A CLEANER YARRA RIVER & PORT PHILLIP BAY - A Plan of Action

 
A CLEANER YARRA RIVER & PORT PHILLIP BAY - A Plan of Action
A CLEANER
YARRA RIVER
     & PORT
 PHILLIP BAY

   A Plan of Action
A CLEANER YARRA RIVER & PORT PHILLIP BAY - A Plan of Action
GOVERNMENT TASKFORCE
    FOR THE YARRA RIVER
    & PORT PHILLIP BAY
    In March 2012, the Minister for Environment and
    Climate Change, Ryan Smith, set up a government
    taskforce to develop an action plan for the Yarra River
    and Port Phillip Bay focusing on four key priorities.

       Enable more effective                             Manage threats to                  Develop easier ways for                         Support Victorians to
       coordination between                              water quality, including           the community to access                         take actions that care for
       government agencies                               pollution, litter and              information about water                         and protect the Yarra and
       in protecting water                               stormwater inputs by               quality of the Yarra and                        the bay
       quality and providing                             identifying new priority           the bay
       timely information to                             actions to address them
       communities about
       water quality events

    The Victorian Government has produced this 17
    point action plan: A Cleaner Yarra River and Port
    Phillip Bay and would like to thank the individuals
    and groups that contributed their insights on issues
    affecting the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay.
    The plan recognises and builds on community
    efforts in protecting waterways and reaffirms
    the government’s commitment to community
    partnership.

                                                                           Disclaimer                                                         Published by the Victorian Government
    The taskforce members were: the Department of                          This publication may be of assistance to you but the               Department of Sustainability
    Sustainability and Environment (lead agency), Environment              State of Victoria and its employees do not guarantee               and Environment Melbourne, October 2012
    Protection Authority, Melbourne Water, Port of Melbourne               that the publication is without flaw of any kind or is              ©The State of Victoria Department
    Corporation, Parks Victoria, Department of Health,                     wholly appropriate for your particular purposes and                of Sustainability and Environment 2012
    Department of Primary Industries, Department of Planning               therefore disclaims all liability for any error, loss or other     This publication is copyright. No part may
    and Community Development, Port Phillip and Westernport                consequence which may arise from you relying on any                be reproduced by any process except in
    Catchment Management Authority, Corangamite Catchment                  information in this publication.                                   accordance with the provisions of the
                                                                                                                                              Copyright Act 1968.
    Management Authority, South East Water Limited and the                 Accessibility
    2ƴFHRI/LYLQJ9LFWRULD                                               If you would like to receive this publication in an                Authorised by the Victorian Government,
                                                                                                                                              8 Nicholson Street, East Melbourne
                                                                           accessible format, such as large print or audio,
                                                                           please telephone 136 186, or through the National                  Print managed by Finsbury Green
                                                                           Relay Service (NRS) using a modem or textphone/                    Printed on recycled paper
                                                                           teletypewriter (TTY) by dialling 1800 555 677,                     ISBN 978-1-74287-668-9 (print)
                                                                                                                                              ISBN 978-1-74287-669-6 (online)
                                                                           or email customer.service@dse.vic.gov.au
    Front cover images: Upper Yarra by Melbourne Water.
                                                                                                                                              For more information contact the
    Yarra River by Christian Pearson. Port Phillip Bay by Chris Bayliss.   This document is also available in PDF format on the               DSE Customer Service Centre 136 186
    Rear cover image: Seagrass - Zostera muelleri by Mary Malloy           internet at dse.vic.gov.au
2
A CLEANER YARRA RIVER & PORT PHILLIP BAY - A Plan of Action
MINISTER’S
            FOREWORD
            In 2012, Melbourne maintained its title as      The action plan focuses on four distinct priorities:
            the world’s most liveable city for the second   Ŕ $MFBSFS NPSFSFTQPOTJWFNBOBHFNFOU
            year running. Contributing to this success
                                                            Ŕ 1SFWFOUJOHQPMMVUJPOBOESFEVDJOHMJUUFS
            is our natural environment, including the
            Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay.               Ŕ 1SPWJEJOHBDDFTTJCMFJOGPSNBUJPO
                                                            Ŕ 4VQQPSUJOHDPNNVOJUZBDUJPO
            The Victorian Government intends to build
            on this achievement by strengthening            Our plan responds to the need for a framework
            efforts to protect two of our most beautiful    that better clarifies responsibilities, identifies
            natural assets, the Yarra and the bay.          practical and effective actions and enables all
                                                            Victorians to be informed about the health of
            The Yarra and bay are enjoyed by all
                                                            these environmental assets.
            Victorians to swim, snorkel, or fish in,
            row or canoe on, walk or cycle by, and          The health of the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay are
            picnic on their shores. They are home           directly impacted by what happens throughout their
            to many unique species of plants and            catchments. Heavy rains wash litter and stormwater
            animals. These waterways also contribute        downstream which can affect water quality as far
            to our economic prosperity supporting           away as the bay, as evidenced by the natural algal
            commercial fisheries, bustling ports,            bloom in Port Phillip Bay in early 2012.
            agriculture, forestry and tourism. It is
                                                            Whether disposing of our litter more thoughtfully,
            important that we protect them now
                                                            reducing industrial waste, improving stormwater
            to enjoy them into the future.
                                                            and land management to reduce pollution
            We all have a shared responsibility when it     – we can all take action and play our part.
            comes to looking after the Yarra and bay.
                                                            Over the next five years the Victorian Government
            Government, business and the community
                                                            is planning to spend more than $1 billion on
            have a role to play as environmental
                                                            programs and initiatives that contribute to
            citizens.
                                                            protecting and improving the Yarra and bay.
                                                            This action plan ensures we make the most
                                                            of these investments and community action.
                                                            It is up to all of us to ensure A Cleaner Yarra River
Government, business                                        and Port Phillip Bay.
  and communities
   working together
 from the catchment
     to the coast
                            Government                      Ryan Smith
                                                            Minister for Environment and Climate Change
                            action priorities
                            Ŕ $MFBSFS NPSF
                                responsive management
                            Ŕ 1SFWFOUJOHQPMMVUJPO
                               and reducing litter                   Victorians enjoying
                            Ŕ 1SPWJEJOHBDDFTTJCMF                   a cleaner Yarra
                               information
                                                                           and bay
                            Ŕ 4VQQPSUJOH
                               community action
                                                                                                                     3
A CLEANER YARRA RIVER & PORT PHILLIP BAY - A Plan of Action
VALUING THE                                                 WHY WE NEED AN
    YARRA & THE BAY                                             ACTION PLAN FOR
    The Yarra River provides a focal point for the city of
                                                                THE YARRA & BAY
    Melbourne and, along with Port Phillip Bay, continues to
    be vital to Victoria’s economic prosperity, environmental
                                                                Over recent decades, Victorians have worked together to
    health and social wellbeing.
                                                                improve the health of the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay.
    The Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay are working
                                                                This has involved strategic planning, government
    environments. More than one-third of Victoria’s
                                                                investment and community action to improve river
    population live and work in the Yarra catchment.
                                                                health and water quality, such as removing discharges of
    The Yarra River, known as Birrarung to the Kulin people,    untreated wastewater to Port Phillip Bay and establishing
    traditionally provided a food source and meeting place      Melbourne as a leader in water sensitive urban design.
    for indigenous Australians who have maintained a
                                                                As a result of these efforts, Victorians are enjoying the
    connection to it for over 40,000 years.
                                                                many benefits that come with improved water quality
    The Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay are home to a wide     in the Yarra and bay.
    range of native plants and animals including threatened
                                                                But we still have work to do.
    species. Internationally recognised Ramsar wetlands
    sit along the western shore of the bay and Bellarine        Recent heavy rain highlights how extreme weather events
    Peninsula, and marine national parks and sanctuaries        can degrade water quality and affect the amenity of the
    provide an opportunity for the community to enjoy our       Yarra and bay.
    unique environment.
                                                                Stormwater runoff from urban and rural sources can
                                                                impact waterway health, particularly in the lower reaches
                                                                of the Yarra. Population growth, urban development
                                                                and increasing extreme weather events reinforce the
                                                                importance of addressing these challenges.
                                                                For our future safety, health and prosperity, and to protect
                                                                the natural values of the Yarra and bay, we need to ensure
                                                                we maximise the benefits from the significant investment
                                                                that government, business and the community are
                                                                already making.

