4 July 2016
Environmental Justice Australia today welcomed the discussion paper from the Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee containing the committee's ideas for a Yarra River Protection Act.
The Discussion Paper thoughtfully and carefully lays out key issues and considerations for the development of this important law. Done well, a Yarra River Protection Act will be a key innovation in the management of this iconic river.
We agree with the general direction and thinking of the Yarra River Protection Ministerial Advisory Committee, which focuses on matters such as river health, improved governance, and recognising future challenges like urban growth and climate change.
There are some important points to be considered further, such as what status a plan and vision for the river will have, and how and by whom the new Act would be implemented.
“This is a once in a generation opportunity to produce world-leading river legislation. With sufficient ambition and vision, we can produce an Act for the Yarra River which protects and restores it for the present and for future generations. It can also serve as a model for other urban rivers around the world. said Bruce Lindsay, lawyer at Environmental Justice Australia.
“From Warburton to West Gate Park, the people of Melbourne and the Yarra Valley treasure this iconic river. They should have a key role in determining a vision for the river, but also in management of the river. he continued.
This is the beginning of a 5 week consultation period when the Advisory Committee will seek community views on the discussion paper.
Environmental Justice Australia and Yarra Riverkeepers Association will shortly release our vision for the Yarra River Protection Act, which has been developed in conjunction with 16 community groups and conservation NGOs who are involved with the Yarra along its length, from the Yarra Valley, right down to the river mouth in the Port Philip Bay.
Bruce Linsday, Researcher, Environmental Justice Australia