The stories in Re-imagining Birrarung: Six radical restoration ideas for the iconic Yarra River are visions of a revitalised, restored river. They imagine what the river can be like when benefiting from the maxim wilipgin Birrarung murron: ‘Keep the Birrarung alive’.
Each account comes from communities involved in caring for the river. They are snapshots of ambitious and bold visions for the river.
We need such visions. We need also the collective will to insist on them and insist on the means to achieve them: laws, projects, resources, organisation, policies, the commitment of public authorities at all levels, stories, involvement, lessons, tasks to pass on to the next generation.
These accounts represent themes that, in our view, are integral to the hard work of planning, negotiating and institutionalising change: the ancient river, a clean river, a healthy river, a connected river, and a place of river communities.
This project of change is embodied in the Yarra River Protection (wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act 2017 (Vic), which received Royal Assent and became part of the law of Victoria on 26 September 2017.
This law establishes a moment of opportunity, if well implemented and embraced, by which long-term visions can provide powerful, effective pathways for how we manage and govern the river. And the state in which hand it on to our children.
We hope this report stimulates your imagination about Birrarung and its future. Because imagining can spark not only ideas and visions for the river, but also measures on how we might achieve them.
(From Dr Bruce Lindsay’s introduction to the report)