock productivity;
  • The presence of on-farm native vegetation increases the land value of the farm; and
  • The presence of healthy riparian land leads to a sense of farmer well-being and contribution to nature conservation.

Based on the report’s findings, five fact sheets have been produced which summarise the main benefits to landholders of riparian management. One of the fact sheets provides a general overview of benefits. The other fact sheets provide more information for four common farming enterprises – dairy, sheep, beef cattle and cropping. The four specific fact sheets include references to the original information sources to demonstrate that the benefits documented are based on evidence and to allow users the ability to look up more about those benefits if they wish.

Benefits to landholders of riparian works fact sheets:

Overview (PDF, 292.2 KB) or accessible version (DOCX, 92.3 KB)

Dairy farmers (PDF, 756.8 KB) or accessible version (DOCX, 98.0 KB)

Sheep graziers (PDF, 422.3 KB) or accessible version (DOCX, 92.9 KB)

Beef cattle farmers (PDF, 673.1 KB) or accessible version (DOCX, 117.1 KB)

Croppers (PDF, 484.0 KB) or accessible version (DOCX, 117.2 KB)

The full report is also available. As the report was prepared by a consultant, its findings and views are those of the consultant and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department.

Benefits to landholders of adopting riparian works (PDF, 1.1 MB) or accessible (RTF, 1.9 MB)

Tax benefits of riparian works

There are also some taxation benefits to landholders from undertaking riparian management works. Find out more about the tax implications of riparian management on the Australian Tax Office website.

Page last updated: 03/06/19