4
A CLEANER YARRA RIVER & PORT PHILLIP BAY - A Plan of Action
WATER QUALITY
IN THE YARRA RIVER
& PORT PHILLIP BAY
                                                                                                                  6QRUNHOOLQJDW4XHHQVFOLƱ
Good water quality in the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay                                                        Photo: Coast Action
is vital to provide:
Ŕ IFBMUIZBOEEJWFSTFFDPTZTUFNT
Ŕ DMFBO TBGFTXJNNJOH
Ŕ SFDSFBUJPOBMBOEDPNNFSDJBMţTIJOH
   and aquaculture industries.
Water quality in the Yarra has improved significantly over the
past few decades and has been relatively stable in recent years.
It compares well to similar rivers in major urban areas overseas.
An independent report by the Office of Environmental Monitor1
found after four years of baywide monitoring that overall Port
Phillip Bay was in good health, consistent with the previous
decade. However, water quality in both the Yarra and the bay
can be impacted after heavy rain, with stormwater washing
pollutants into our waterways.
Water quality varies along the length of the Yarra – with high
water quality in the upper reaches, where the river flows
through protected forests, to poorer water quality in some
sections of the lower catchment where it is affected by more
intense land use and development.
                                                                                                              West Gate Bridge at Newport
Water quality impacts in tributaries of the Yarra are often more                                              Photo: EPA Victoria
pronounced, particularly in urban areas. Our waterways also
carry a legacy of our industrial past. Runoff today can carry
heavy metals and other contaminants that can be found in the
sediments of our waterways.
                                                                     SUPPORTING SAFE
Yarra River water quality supports many of the uses valued           & CLEAN SHIPPING
by the community. Monitoring shows it is generally suitable
for boating and similar activities while swimming is generally       Shipping and boating activities in Port Phillip Bay are
suitable only in the upper catchment.
                                                                     FHQWUDOWR9LFWRULDśVVXFFHVVDQGSURVSHULW\
The Yarra, with its extensive catchment area, is the largest
flow input to the bay. Water quality in the bay is substantially      The Port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest container and
affected by activities occurring throughout the catchment and        JHQHUDOFDUJRSRUW7KHSRUWKDQGOHVDURXQGRIWKH
climatic conditions, such as the amount of rain. Local drains,       QDWLRQśVFRQWDLQHUWUDGH0DULQHLQFLGHQWVFDQLPSDFW
rivers and creeks carry pollutants from the catchments also
affecting water quality and amenity of beaches.
                                                                     bay ecosystems and so vessel safety is paramount to
                                                                     SURWHFWLQJWKHKHDOWKRI3RUW3KLOOLS%D\9HVVHOVDIHW\
Nutrient loads to the bay are an important issue for the bay         programs, such as the Steer Clear campaign help boaters
ecosystems. Melbourne Water has invested significantly to
reduce nutrients entering Port Phillip Bay, but this is an ongoing
                                                                     VWD\VDIHDQGHQMR\WKHLUWLPHRXWRQWKHED\
challenge. So far, the bay has been resilient to the impact of
                                                                     The Port of Melbourne maintains sophisticated safety
these inputs. However, nutrient cycling in the bay is critical
to its ongoing good health. It is vital we continue to carefully     and environmental management controls to minimise
monitor and take care of these processes.                            WKHLPSDFWVRISRUWDFWLYLWLHV6WULFWUXOHVDUHDOVRLQSODFH
                                                                     to prevent marine pollution and the discharge of wastes,
                                                                     FKHPLFDOVRLOVRUKLJKULVNEDOODVWZDWHULQ3RUW3KLOOLS%D\
 2ƴFHRIWKH(QYLURQPHQWDO0RQLWRU  $QQXDOUHYLHZ
   1R-DQXDU\
                                                                                                                                         5
A CLEANER YARRA RIVER & PORT PHILLIP BAY - A Plan of Action
A COMMITMENT
    TO ACT NOW
    The Victorian Government is committed                  This investment will establish Victoria as a world
                                                           leader in liveable cities. By continuing to upgrade
    to playing its part and leading action for             urban infrastructure, including stormwater and sewage
    a cleaner Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay.            systems, we will ensure ongoing protection of the
                                                           health of our rivers, creeks and bays.
    Over the next five years the Victorian                  The government taskforce considered all government
    Government, together with government                   investment and other initiatives to identify the right
                                                           actions to secure a comprehensive program for
    owned water corporations, plan to invest               a cleaner Yarra and bay.
    more than $1 billion in programs and                   This action plan complements the Victorian
    initiatives that will contribute to improving          Government’s investment in waterway health and sets
                                                           17 new priority actions for a cleaner Yarra and bay.
    the health of the Yarra and the bay.
                                                           The plan details actions under four key priorities.

