Yarra River protection

The Yarra River is a crucial landscape and environmental corridor and helps define the identity of the City of Yarra. It is a major parkland, biodiversity and recreation corridor serving local communities and the wider region.

How are we protecting the Yarra River?

In June 2015, we asked the Minister for Planning for stronger interim planning controls along the river. The Minister approved interim controls for Yarra in January 2016.

These controls have now been replaced with the new interim Design and Development Overlay (DDO01), Yarra (Birrarung) River Corridor Protection. This control came into effect on 24 February 2017 and will expire on 31 January 2021.

The new controls are very similar to the previous 2016 ‘interim controls’ that existed in Yarra, but include some greater restrictions such as increased set-backs and reduced maximum building heights.

The new controls also include a mandatory restriction that new buildings and works must not cast any shadow across the river bank between 11am and 2pm on 22 June.

Are planning controls for the whole length of the river being considered?

The planning controls apply to the Yarra River from Richmond to Warrandyte. The Yarra Planning Scheme has been changed to include the interim controls as have the planning schemes in the Cities of Banyule, Boroondara, Manningham, Nillumbik and Stonnington.

What else is the State Government doing to protect the Yarra River?

The Planning Minister released the Yarra River Action Plan in February 2017. It sets out a range of short and longer term actions to improve the Yarra River. This is the Government response to the final report of the Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee (Yarra MAC).

Where can I get more information?

The Yarra River Action Plan and the Yarra MAC final report and other documents available on the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning website.