In late August 2018 the Victorian Government announced a new community-led approach - Waterways of the West (WoW) - to ensure iconic waterways in Melbourne’s west are protected for generations to come.

Over the coming year, a Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) will work with the community, community groups and Traditional Owners to identify a range of recommendations that will be presented to government for consideration. This work will build on the strong community advocacy work already occurring across the region along with other opportunities raised by community during MAC's deliberations.

Chris Chesterfield will be the independent Chair of the MAC, bringing his experience chairing the Advisory Committee that led to the establishment of landmark reforms to protect the Yarra River (Birrarung). Mr Chesterfield is highly regarded in the field of water sensitive urban design and water reform.

The MAC will work in partnership with Traditional Owners and communities and report directly to the Minister for Water and the Minister for Planning. It will:

  • Develop a community vision for the rivers and their landscapes, building on recent community forums for engagement
  • Make recommendations for specific actions for the protection of the river
  • Make recommendations to maintain and enhance community aspirations for waterways of the west.

To find out more, please register your interest by emailing

a woman jogging on footpath along a river. Two people riding bikes near a river on bike path