           CLEARER, MORE                                             PREVENTING
    1      RESPONSIVE                                      2         POLLUTION
           MANAGEMENT                                                & REDUCING LITTER
    Strengthening the government’s response                Managing threats to water quality of the Yarra
    and environmental management arrangements              River and Port Phillip Bay from pollution, litter
    for the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay               and stormwater

    1    Identify the lead agencies for managing water     6      Work with catchment managers to improve water
         quality in the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay          quality at beaches in Port Phillip Bay

    2    Develop a new Environment Management Plan         7      Revise the guidelines for urban stormwater
         for Port Phillip Bay that will help address key          management for new urban development,
         risks to bay health including marine pests and           to facilitate and support best practice
         nutrient loads
                                                           8      Identify litter hotspots and develop local
    3    Put in place a Response Plan for water quality           partnerships with community, businesses and
         events in Port Phillip Bay such as algal blooms          local government to cut litter in these areas

    4    Extend the role of the Yarra River and Port       9      Target pollution hotspots to improve compliance
         Phillip Bay government taskforce to oversee              by industry, land developers and others sources
         and coordinate implementation of the plan                of pollution in waterways

    5    Update best practice environmental guidelines     10     Investigate and trial improved early warning
         for dredging                                             and community information programs for
                                                                  sewage spills and leaks affecting waterways

                                                           11     Develop innovative approaches to reduce
                                                                  wastewater impacts on waterways, including
                                                                  accelerating the sewering of unsewered areas

                                                           12     Update guidance and requirements for on-site
                                                                  wastewater management
6
A CLEANER YARRA RIVER & PORT PHILLIP BAY - A Plan of Action
ALGAL BLOOMS 2012
                                                            Algal blooms can occur naturally in healthy waters and have been
                                                            recorded in all areas of Port Phillip Bay since monitoring began more
                                                            WKDQ\HDUVDJR
                                                            ,Q-DQXDU\DODUJHDOJDOEORRPIRUPHGLQ3RUW3KLOOLS%D\
                                                            following hot weather and heavy rain that washed nutrients into
                                                            WKHED\7KHEORRPZDVDVVRFLDWHGZLWKSRRUZDWHUTXDOLW\DQGƲVK
                                                            GHDWKVLQWKHQRUWKRIWKHED\/DUJHEORRPHYHQWVFDQVWUHVVDTXDWLF
                                                            animals by reducing the available oxygen in the water, clogging gills
                                                            RUSURGXFLQJWR[LQV,QODWH-DQXDU\WKHGHDGDOJDHZDVKHGXSRQ
                                                            VHYHUDOED\EHDFKHVRQWKH0RUQLQJWRQ3HQLQVXODDƱHFWLQJWKHXVH
                                                            RIEHDFKHVIRUVZLPPLQJDQGRWKHUUHFUHDWLRQDOSXUSRVHV
                                                            )RUPRUHLQIRUPDWLRQVHH'6(śVZHEVLWHGVHYLFJRYDX
                                                            3RUW3KLOOLS%D\-DQXDU\
                                                            Photo: EPA Victoria

        PROVIDING                                                        SUPPORT FOR
3       ACCESSIBLE                                            4          COMMUNITY
        INFORMATION                                                      ACTION
Providing better quality and faster access to                 Supporting Victorians to take actions that
relevant information for Victorians about water               care for and protect our rivers and bays
quality in the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay

