Latest news

Inappropriate developments opposed in Abbotsford

The Walmer Street Action Group has been formed to oppose the inappropriate developments that are proposed for either side of Walmer Street in Abbotsford — right on a very narrow stretch of the Yarra, and either side of the exit from the very popular Walmer Street pedestrian/bike bridge. The Yarra Riverkeepers objected to the development at 647 Victoria Street (downstream side of Walmer Street) at council and we spoke at VCAT last week as an objector. The development on the other side of Walmer Street, at 607 Victoria Street, is in a Priority Development Zone, and only requires the minister’s approval. The petition ‘Defend the Yarra’ opposing these developments is online. Over 1000 people have signed already. The Walmer Street Action Group has written the attached letter to the Planning Minister.

A Message to Richard Wynne mp_Final

Christmas has been a busy season for developments

It has been a busy December as developers have submitted planning applications or planning applications have moved to the next stage.

  • Salta has submitted a planning application to the City of Yarra for a 10 storey building between the Skipping Girl building (and famous sign) and Walmer Street in Abbotsford, at 647 Victoria Street
  • The City of Yarra was notified about another development by Salta of almost 640 apartments in two towers in Abbotsford on the other side of Walmer Street. This is zoned as Priority Development so the planning minister decides not the council.
  • The development at 106 St Georges Road of 7 storeys and 10 apartments will now go to VCAT in May as it was rejected by council.

There has been quite a bit of coverage for the first two developments in the Age and the Leader and on Channel 9 and Channel 7.

Charting the Yarra: A Review of 40 Years of Reports and Plans for the Yarra River Corridor

The Yarra Riverkeeper Association and Environmental Justice Australia is pleased to be publishing this Review.

In this review, over 40 years of reports on the Yarra corridor have been analyzed and, while many good reports have been written and many good recommendations made, many of those recommendations have not been implemented, to the river’s and Melbourne’s detriment. Three key issues facing the river have surfaced in this review: fragmentation of responsibility, inconsistencies in planning and a lack of continuity in implementing recommendations.

Charting the Yarra report Low Res First Part

Charting the Yarra report Low Res Second Half


And here is the link to the associated webpage of a list of reports and plans for the Yarra River and Yarra Corridor – with links (where these are available).

Next step for the Yarra Act and Trust

John Masanauskas reported in the Herald-Sun last Sunday that Planning Minister Wynne met several mayors in a roundtable to discuss stronger planning along the Yarra River. Mr Wynne was quoted saying that the Yarra was under intense pressure as rapid population growth drove high density development and that the River was threatened by a death of ‘a thousand cuts’. “We will strengthen the state planning policy to ensure we send a clear message that overdevelopment of the banks of the Yarra is unacceptable,” he went on to say.

Opposition planning spokesman David Davis was quoted as saying Coalition supported an authority to oversee
stronger controls for the Yarra.

Will the Act go far enough? Will the Trust be robust enough?

The Yarra River Protection Act

The Victorian Government set aside $1 million in this year’s budget for the creation of the Yarra River Protection Act. We, along with EJA, have lobbied for the framework to be drawn up in a co-design process and we are looking forward to hearing what is being planned.

Upcoming events

Yarra River Photo Survey

The Yarra River Photo Survey Facebook page is now up. Do go and have a look

Walk and talk for the Kew Festival

The Riverkeeper is conducting another guided walk for the Kew Festival on Sunday 13 March from 10 am. More information to come shortly.

10th Anniversary cocktail party celebrations tonight!

Preparations are heating up for a fine evening of celebrations this evening — at 6.30pm the Reading Room, Fitzroy Town Hall. There is still time to book: I look forward to seeing everybody there.

Bike ride this coming Saturday — up the Plenty River trail

Please join us on the annual Yarra Riverkeepers bike ride and discover the beauty of the Yarra and its tributaries. We will have talks along the way by experts on waterways and wetlands including experts from Friends of the Plenty River and from the Environment Department of Banyule Council. We will provide a registration form […]

2015 Annual General Meeting

Our Annual General Meeting is coming up at 7.30pm on Thursday 29 October at the Darebin Parklands Environment Centre, at the end of Separation Street, Alphington. Do arrive by 7.15pm and catch up with “What is happening with the Yarra River Protection Act and Trust”, a concise and challenging talk by Andrew Kelly, the Yarra Riverkeeper. […]

Our Yarra River

The Yarra River is Melbourne’s most important natural asset and all Melburnians are dependent on it. It supplies most of our piped water. The river corridor is one of the region’s prime wildlife habitats and is a popular place for recreational and nature-based activities, which are vital to community well-being and the city’s liveability.

But the impact of our large city and its burgeoning growth are putting the river under severe stress from water extraction, pollution and encroaching urban development. With your help, we can continue our work to protect and restore the river’s health.

Who are we

Formed in 2004, the Yarra Riverkeeper Association has become the primary ‘voice of the river’.

We monitor the Yarra’s health, and keep track of the many activities affecting it. We run river tours and give presentations to educate students, community groups, government and businesses about the need for us all to protect this vital asset. We tell the river’s stories, highlighting its heritage and wonders, as well as its challenges.

How you can help

Become a member

Please download a membership form.