The Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee have released their discussion paper on proposals for the Yarra River Protection Act. Here is your opportunity to have your say about how the river should be protected and improved for ourselves and for future generations. We are hoping as many people as possible will take the survey, suggest an idea or make a submission. If you would like to take the survey and would like some guidance we have have provided Yarra Riverkeeper suggested survey answers If you want to make a submission and would like to read our views please go here for our report and here for our submission guidelines. I do look forward to reading your submission.
Last night, Dean Stewart launched our ‘The Future of the Yarra: Proposals for a Yarrra River Protection Act’, written and published in partnership with Environmental Justice Australia. The report is a detailed set of recommendations for the legislation. The report is now available online. Do download, have a read and then make a submission. Our submission guidelines are here.
On Friday 1 July 2016, the Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee released the Protecting the Yarra River (Birrarung) Discussion Paper. It is well worth reading and do go to http://haveyoursay.delwp.vic.gov.au/protecting-the-yarra-river, download the report, and then make a submission, answer the survey, or suggest an idea for the Victorian Government’s proposed Yarra River Protection Act and Yarra Trust. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to protect the Yarra for future generations.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.