The Andrews Labor Government has announced a new community-led approach to ensure iconic waterways in Melbourne’s west are protected for generations to come.
Minister for Water Lisa Neville and Minister for Planning Richard Wynne today joined Member for Footscray Marsha Thomson and Member for Essendon Danny Pearson at Footscray Rowing Club on the Maribyrnong River.
They announced a new Ministerial Advisory Committee to engage with communities and Traditional Owners to develop a Waterways of the West Action Plan.
This plan will identify priority projects and areas for reform for the various urban waterways of the west, bringing to life community expectations and local values, and protecting the rich Aboriginal heritage of these areas.
The MAC will be led by independent Chair, Chris Chesterfield, who has a strong background and expertise in water sensitive design and has experience as the Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee for the Yarra River.
It will work in partnership with Traditional Owners to develop these recommendations, reporting back to the Minister for Water and the Minister for Planning:
- Develop a community vision for the rivers and their landscapes, building on recent community engagement
- Make recommendations for specific actions for the protection of the rivers
- Make recommendations to maintain and enhance community ownership of the river corridors throughout the implementation of a Waterways of the West Action Plan.
In addition to this initiative the Labor Government will fund $400,000 to improve visitor facilities and recreational access to the waterways. The project will build a pontoon at nearby Footscray Park to enable the mooring and launching of small recreational boats, fishing and views along the river corridor.
It forms part of the total $1.2 million investment to improve recreational facilities along the Maribyrnong River, Moonee Ponds Creek and Werribee River. The remaining funding will be used for projects for improving access to Moonee Ponds Creek and visitor facilities at Werribee River.
The Labor Government’s Water for Victoria policy recognises the connection that communities, Traditional Owners and other Aboriginal Victorians have to waterways and their landscapes.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville
“The Waterways of the West Action Plan will guide us to take meaningful steps so our western waterways can thrive and be enjoyed as a natural treasure for future generations.”
“This community led approach coupled with investment into these iconic waterways recognise their importance to the community and will improve experience for all who use the waterways.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne
“Today we launch the concept for a community vision for Melbourne’s western corridor. The recreational values and health of these waterways is essential to the livability of these neighborhoods and the broader environment.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020