13    Provide water quality information and advice            16      Support Victorians to take action and protect water
      through a ‘one stop shop’ so Victorians can quickly             quality and reduce litter. This includes working
      and easily access up-to-date information including              with communities to assist them identify and apply
      beach closures and algal blooms                                 for funding from programs such as the Victorian
                                                                      Government’s $20 million Communities for Nature
14    Prepare a report card that summarises the Yarra
                                                                      program, Landcare and Coastcare
      and bay’s water quality and health
                                                              17      Encourage environmental citizenship including
15    Improve key water quality monitoring programs,
                                                                      reporting of litter and pollution, learning more about
      including the Port Phillip Bay Beach Report
                                                                      water quality, and joining community groups to take
                                                                      action to protect the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay

                                                                                                                                     7
A CLEANER YARRA RIVER & PORT PHILLIP BAY - A Plan of Action
OUR YARRA                                   Healthy river catchments and bay environments
                                                underpin our lives. The Yarra River and Port Phillip

    RIVER & PORT                                Bay meet our social and recreational needs and
                                                are important to the livelihoods of farmers, fishers

    PHILLIP BAY                                 and businesses across Victoria.
                                                The Yarra and bay are interconnected ecosystems.
                                                Water quality in Port Phillip Bay is impacted by
                                                inputs from its river catchments and the Yarra is
                                                the largest of these.

       LITTER                                                                    WASTEWATER
       Litter dropped in the street and                                          We have come a long way from the open
       other areas washes into our drains,                                       sewers of the 1800s. Victoria has invested
       into our waterways and onto our                                           in the sewage collection and treatment
       beaches. In 20010/11 the removal                                          infrastructure needed to protect our health
       of litter from our urban waterways                                        and the environment. However, leaks and
       cost around $4 million.                                                   spills can still affect water quality.

                                             POLLUTION HOTSPOTS
                                             Runoff from factories, industrial sites
                                             and other pollution hotspots, such as
                                             development activities and poor agricultural
                                             practices, makes its way down the Yarra
                                             and eventually into the bay.

8
A CLEANER YARRA RIVER & PORT PHILLIP BAY - A Plan of Action
RURAL LAND MANAGEMENT                                               QUICK     YARRA RIVER
Runoff from rural and peri-urban
                                                                    FACTS     Length: 242 km
land can affect water quality, carrying
                                                                              Runs: From 40 km east of Warburton on
nutrients and other pollutants.
                                                                              the flanks of Mt Baw Baw to the mouth of
                                                                              Port Phillip Bay, Newport
                                                                              Name: Yarra Yarra means ‘ever flowing’ in the
                                                                              Wurundjeri language
                                                                              Colour: Brown in the lower reaches because
                                                                              of suspended silt carried downstream
                                                                              Catchment: Covers about 4,000 square
                                                                              kilometres, includes 24 tributaries and is home
                                                                              to about two million people. Supplies drinking
                                                                              water to Melbourne
                                                                              Industries: The catchment supports agriculture,
                                                                              forestry, recreation and tourism
                                                                              Home to: Unique plants and animals including
                                                                              platypus. The threatened Australian Grayling
                                                                              fish was rediscovered in the Yarra River
                                                                              Recreation: Visitors enjoy rowing, canoeing,
                                                  STORMWATER
                                                                              kayaking, fishing, cycling, walking and picnics
                                                  Rain can wash
                                                  nutrients, bacteria and
                                                  other pollutants from       PORT PHILLIP BAY
                                                  catchments into the         Area: 1,950 square km
                                                  Yarra and bay. This can
                                                  degrade the water quality   Coastline: 264 km
                                                  of the Yarra and bay.
                                                                              Name: Named after the first Governor of New
                                                                              South Wales, Arthur Phillip
                                                                              Ports: Port of Melbourne is Australia’s busiest
                                                                              port, supporting 15,000 jobs and $82 billion
                                                                              imports/exports. Geelong is Victoria’s largest
                                                                              regional port
                                                                              Home to: Over 1,000 species of marine plants
                                                                              and animals including dolphins, penguins and
                                                                              the Weedy Seadragon
                                                                              Industries: The $10 million commercial fishing
                                                                              and aquaculture industries are dependent on
                                                                              the bay’s clean water

                            BOATING & SHIPPING                                Recreation: Visitors enjoy the coastal parks and
                                                                              beaches, boating, swimming, fishing and diving
                            Victoria benefits from modern ports and
                            shipping that operate under sophisticated
                            safety and environmental controls. Strict
                            rules minimise the impact of infrastructure
                            development and the risk of rare accidents,
                            such as oil or chemical spills.

                                                                                                                                 9
A CLEANER YARRA RIVER & PORT PHILLIP BAY - A Plan of Action
HIGHLIGHTS OF
     VICTORIA’S 5 YEAR
     INVESTMENT
     PROGRAMS
         The Victorian Government has allocated
         $60 MILLION to the Living Victoria
         program (including the Leading the Way Fund)
         and established the Office of Living Victoria.

