Columns
Business in Southbank Image

Business in Southbank

Cutting edge living
Read more >>

St Johns Southgate Image

St Johns Southgate

That’s awesome!
Read more >>

Owners Corporation Law Image

Owners Corporation Law

Electric vehicle charging and the rise of the machines
Read more >>

Montague Community Alliance Image

Montague Community Alliance

At last, a Fishermans Bend Framework!
Read more >>

Metro Tunnel

Building Anzac Station
Read more >>

Federal Politics Image

Federal Politics

Liberals and Nationals ship sheep
Read more >>

We Live Here Image

We Live Here

Cladding – remove now, pay later?
Read more >>

Southbanker Image

Southbanker

Walking for a purpose
Read more >>

Housing Image

Housing

We are leaving an intergenerational time bomb for our children
Read more >>

History Image

History

From corporate office to high-end living
Read more >>

Safety and Security

Stifle the opportunity
Read more >>

Southbank Sustainability Group Image

Southbank Sustainability Group

Sustainability talks and Boyd Park
Read more >>

Health and Wellbeing Image

Health and Wellbeing

Positive psychology for increased wellbeing
Read more >>

Skypad Living Image

Skypad Living

Luv thy NABERS (for apartments)
Read more >>

Pets Corner Image

Pets Corner

Enter the “Shiba Zone”
Read more >>

Southbank Fashion Image

Southbank Fashion

Spring racing in Southbank
Read more >>

Street Smarts Image

Street Smarts

Power Street – Southbank
Read more >>

Letters Image

Letters

The cost of cladding
Read more >>

Calls to protect Yarra

16 Apr 2015

Calls to protect Yarra Image

A report released last month has called for the adoption of a new governance structure to protect the Yarra River.

The Let’s Act for the Yarra report released by Yarra Riverkeepers and Environmental Justice Australia last month calls on the State Government to enact the Yarra River Protection Act it promised pre-election.

The report seeks a new governance model for the whole of the Yarra River, differing from the approach of stakeholders in Southbank and Docklands, who continue to advocate for a single port authority to govern local waterways.

Before last year’s election the Labor Party promised to introduce a Yarra River Protection Act to protect the river corridor from inappropriate development. It has also promised to establish a trust that would develop standardised planning controls for the Yarra and work with agencies to promote the river’s amenity.

According to the Let’s Act for the Yarra report, the biggest challenges currently facing the Yarra River are overdevelopment, environmental stress and poor water quality.

In addition, the report outlines how the number of municipalities and agencies with jurisdiction over parts over the river, alongside a complex mix of laws and regulations, make it harder to address the river’s problems.

The report advocates for the introduction of a Yarra River Protection Act and independent trust in order to “cut through the complexity of the current regulatory situation, making it easy to ensure good decisions are made to protect the river”.

“We congratulate the Government for committing to enact a Yarra River Protection Act with its own independent body to better manage the river from source to mouth,” Yarra riverkeeper Andrew Kelly said.

“The Government has recognised there are problems with the Yarra, but one plan after another had failed to fix them. The Yarra is facing so many development pressures and its management is so fragmented that efforts to clean it up are at risk. With Melbourne’s population set to soar, the river will be squeezed.”

“The Yarra is at the crossroads right now and we need to take advantage of the opportunity to enact a Yarra River Protection Act if we’re going to ensure a truly world class river for the world’s most liveable city,” Mr Kelly said.

The report has called for the Yarra River Protection Act to include:

A greater ambition for appropriate planning, river health and sympathetic catchment management;

A coherent regulatory structure for the Yarra as a whole;

An independent agency to care for the Yarra; and

The right for the community to step in to have good environmental rules enforced and pathways to improved environmental outcomes considered.

Director of advocacy and research at Environmental Justice Australia, Nicola Rivers, says the Government needed to start working on the legislation.

“The Yarra is such an important, iconic river, its deserving of its own legislation and it needs its own independent agency to be a champion for the river,” Ms Rivers said.

Stay in touch with Southbank. Subscribe to FREE monthly e-Newspaper.

You must be registered with Southbank Local News to be able to post comments.
To register, please click here.