Press Release - September 17, 2016

A new law to protect the Yarra River

The passage of the Yarra River Protection Bill through Victoria’s Parliament today signals the start of a new era of protecting Victoria’s most famous waterway, Environmental Justice Australia said.

The Yarra River (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Protection Bill has now passed both houses of the Victorian Parliament.

“Environmental Justice Australia welcomes the passage of this important new law,” said EJA lawyer Dr Bruce Lindsay.

“This is the first time a Victorian river has had a single piece of legislation devoted to its protection.

“The Yarra River Protection Act will set up a long-term environmental framework for the protection and management of the river.

“The new law also establishes a Birrarung River Council to advise and advocate for river and its surrounds.

“The Yarra is Greater Melbourne’s most important green corridor, it is culturally significant and loved by people across the state.

“For many decades the Yarra was seen as little more than a drain – its flows have been modified, its connections to wetlands disrupted, its governance fragmented.

“The Act will set up an integrated, landscape framework for governance of the Yarra, guided by environmental and social principles.

“This new law is an innovative example of how urban rivers can be managed.

“Congratulations should go to the Yarra Riverkeeper Association and the many friends groups, environment groups, residents’ groups and organisations involved in managing particular places along the river – all of which have contributed to making this new law a reality,” Dr Lindsay said.