Riverside development and planning

The natural corridor of the Yarra is vital to Melbourne’s amenity and liveability. It provides some of the most popular green open spaces for recreating and enjoying a natural setting, and hence is a cornerstone for community well-being. A rich habitat for native plants and animals, for many species the continuity and vegetation of the river corridor are vital to their survival.

But the green environs of the Yarra continue to shrink from the pressure of urban growth and encroaching development. In the Lower Yarra the erection of huge apartment buildings is the most obvious problem, but just as damaging is the cumulative impact of many developments on single home sites. In the upper reaches of the river, the problem is that indigenous vegetation is being cleared to make way for expanding suburbia, infrastructure, new golf courses and the like.

Our Vision

The Yarra River and its environs are a continuous corridor of public green space and unbroken wildlife habitat along the entire length of the river.

We believe that:
  • All planning decisions in the corridor should be overseen by a single authority which has a whole-of-river perspective (beyond local council boundaries), consistent with the fact that the river’s values and ecology relate to and are dependent on its entirety.
  • The Yarra River and its environs are critical “natural infrastructure” for the city to function and be liveable; no less vital than public transport, hospitals and schools.
  • To stop further encroachment (immediate action), planning controls need to be introduced
    • to ban the erection of additional buildings and structures on riverside land,
    • to ensure that any new/replacement building/structure is no taller, bigger or closer to the river than what exists on the site, and
    • to ensure other riverside works are compatible with the sought-after green river-scape.
  • To restore the corridor (long term action), measures need to be introduced
    • to reclaim public ownership of land abutting the river, and
    • to replace, when possible, riverbank buildings with indigenous vegetation.