         In addition to funding through Catchment
         Management Authorities and Landcare,
         the Victorian Government is investing
         $20 MILLION through the Communities                                          Yarra Catchment
         for Nature grants program to support practical                               Photo: Melbourne Water

         community action to protect the environment.
                                                                                      OFFICE OF LIVING VICTORIA
         Melbourne Water’s draft Healthy Waterways                                    The Victorian Government’s response to the Living
                                                                                      Melbourne, Living Victoria Implementation Plan
         and Stormwater strategies set out proposed                                   committed to a new approach to planning and managing
                                                                                      9LFWRULDśVXUEDQZDWHUUHVRXUFHV7KLVLQFOXGHVFKDQJLQJ
         investments of more than $500                       MILLION*                 how alternative water supplies (rainwater, recycled water
         for waterway health programs and improved                                    and stormwater) are used in order to reduce pressures
                                                                                      on our drinking water supplies, improve the liveability
         stormwater management over the next five years.                               of our urban areas and reduce negative impacts on the
                                                                                      HQYLURQPHQW
                                                                                      $NH\UHIRUPHOHPHQWZDVWKHDOORFDWLRQRIPLOOLRQWR
         Government owned water corporations have                                     the Living Victoria program (including the Leading the Way
         released draft plans that propose investments                                )XQG DQGHVWDEOLVKLQJWKH2ƴFHRI/LYLQJ9LFWRULD 2/9 

         of more than $1           BILLION* over the next                             The immediate focus of the OLV will be on integrated
                                                                                      ZDWHUF\FOHSODQQLQJ,WVLQLWLDOZRUNZLOOLQFOXGHVHYHUDO
         five years in upgrades to Melbourne’s sewerage                                key initiatives, including:
                                                                                      Ţ FRRUGLQDWLRQDQGIDFLOLWDWLRQRIWKHGHYHORSPHQWRI
         system to maintain and improve capacity and                                     integrated water cycle plans for Melbourne’s four
         reliability and in projects to improve integration                              growth areas and inner Melbourne
                                                                                      Ţ SUHSDUDWLRQRIDUHJXODWRU\LPSDFWVWDWHPHQWIRU
         of water and urban planning (including water
                                                                                         building controls to improve the water performance
         recycling and stormwater reuse).                                                of new buildings
                                                                                      Ţ ZRUNLQJZLWKWKH'HSDUWPHQWRI3ODQQLQJDQG
                                                                                         Community Development to amend the Victoria
                                                                                         Planning Provisions to apply the current performance
                                                                                         UHTXLUHPHQWVIRUWKHPDQDJHPHQWRIVWRUPZDWHU
                                                                                         PRUHEURDGO\
                                                                                      Better use and management of stormwater as an
                                                                                      DOWHUQDWHVRXUFHZLOOSURYLGHDUDQJHRIEHQHƲWVWRWKH
                                                                                      community including improved liveability through
     * Investment proposed in draft Water Plans and associated strategies released
                                                                                      greening landscapes and improved health of urban
     IRUSXEOLFFRQVXOWDWLRQLQ0D\)LQDOSURSRVDOVZLOOEHVXEPLWWHGWRWKH
                                                                                      ZDWHUZD\VLQFOXGLQJWKH
CLEARER, MORE RESPONSIVE
MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                        1
Managing the multiple uses of the bay is complex and requires effective

                                                                                                                                MANAGEMENT
                                                                                                                                CLEARER, MORE RESPONSIVE
coordination between various government agencies. Victorians want to be
confident that management of Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River is integrated,
transparent and accountable.
Importantly, Victorians also want to know that when there is an event that affects
water quality, the mechanisms are in place to quickly and effectively respond,
and that they will have access to reliable advice.
The Victorian Government has strengthened environmental management
arrangements for the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay to clarify agency responsibilities.

       DEPARTMENT OF                                MELBOURNE WATER                              ENVIRONMENT
      SUSTAINABILITY AND                         Lead and coordinate water
                                                                                                  PROTECTION
        ENVIRONMENT                               quality management for                           AUTHORITY
     Lead and coordinate water                   the Yarra River. Melbourne                 Environmental regulator and
        quality management                        Water also provides bulk                    independent assessment,
         for Port Phillip Bay.                  sewage services that protect                 reporting and advice about
                                                        water quality.                           water quality issues.

State and local government play an important          Other agencies with a role in protecting and caring for the Yarra River
role in protecting the Yarra and bay through          and Port Phillip Bay include:
litter prevention and management, stormwater          Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority
management, and on-site wastewater
management.                                           Corangamite Catchment Management Authority
                                                      Retail water corporations: Barwon Water, South East Water,
Strategic land use planning by state and local        Yarra Valley Water, City West Water
government plays a vital role in protecting river
corridors and water quality.                          Port of Melbourne Corporation
                                                      Parks Victoria
Melbourne Water and the Department of
Sustainability and Environment will work              Sustainability Victoria
with other agencies, local government and             Department of Health
communities to coordinate action to improve           Department of Primary Industries
and protect water quality and to ensure timely
                                                      Department of Planning and Community Development
response to any water quality events.
                                                      Central Coastal Board
                                                      Victorian Regional Channels Authority
                                                      Office of Living Victoria
                                                      For more information on these agencies’ roles please refer to page 23.

                                                                                                                                                   11
1
                                  What the Victorian Government
                                                                                           NEW PRIORITY
CLEARER, MORE RESPONSIVE
            MANAGEMENT

