Yarra Strategic Plan Submission – YRKA’s Main Points

We have reviewed the draft Yarra Strategic Plan that has been made available at Engage Victoria – Yarra Strategic Plan, and we have made the following observations regarding this draft. We would encourage our community to make a submission regarding the Yarra Strategic Plan to help shape the final 10-year strategic plan for the Yarra River. Please read over Part 1, and Part 2 of the Draft Yarra Strategic Plan with these points in mind.

We encourage our community to make a submission at the Engage Victoria – Yarra Strategic Plan web site. If you require assistance in making the submission, we suggest that you answer question 13 of the web form by copying and pasting points 1 through 8 below into section 13, and then entering your contact details.

  1. The Performance Objectives of the YSP are too high level and too vaguely worded.  They should be stated as SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound).  The YSP must, but the draft YSP does not, use the ‘State of the Yarra and its Parklands’ report to establish a baseline against which the ultimate success or failure of the Performance Objectives and the YSP can be measured.
  1. The YSP does not show how the Actions given for each Performance Objective will build a cumulative effect over the ten-year period to create a foundation for the 50 year Community Vision.
  1. The following have been left out of the Yarra Strategic Plan and are gaps:  a) no part of the YSP is binding; b) Priority Projects; and c) Decision Making Framework.
    • The draft YSP states that no part of the YSP is binding, though the Yarra/Birrarung Act expects parts of the plan to be binding.
    • The draft YSP states Priority Projects will be developed for the final plan. They will not then be developed through ‘collaboration with the community’ as required by the Yarra/Birrarung Act, but behind doors closed to community input.
    • The draft YSP states that a decision making framework is not included in the draft, as the framework itself is is still in draft. The Yarra/Birrarung Act requires a decision-making framework to be part of the YSP.
  1. The key principle in Yarra/Birrarung Act of a net gain for the environment from every river project is ignored by the draft YSP, which is the appropriate and only vehicle for implementing this important principle. Application of this principle would generate funding for environmental projects.
  1. According to the document, the draft YSP was prepared by the Yarra Collaboration Committee, not by the lead agency as required under the Yarra/Birrarung act.
  1. The YSP must show how the Land Use Framework will implement the ‘Directions’ given for each reach in the framework.
  1. Annual assessment of implementation of Performance Objective 2 to be paid for by each responsible entity to the Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Tribe Land Council as one source of new annual funding for the Council.
  1. CEOs and department secretaries need to be included in the Yarra Collaboration Committee for it to be effective in driving change through collaboration and modern governance.
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