On Wednesday (20 March 2019), the Commissioner of Environmental Sustainability released the State of the Yarra Report. This report is required under the Yarra River Protection (Willip-gin Birrarung murrain) legislation which was passed unanimously in September 2017. We welcome the report and congratulate the Commissioner, Gillian Sparkes, and the lead writer Dr Rebecca Koss on the quality and clarity of the report. The report clear shows the pressure that the Yarra River is now under from the threats of urbanisation, population expansion (Melbourne is the fourth fastest growing river in the developed world), and a drying climate. The report card at the start of the report shows too many red dots for poor and too many grey dots for the status of the threat to be unknown, and too many being recorded as being derived from insufficient data. We need to know more about our Yarra and we need to act to protect and improve it. We are asking the Andrews’ government to accept these recommendations as a matter of urgency. The report notes that creating connected habitat corridors will protect critical ecosystems, The Riverkeeper will publish in the near future a report addressing this issue and looking at improved stewarding of the river along the lines of the rewilding ideas promoted in the US and UK of core and corridor, with protected cores connected by healthy ecological corridors. Looking at the report card, what stands out glaringly to us is:
- Only two indicators (6%) are assessed as ‘improving’.
- 16 of the 25 environmental health indicators (64%) have been assessed as in a ‘poor’ state with a deteriorating trend.
The Minster is required to respond to this report in 12 months but we are hoping the Minister will act earlier than that as the needs of our river are urgent, and implement the recommendations in particular we note the following as the recommendation reflects what we ask for from government at the last election:
Recommendation 5: That DELWP, in collaboration with Melbourne Water and local governments, extend the geographical scope of the current interim Yarra River Protection Planning Controls (Amendment GC48) along the Yarra River corridor ranging from Warrandyte to the boundary of the Yarra Ranges National Park in support of appropriate urban development.
Our Yarra Atlas manager, Anton, recently returned from a trip to Hangzhou, China to represent the Yarra Riverkeepers on the global stage and to share ideas about the future of water management.
“Thanks to Hao Xin and the whole H2O committee for organising such a thought provoking event. It is interesting to share water keeping ideas with our global community groups and see different perspectives on what they have been doing in the past! Thanks again to everyone who made it such an interesting event.” – Anton
Please read his report on the summit below:
If you have a loved one who loves the Yarra, we have just made our memberships available to be given as gifts this Christmas. Being a Yarra Riverkeeper Association member supports all the work we do on the Yarra and also lets you be apart of a group of like-minded people who want to see our Yarra healthy, protected and loved. Being a member also allows you to receive regular updates from the Association about the work we’re doing and will also give you access to exclusive events along the Yarra, such as our celebration events.
If you’re looking for a gift for someone this Christmas that gives back to the environment, then look no further than a Yarra Riverkeeper Association membership.
Our Annual General Meeting went very well last night. All amendments were passed and the current board was re-appointed. There was an excellent report from Ian Wong about what the Community Engagement Committee is planning. Our Annual report is available here: http://yarrariver.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/YRKA-Annual-Report-Final-4-online.pdf
In April 2018, in collaboration with Melbourne Water and Cleanwater Group, five tonnes of litter and polystyrene contaminated soil were vacuumed and removed from the Yarra reed bed system. The 5-day blitz culminated in a community event which drew over 200 attendees from across Melbourne who collected a further 450 kg of rubbish from the river. The Blitz attracted a lot of media attention including extensive coverage on the second season of ‘War on Waste’. Following the success of the pilot and due to a successful Bay Fund application, the Yarra Riverkeeper Association will run an additional 6 blitzes within the lower Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers over the next two years.
The first blitz starts on the 12th of November with the community event scheduled on Sunday, 25 November. This morning will be all about clearing our precious Yarra within and along its banks. We’ll provide the boats, bags, gloves, and safety gear so you can LOVE YOUR RIVER!
We will be having a gold coin donation sausage sizzle at the end of the event!
For more information please go to the Eventbrite link.
Our next Yarra River Blitz is fast approaching! Cleanwater Group and ourselves will be cleaning the river from the 17th to the 25th of May with our litter vacuum system and we would love it if you would come join us for our community clean-up event on the 26th of May at the Melbourne University […]
Do come along Maribyrnong River Litter Blitz on the 3 March 2019 from 10AM to 1PM at the Footscray City Rowing Club. This morning will be all about clearing our precious Maribyrnong within and along its’ banks. We’ll provide some boats, bags, gloves, and safety gear so you can LOVE YOUR RIVER! The Maribyrnong River Litter Blitz is part […]
In April 2018, in collaboration with Melbourne Water and Cleanwater Group, five tonnes of litter and polystyrene contaminated soil were vacuumed and removed from the Yarra reed bed system. The 5-day blitz culminated in a community event which drew over 200 attendees from across Melbourne who collected a further 450 kg of rubbish from the […]
We have 3 very exciting events coming up in November! All About Plastic On Thursday, 8 November we’re hosting the ‘All About Plastic Seminar’ at the Salon in the Abbotsford Convent at 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford. Joining us will be Peter Goad and Dr Ross Headifen for an informative morning at the Abbotsford Convent, […]
Keep an eye on this space for more details about our next clean-up at Burnley Harbour.
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.
Enjoy the wonders of our Yarra. Take a close interest in river and water matters.
Invite us to give a presentation to your school, community group or workplace.
(Contact Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly on 0434 892 772 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Join us in working on the Yarra Strategic Plan and the refresh of the Healthy Waterways Strategy for the Yarra.
And last but not least . . .
Click here to become a member