                                  is doing to ensure clear
                                  & responsive management                                  ACTIONS
                                  of the Yarra River & Port Phillip Bay
                           The Victorian Government is delivering more responsive
                                                                                           1   Identify the lead agencies for managing water
                                                                                               quality in the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay
                           environmental management by:                                        Multiple state and local government agencies
                           Ŕ &TUBCMJTIJOHUIF:BSSBBOE#BZ5BTLGPSDFUPDPPSEJOBUF          contribute to water quality in Port Phillip Bay, the
                              action across government agencies                                Yarra River and other waterways of the Port Phillip
                                                                                               catchment. The government has clarified and
                           Ŕ &TUBCMJTIJOHUIF0ťDFPG-JWJOH7JDUPSJBUPMFBE                confirmed responsibilities to lead and coordinate
                              integrated water cycle planning                                  action on water quality.
                           Ŕ %FWFMPQJOHFŢFDUJWF DPPSEJOBUFEQMBOTBOETUSBUFHJFT
                              to ensure long term environmental protection and             2   Develop a new Environment Management Plan
                                                                                               that will help address key risks to bay health
                              improvement, including:
                                                                                               including marine pests and nutrient loads
                              Ŕ 3FHJPOBM$BUDINFOU4USBUFHJFTGPSUIF1PSU1IJMMJQ
                                 and Westernport and Corangamite regions and a                 A new Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for
                                 new alliance approach to implementation of the                Port Phillip Bay will refresh directions, targets and
                                 Port Phillip and Westernport Regional Catchment               priorities for managing the key threats to Port Phillip
                                 Strategy that aligns and coordinates action across            Bay. The EMP will capture our increased scientific
                                 agencies and stakeholders                                     understanding from recent monitoring. This will be
                                                                                               used to update the key risks to Port Phillip Bay and
                              Ŕ 7JDUPSJBO8BUFSXBZ.BOBHFNFOU4USBUFHZBOEUIF               the effectiveness of management actions.
                                 Regional Healthy Waterways Strategies
                              Ŕ 7JDUPSJBO$PBTUBM4USBUFHZBOE$PBTUBM"DUJPO1MBOT       3   Put in place a Response Plan for water quality
                                                                                               events in Port Phillip Bay
                              Ŕ .FMCPVSOF8BUFSōT4UPSNXBUFS4USBUFHZ
                                                                                               The Response Plan will ensure coordinated and
                              Ŕ *OUFHSBUFEXBUFSDZDMFQMBOT                                  timely response to water quality events and that
                              Ŕ 1MBOTGPSTFXFSBHFJOGSBTUSVDUVSFJOWFTUNFOU                  reliable information is provided for beach users and
                                                                                               communities. Existing protocols will be reviewed
                              Ŕ &OTVSJOHUIFTBGFUZBOEDPNQMJBODFPGWFTTFMTBOE            and, where necessary, new protocols established.
                                 maintaining robust, ready response arrangements
                                 for marine pollution incidents
                                                                                           4   Extend the role of the Yarra River and Port
                                                                                               Phillip Bay taskforce to oversee and coordinate
                              Ŕ .FUSPQPMJUBO1MBOOJOH4USBUFHZ
                                                                                               implementation of this Plan
                              Ŕ 4BGFUZBOE&OWJSPONFOU.BOBHFNFOU1MBOT
                                                                                               The taskforce will be expanded to include
                                 for ports.
                                                                                               key stakeholder representatives such as local
                                                                                               government and community groups to assist the
                                                                                               government to implement this Plan.

                                                                                           5   Update best practice environmental guidelines
                                                                                               for dredging
                           WATER QUALITY FRAMEWORK
                                                                                               Recent dredging projects have established new
                           The National Water Quality Management Strategy provides             benchmarks in environmental controls for dredging
                           WKHFRQWH[WIRUZDWHUTXDOLW\VWDQGDUGVDQGSODQQLQJDWWKH        activities. Victorian best practice environmental
                           VWDWHOHYHO                                                       guidelines for dredging will be updated to reflect
                                                                                               these advances and to reflect relevant national
                           The State Environment Protection Policy (Waters of Victoria)
                                                                                               guidelines. This will minimise the environmental
                           HVWDEOLVKHVWKHXVHVDQGYDOXHVWREHSURWHFWHG)XUWKHU
                                                                                               impacts of dredging activities.
                           GLUHFWLRQIRUPDQDJLQJZDWHUTXDOLW\ZLOOEHRXWOLQHGLQWKH
                           new Victorian Waterway Management Strategy currently
                           EHLQJSUHSDUHGE\WKH9LFWRULDQ*RYHUQPHQW
                           Regional targets and priority management actions to
                           LPSURYHZDWHUZD\KHDOWK LQFOXGLQJZDWHUTXDOLW\ LQWKH
                           Port Phillip and Westernport region are determined by
                           Melbourne Water and are currently outlined in their draft
                           +HDOWK\:DWHUZD\V6WUDWHJ\

12
PREVENTING POLLUTION
& REDUCING LITTER                                                                                                           2
The biggest influence on water quality in the Yarra and the

                                                                                                                            & REDUCING LITTER
                                                                                                                            PREVENTING POLLUTION
bay is what happens throughout the catchments. Stormwater,
which carries pollutants and litter from catchments to waterways,
is a key issue.

Stormwater
Stormwater washes 14,000 tonnes of sediment and 650 tonnes of nutrients, such as nitrogen from fertiliser, into the Yarra
each year, as well as litter, heavy metals and bacteria. This contributes 50-62 per cent of the total contaminant loads
to the bay each year. Other waterways draining to Port Phillip Bay also contribute, from Hovell’s Creek to the Werribee,
Maribyrnong and Patterson Rivers.
Around 540,000 million litres of stormwater flows into Port Phillip and Westernport bays each year. The Victorian
Government’s Living Victoria program identifies this stormwater as a resource that can be turned from a potential threat
to the value of our waterways into an alternative water source for non-potable uses such as for irrigating open spaces
and street vegetation, enabling safer water recreation and reducing the impacts of localised flooding.

