The report, Let’s Act for the Yarra, co-produced by Environmental Justice Australia and the Yarra Riverkeepers Association, finds that the key problems faced by the river include poor water quality, overdevelopment of the banks of the Yarra, and stresses on the river’s native plants and animals.
The new Victorian government has committed to enact a Yarra River Protection Act with its own independent body to better manage the River from source to mouth, which is a great opportunity.
The government has recognised there are problems with the Yarra, but one plan after another has failed to fix them. The Yarra is facing so many development pressures and its management is so fragmented that efforts to clean it up are at risk. With Melbourne’s population set to soar, the river will be squeezed.
The Yarra is at the crossroads right now, and we need to take advantage of the opportunity to enact a Yarra River Protection Act if we’re going to ensure a truly world class river for the world’s most livable city.
The Yarra is such an important, iconic river, it deserves its own legislation and it needs its own independent agency to be a champion for the river.
Decisions about the river need to consider the whole river, so it can be properly protected and managed from source to mouth. The river really needs the government to begin work on the legislation as soon as possible.
We believe the community needs to have a say in the future of the Yarra. Wednesday night’s Yarra River Forum at the Abbotsford convent will bring together community members from across the Yarra’s catchment to formulate a vision for the Yarra.