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On February 26 at the Abbotsford Convent, Premier Andrews launched the Yarra River Action Plan. This was the government’s response to the recommendations of the Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee (Yarra MAC). The government accepted 28 of the thirty recommendations by the Yarra MAC in full and the remaining two were accepted in part. This is a proposal for modern river governance that will be both world class and Australian first and will deliver the protection the Yarra deserves. The initiatives include:
• A baseline study of the river.
• A Yarra strategy lead by Melbourne Water and involving strong community input.
• The setting of targets for the health of the Yarra.
• Annual reporting to Parliament.
• The establishment of the Birrarung Council with the involvement of the Traditional Owners.
At the same time the Planning Minister announced a group amendment to the Planning Schemes for the six councils on the river. This provides additional protection for Melbourne’s iconic waterway.
The Yarra River Action Plan can be found here.
And an overview of the Planning Scheme amendments can be found here.