      What the Victorian Government                         Ŕ JNQMFNFOUJOHTUPSNXBUFSUSFBUNFOUBOESFUFOUJPO
                                                               systems, for example, the recently-constructed
      is doing to manage stormwater                            Dandenong Valley wetland is the largest in
      impacts                                                  Melbourne and will reduce pollutant loads from
                                                               Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs to the bay
Victoria has a strong track record in urban stormwater
                                                            Ŕ BTTJTUJOH.FMCPVSOFSFTJEFOUTSFNPWFQPMMVUBOUT
management, through developing water sensitive urban
                                                               from stormwater before it enters drains through
design and embedding this in stormwater management
                                                               the 10,000 Raingardens Program
and land use planning and development, particularly in
new urban areas.                                            Ŕ TVQQPSUJOHJNQSPWFESVSBMMBOENBOBHFNFOU
                                                               to reduce runoff carrying fertilisers, sediment,
The Victorian Government has committed to major
                                                               pesticides and other chemicals
reforms to meet our future water challenges by
making greater use of stormwater, rainwater and             Ŕ UIF7JDUPSJBO(PWFSONFOUJTBQBSUOFSJOUIFOFX
recycled water, as outlined in its response to the Living      Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive
Melbourne Living Victoria Implementation Plan.                 Cities that will bring together experts to investigate
Key initiatives include:                                       and deliver improved urban water systems.
Ŕ FTUBCMJTINFOUPGUIF0ťDFPG-JWJOH7JDUPSJBUPESJWF
   change in how we use and plan Victoria’s urban
   water systems to achieve better outcomes for the
   community, including protecting waterway health
Ŕ JOWFTUNFOUJOTUPSNXBUFSSFVTFCZHPWFSONFOU
   owned water corporations over the next five years
Ŕ .FMCPVSOF8BUFSōTESBGU4UPSNXBUFS4USBUFHZUIBU
   sets out the high level strategic directions and
   approaches for managing stormwater over the next
   five years and supports liveability, public health and
   ecosystem health
Ŕ TVQQPSUJOHMPDBMHPWFSONFOUUPFOTVSFXBUFS
   sensitive urban design is included in local
   government works and planning decisions

                                                                                                                                            13
2                                                                          Litter
                        NEW PRIORITY                                         Litter is the most obvious pollutant in our waterways and
PREVENTING POLLUTION
    & REDUCING LITTER

                                                                             on our beaches.

                        ACTIONS                                              1,310 truck loads of litter and rubbish were removed from
                                                                             Melbourne’s waterways in 2010-11.
                                                                             Plastic bags, food wrappers and cigarette butts are not just
                        6     Work with catchment managers to improve
                              water quality at beaches in Port Phillip Bay   unsightly, they pollute land and water and spoil natural
                                                                             areas and public spaces. Broken glass can be dangerous
                              Pilot the assessment of stormwater drainage    and other items can harm wildlife if they mistake them for
                              catchments at priority beaches to identify     food or become entangled.
                              sources that may increase pollutants in
                              stormwater. The study will inform future       Litter has reduced in Victoria in recent years, but Victorians
                              approaches to identifying sources of           remain concerned about littering of our waterways,
                              stormwater pollution at beaches.               beaches and other natural spaces.
                                                                             It is not just when litter is dropped at the beach or beside
                        7     Revise guidelines for urban stormwater
                              management in new developments to
                                                                             the Yarra River. Litter in our streets and other areas
                                                                             throughout the catchment can wash into stormwater
                              facilitate and support best practice           drains and build up in our waterways and on our beaches.
                              Guidelines for urban stormwater                Cleaning up litter from streets and other public spaces
                              management will be updated to incorporate      is costly. Litter clean-up costs Victorian local governments
                              new research about the impacts of              $78 million every year. These costs can be avoided by
                              stormwater pollutants and flows on stream       disposing of litter appropriately.
                              health, supporting the goals of the Living
                              Victoria program.

                                                                             “There are many issues facing the water
                                                                             TXDOLW\RIWKH
2
       What the Victorian Government
                                                                     NEW PRIORITY

                                                                                                                               & REDUCING LITTER
                                                                                                                               PREVENTING POLLUTION
       is doing to reduce litter
Victoria has a long tradition in litter prevention and
                                                                     ACTIONS
management, founded on strong partnerships, community
information, infrastructure and enforcement. The Victorian           8     Identify litter hotspots and develop
                                                                           local partnerships with community,
Litter Action Alliance brings together state and local                     businesses and local government to cut
government agencies involved in litter management, land                    litter in these areas
managers, industry and other stakeholders to provide advice
on litter prevention. Action includes:                                     The partnerships will be developed to meet
                                                                           the local circumstances and may support:
Ŕ SFNPWJOHMJUUFSGSPNBCPVUEFEJDBUFEMJUUFSUSBQTBOE
   another 5,000 sites across Melbourne Water’s drainage                  Ŕ BEEJUJPOBMJOGSBTUSVDUVSF
   and waterways system which are hotspots for collecting                 Ŕ FEVDBUJPOBXBSFOFTT
   litter and debris
                                                                          Ŕ FOGPSDFNFOU
Ŕ VQEBUJOHUIFMJUUFSTUSBUFHZXIJDIXJMMTFUPVUQSJPSJUJFTGPS
   action to prevent litter                                               Ŕ DMFBOVQBGUFSSBJO
Ŕ BQQPJOUJOHţWFMPDBMHPWFSONFOU-JUUFS1SFWFOUJPO0ťDFST
   in the Port Phillip catchment
Ŕ QSPWJEJOHBEFEJDBUFEIPVSIPUMJOFUISPVHI&1"BOE
   the launch of a smartphone App to improve opportunities
   for communities to report on litter
Ŕ FYQMPSJOHXBZTUPJNQSPWFQVCMJDQMBDFSFDZDMJOHUISPVHI
   education, awareness and infrastructure
Ŕ UIF3PBETJEF-JUUFS1SFWFOUJPO(SBOUT1SPHSBNNBLJOH
   it easier for Victorians to dispose of litter correctly and
   assisting local litter prevention and clean-up programs.

