On this page:
The Waterways of the West Community Vision is the first long-term vision for this complex, connected living system of waterways and parklands.
People from the West came together to create a vision representing their aspirations and expectations for protecting the waterways.
The vision will guide the community and officials as we walk together with the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung, Bunurong and Wadawurrung Traditional Owners of the waterways and their lands over the next 50 years.
The West is one of the most multiculturally rich regions in Melbourne. Brimbank, Melbourne, Maribyrnong and Wyndham are among Victoria's most diverse, with more than 40% of their populations born overseas.
Translations of the community vision in the 10 most spoken languages in the region are available below.
Waterways of the West community visioning process
Our vision is for healthy, diverse and sustainable waterways throughout our west. As a diverse community we care for its interconnected rivers, creeks and landscapes.
Respectfully acknowledging and embracing the cultural values of the Bunurong, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Peoples, we walk together to care for Country.
The Bunurong, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Peoples cared for Country in many different ways and for all living things. Working collaboratively, the people of the West protect and celebrate these unique and interconnected waterways.
The Maribyrnong / Mirrangbamurn and Werribee / Wirribi Yaluk rivers and their surrounding creeks and tributaries run cleanly.
They’re filled with abundant life. Their banks teem with native plants and animals. Crystal clear in the forested hills, the water flows through volcanic grassy plains under big skies. It seeps into and sustains wetlands, travels down through farms, between homes and into internationally-recognised salt marshes, ending its journey in Port Phillip Bay.
Vision for cities, suburbs and towns
From Sunshine to Spotswood, Melton to Werribee South, Macedon to Footscray, communities connect and flow through our water corridors.
In Footscray Park, Point Cook Coastal Park, Birmingham Reserve and many other parks along our waterways, we see families from different cultures gathering and celebrating. Communities interact harmoniously with the natural environment, joggers, and cyclists commuting to and from work. We hear people laughing together with the sounds of children splashing in the water, frogs croaking, birds singing and the hum of urban life.
Along waterways in our cities and towns, like Moonee Ponds / Moonee Moonee Creek, cyclists pass protected natural areas with native vegetation and wildlife. Urban development is designed to protect and improve the health of the creek.
Communities are proud of their contribution to restoring and growing landscapes that enhance the well-being of people and the environment. We wander through hidden natural refuges, pockets of greenery, and a place to escape from the city and along the way we are reminded of the layers of history and different lessons of the waterways.
Vision for agricultural and rural lands
In agricultural areas, sustainable farming is part of a thriving ecosystem of healthy waterways. Where Bunurong, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Peoples’ knowledge and cultural practices have become a part of everyday sustainable farming.
Where water is carefully managed, used and re-used rather than being taken out of the rivers and waterways.
The waterways in these rural areas are full and flowing, feeding the vital connections between the urban ecosystems and natural and forested environments. Flourishing green corridors co-exist and connect communities with the neighbouring prosperous and sustainable agricultural land.
It’s an immense region outside of the urban growth boundary from Macedon to Ballan, all the way to the Werribee River as it flows through the Bacchus Marsh and Werribee irrigation districts and Deep Creek in the upper Maribyrnong catchment.
Its waterways continue to vary widely in colour and shape through grasslands and set against the rugged beauty of places like the Werribee Gorge.
Collaboration is central to how we get things done.
With the Traditional Owners – the Bunurong, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Peoples – farmers, communities and all levels of government come together to protect and enhance our essential food bowl so we all benefit from healthy, high-quality food. It’s an area that is both economically and ecologically sustainable.
Vision for natural places and forested
From the wetlands to Macedon Ranges, the protected waterways of the west have natural headwaters and are pristine and healthy – supporting abundant, unique flora and fauna from source to sea.
In the vast expanses of the Victorian volcanic grassland plains, people appreciate the wide horizons and gently undulating vistas. This environmentally significant landscape supports a wide variety of bird and insect life that is essential to maintaining a healthy ecology.
Cheetham Wetlands, other coastal wetlands and the thousands of inland wetlands are home to many indigenous and migratory birds – feeding and breeding – as well as spaces for people to walk and commune with nature.
In the forested areas, such as Wombat Forest and Macedon Ranges, visitors gather to enjoy the varied experiences offered by accessible natural areas with maintained facilities. They feel connected to nature through immersion in the smells, sights and sounds of rejuvenated bushland: a chorus of birdsong and buzzing insects, native wildlife foraging in eucalyptus forests and healthy rivers sustaining life. It signals ecosystems in balance engendered through respect for Mother Earth.
Our communities respect the areas reserved as protected environments to preserve clean water catchments and native habitats for our wildlife. We have learnt from the experiences, cultural practices and understanding of cultural values of the Traditional Owners of our land; the Bunurong, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Peoples.
As the lungs of the West, our shared places bring health and well-being to our communities through the restorative power of spending time on Country.
Page last updated: 16/09/23