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Yarra Council welcomes new Yarra River protections

27 February 2017

Yarra Council has welcomed the State Government’s announcement of better management and stronger protections for the Yarra River.

The new Yarra River Action Plan follows last year’s interim changes to the Yarra Planning Scheme, as well as calls from Yarra Council and community groups for a more coordinated approach to river management.

Yarra Mayor, Cr Amanda Stone said, “A coherent, whole of river approach is vital to ensuring our greatest natural asset is protected now and for future generations. We especially welcome stronger planning controls to ensure that new developments don’t encroach upon or overshadow the Yarra River corridor.”

Cr Stone highlighted the important role that the Yarra River Corridor plays in the life of a growing city. “The Yarra is a haven for many of the things that enrich us as a community, from plant and animal life to opportunities for rest and recreation. Yesterday’s announcement is an exciting step in ensuring the future of this much loved river."

“Through the newly established Birrarung Council, we look forward to working with other councils, traditional owners and the community to develop the new strategic plan for the Yarra River,” Cr Stone said.

In welcoming the State Government’s vision and commitment, Council is looking forward to sitting down to discuss the plan in more detail. In particular, Council would like to better understand the role of local government in realising the vision, including who is responsible for driving the delivery of actions and what funding will be made available to implement these actions. The long term vision for this iconic river can only be realised once a clear implementation plan is agreed to by government, stakeholders and the community. 

Cr Stone also acknowledged the hard work of the Yarra Riverkeepers Association, Environment Justice Australia and the many local advocacy groups. “Along with Council, these groups have provided the Yarra River with a strong and consistent voice,” Cr Stone said.


New interim changes to local planning schemes will strengthen protection of landscapes and biodiversity along the river. This includes tightening existing controls along the City of Yarra sections of the River. Current mandatory setbacks and building heights will be adjusted in some areas to improve protection. Setbacks will typically be between 30 and 50 metres from the river edge.

It is anticipated that permanent planning scheme changes will go through a normal amendment process with opportunities for consultation, submissions and review by an advisory committee. This will provide opportunities to assess and adjust the new controls in response to community input.

Visit the State Government’s Yarra River Protection page for further information on the announcement.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Brooke Colbert
Manager – Communications Advocacy, Engagement and Media
0409 267 439



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