The Andrews Labor Government today launched the Yarra Strategic Plan – Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo — a landmark plan to protect the iconic Birrarung — the Yarra River.
The plan represents a partnership with Traditional Owners − the Bunurong and Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung − and is underpinned by legislation, a 50-year community vision and the establishment of the Birrarung Council in 2018, which consists of Traditional Owners and community representatives to oversee the plan.
More than 2,500 Victorians contributed to the vision of managing and protecting the Yarra River and its parklands as one living and integrated entity. This new approach will protect the river from the challenges of rapid population growth and climate change.
The plan brings together 15 state and local agencies who all have a role in managing the Yarra River corridor. This collaborative approach is reflected in the name Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo – which means “what is good for the Yarra is good for all”.
The plan – which builds on the Labor Government’s landmark Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act 2017 − sets out 40 actions reflecting community values, including expanding parklands and habitat restoration, and revegetation works to increase native fish populations.
The plan also looks at increasing access to berthing sites along the inner city reaches for tourism and enhancing Aboriginal cultural values and heritage values through interpretive signs and education.
The Government has already delivered water to the Bolin Bolin Billabong and other wetlands in the Yarra Flats parklands and has invested $2.7 million towards initiatives including better stormwater management, reinstating billabongs at Yering and trialing floating wetlands, ensuring clean waters and thriving green spaces.
The plan contains a land use framework that will work with permanent planning controls that include mandatory height limits along the river between Richmond and Warrandyte and a minimum mandatory setback of 30 metres.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“This plan is the result of four years of consultation and development and will ensure the Yarra continues to be a place for people to connect with nature and each other for generations to come.”
“The Yarra River has an important place in the hearts of Victorians and Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo delivers tangible actions that will keep the river and parklands alive for the benefit of everyone.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne
“The Birrarung is central to our thriving city. This plan puts the river’s interests and the community’s vision at the heart of future planning decisions.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio
“The plan will ensure our beautiful Yarra River remains protected with plenty of open space for Victorians to enjoy.”