Completely excluding grazing on riparian land can discourage involvement of landholders in improving the management of such land, particularly due to concerns about the build-up of weeds. Landholders often want to know if they can still undertake some grazing in the fenced riparian land.Fenced land with gate in foregroundPhoto, above: controlled grazing of fenced riparian land may be a useful management tool.  Fenced riparian land with access gate on the Upper Wimmera River. Photo courtesy Wimmera CMA

Controlled grazing limits stocking rates and restricts the timing, duration and conditions under which grazing takes place. It can be a useful management tool in some circumstances, typically in:

  • Controlling palatable weeds, particularly pasture grasses;
  • Maintaining or improving the vegetation condition of certain vegetation types such as native grasses; and
  • Promoting natural regeneration of indigenous woody species.

A decision support tool and guidelines have been developed by DELWP in collaboration with waterway managers and other stakeholders to determine the acceptability of grazing in different types of riparian land. It is accompanied by a more compact field companion designed to allow easier access to the key elements of the full guidelines for use by waterway managers with landholders.

The decisions about grazing management based on these guidelines will be included in riparian management agreements and in riparian management licence conditions on Crown frontages.

The decision support tool and guidelines will be used to assist implementation of the policy on controlled grazing in the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy (Policy 9.5). This policy states that, in general, controlled grazing will be allowed on riparian land subject to riparian management agreements if it:

  • Is environmentally beneficial;
  • Is acceptable as a management tool; and/or
  • Does not compromise the environmental, social, cultural or economic values of the riparian land or downstream.

Further exploration of grazing management can be found here:

Managing grazing on riparian land: decision support tool and guidelines (PDF, 4.7 MB)
Managing grazing on riparian land: decision support tool and guidelines (RTF, 1.7 MB)

Managing grazing on riparian land: Field Companion (RTF, 787.4 KB)
Managing grazing on riparian land: Field Companion (PDF, 2.9 MB)

Page last updated: 13/02/19