Communities To Guide Water Management Across Victoria

The Andrews Labor Government will put communities at the centre of storm and recycled water management through new  forums across Victoria as part of an Integrated Water Management Framework released today.

The framework will help government organisations work with the community on urban water management, water supply, wastewater, flood resilience, waterway health and to develop healthy recreational spaces.

With climate change and population growth, it will be even more important to preserve and improve our green open spaces, walking tracks, parks, sporting grounds and ovals into the future.

That’s why these forums will identify ways to use recycled water and stormwater as efficiently as possible to ensure our spaces stay green and to reduce demand on our drinking water supplies.

The Labor Government’s water reforms recognise the recreational value of water to our economy, jobs and liveability, and to ensure communities have access green open spaces to relax, get fit and have fun.

To ensure local voices are central to decision making, metropolitan and regional water forums will be established.

The forums will encourage community discussion and collaboration and involve Traditional Owners in the planning and management of our water sector.

Each forum in the metropolitan catchments will have its own chair appointed to help guide the process. The newly appointed chairs include:

·         Chris Chesterfield (Yarra)

·         Dr Gillian Sparkes (Westernport)

·         Rob Skinner (Lead Chair and Werribee)

·         Lydia Wilson (Maribyrnong)

·         Shaun Cox (Dandenong)

·         Prof. Carol Boyle (Barwon)

·         Steve McKenzie (Goulburn Valley)

The Integrated Water Management Framework is a part of Water for Victoria – Victoria’s long-term plan to boost water security, protect jobs and agriculture, recognise Aboriginal water values and improve environmental health.

By 2065, streamflows to some of the state’s catchments could reduce by about 50 per cent, while Victoria’s population is set to almost double by 2051.

The plan will help Victoria address the challenges of climate change and population growth, while supporting healthy, resilient, liveable communities.

The Labor Government has invested $584 million to deliver water initiatives that implement Water for Victoria, including a record $222 million for waterway health.

Further details of the framework is available at www.water.vic.gov.au/liveable-cities-and-towns/resilient-and-liveable-cities-and-towns/iwm-framework

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville

“This new framework puts communities at the centre of decision-making, allowing local voices to help shape the future direction of local water management.”

“Our catchments continue to face significant pressures from climate change and population growth – that’s why we’re strengthening collaboration, partnerships and accountability to combat these challenges.”