Have your say: Yarra Strategic Plan

The Yarra River – Birrarung – is the lifeblood of Victoria.

Flowing 242 kilometres from the Yarra Ranges, all the way through greater Melbourne and into the Port Phillip Bay – Birrarung is a vital source of nourishment for so many Victorians.

Despite this, the Yarra is under threat from development, pollution, poor stormwater management and loss of vegetation.

Right now, we have a rare opportunity to change the trajectory of the Yarra for years to come.

The draft Yarra Strategic Plan has been released for public consultation – a plan to protect and restore the Yarra River corridor, prepared by government agencies and councils.

The plan will set environmental, cultural, social and land management objectives for councils and government agencies to follow.

This is an historic opportunity to improve the protection of our Yarra and set a positive trajectory for this vital waterway for the next 10 years.

Will you make a submission to the Yarra Strategic Plan and help bring our beloved Birrarung back to life?

Here’s how you can have your say:



1.  Review the draft Yarra Strategic Plan.

Think about these questions when you’re reviewing the draft plan:

  • Are the performance objectives and proposals for targets under the Yarra Strategic Plan sufficient? Are they specific enough?
  • Are there specific changes, improvements or responses you could suggest for the land-use framework in the draft Yarra Strategic Plan?
  • How do the actions set out in this draft affect your particular area(s) of interest? What further detail should the plan include? What projects should be included that are presently absent?


2. Watch and review the content from the Yarra Strategic Plan workshop.

Due to the rapidly changing situation regarding Covid-19, many of our waterway advocates may be self-isolating for their safety and the safety of others.

Because of this, we are pleased to have recorded our recent workshop where participants heard from Yarra River Keeper, Andrew Kelly, and EJA’s Bruce Lindsay. Review the presentations and the workshop while preparing your submission:

 3. Write a submission.

For government inquiries to succeed, they need to hear from the people they represent – you. Understanding the importance of our waterways from the people who use it — means hearing from concerned citizens over the challenges at hand.

There are two ways you can have your say on the future of the Yarra. You can make a quick submission at Engage Victoria.

To make more impact, we recommend you write a submission from scratch.

In order for your submission to be considered, it must be high quality and address specific criteria. We’ve put together a guide on how to write an effective submission, to help you get started!

Here are some simple tips to get you started

  • Start by introducing yourself, why you care about the Yarra and why you’ve taken the time to make a submission.
  • Identify the key issues that you want to raise and why they concern you.
  • Add your own perspective and experiences. For example, you may like to explain your experience advocating in the space of our rivers and waterways, or your personal or community experience in dealing with the impacts of pollution in the Yarra.
  • Use evidence and data to support your statements. You can find a list of resources, scientific studies and analysis by EJA’s Rivers team at the end of our submission guide.
  • Be polite, respectful and clear. A lot is at stake, but the review team will dismiss submissions that are rude or target individual public servants or Members of Parliament.

4. Submit your submission.

Once completed, upload and send your submission to the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. before the due date

5. Tell us how you went!

When you’ve finished and submitted your submission, let us know and send us a copy, so we can see how many people are having their say on the Yarra and keep you updated in the review process. We’d also love to read your submission because we’re nerdy like that.

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