                                                                     WHAT YOU CAN DO
                                                                     TO HELP...
                                                                     Ŕ *GZPVBSFPVUBOEBCPVUBOEZPVDBOōUţOE
                                                                        a bin, take your litter home. Carry a litter bag
                                                                        in your car or boat
                                                                     Ŕ 3FQPSUMJUUFSUISPXOGSPNBWFIJDMF
                                                                        (1300 EPA VIC)
                                                                     Ŕ 1VUFYUJOHVJTIFEDJHBSFUUFCVUUTJOBCJOPSQVCMJD
                                                                        butt receptacle, or carry a personal ashtray
                                                                     Ŕ /FWFSIPTFMJUUFS MFBWFT QBJOUPSPUIFSEFCSJT
                                                                        into gutters and drains
                                                                     Ŕ 4UBSUBXPSLQMBDFDMFBOVQBOETVTUBJOBCJMJUZ
                                                                        program
                                                                     Ŕ (FUJOWPMWFEXJUIBDPNNVOJUZHSPVQDMFBOJOH
                                                                        up litter

                                                                                                                                               15
2                     Industrial & other
                        pollution hotspots
                        Historically, industry in Victoria discharged untreated
                                                                                          NEW PRIORITY
PREVENTING POLLUTION
    & REDUCING LITTER

                        wastes to our waterways and bay. This practice ended
                        after the establishment of the Board of Works and then,
                        the Environment Protection Authority in the 1970s.                ACTIONS
                        This significantly improved the health of waterways
                        and the bay.                                                      9    Target pollution hotpots to improve
                                                                                               compliance by industry, land development
                        However, our waterways still carry a legacy of this industrial
                                                                                               and others sources of pollution in our
                        past. Polychlorinated biphenyls, industrial chemicals,
                                                                                               waterways
                        have been detected in fish from the lower Yarra and
                        the Department of Health has provided advice about                     The Victorian Government, with support
                        consumption of these fish.                                              from research agencies such as the Centre
                                                                                               for Aquatic Pollution Identification and
                        While most industry and land managers do the right thing,
                                                                                               Management at the University of Melbourne,
                        poor waste and stormwater management practices by some
                                                                                               will investigate problem areas and collect
                        industry, land development and agricultural activities continue
                                                                                               scientific evidence to identify pollution
                        to pollute. EPA receives more than 1,500 reports of pollution
                                                                                               hotspots.
                        across Victoria each month.
                                                                                               The information from these research
                                                                                               partnerships will be used to prioritise
                                                                                               compliance activities, with the aim of
                              What the Victorian Government is                                 addressing local sources of pollution and
                                                                                               minimising the impacts on water quality
                              doing to prevent pollution                                       in the Yarra and bay.

                        In its role as Victoria’s environmental regulator, the EPA
                        investigates reports of pollution, sets standards for industry,
                        licences key discharges to the environment and monitors
                        compliance.
                        EPA targets improved compliance in sectors, sites and
                        locations that pose the greatest risk to the environment
                        and contribute to pollution hotspots. Over the last 18
                        months EPA has run targeted inspection programs across
                        six industrial areas, identifying and stopping pollution
                        discharges. Action includes:
                        Ŕ EPVCMJOHUIFOVNCFSPG&1"JOTQFDUJPOTJO
                           and conducting more proactive and unannounced
                           inspections of all sites, licensed or otherwise.
                           All inspections, including response to community
                           reports are being prioritised based on the risk activities
                           pose to the environment                                        WHAT YOU CAN DO
                        Ŕ &1"JTDPOUJOVJOHUPJNQSPWFJUTBQQSPBDIUPJEFOUJGZJOH
                           and tackling complex environmental problems, devising
                                                                                          TO HELP...
                           tailored interventions                                         Ŕ 3FQPSUQPMMVUJPOUP&1" &1"7*$
                        Ŕ VTJOH.FMCPVSOF8BUFSNPOJUPSJOHBOESFTFBSDIUP              Ŕ %JTQPTFPGXBTUFQSPQFSMZ JODMVEJOH
                           identify pollution hotspots and to trace sources of               wastewater and solid waste, and store
                           pollutants to our waterways and bay.                              chemicals and fuels where they cannot enter
                                                                                             waterways. Label your drains so it is clear which
                                                                                             are connected to waterways
                                                                                          Ŕ 1VUJOQMBDFNFBTVSFTUPNJOJNJTFSVOPŢGSPN
                                                                                             building sites carrying sediments, wastes, paint
                                                                                             and other pollutants
                                                                                          Ŕ 'JOEPVUNPSFBCPVUQSFWFOUJOH
                                                                                             stormwater pollution at epa.vic.gov.au

16
Wastewater
                                                                                                                       2
Collecting and treating sewage and other wastewater
                                                                 NEW PRIORITY

                                                                                                                       & REDUCING LITTER
                                                                                                                       PREVENTING POLLUTION
continues to be an important part of protecting the
Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay.
Sewage or other wastewater entering waterways can
                                                                 ACTIONS
carry high levels of nutrients, bacteria and other pollutants.
Sewage and wastewater discharges become problems:                10    Investigate and trial improved early warning
                                                                       and community information programs for
Ŕ XIFOXBTUFXBUFSDPMMFDUJPOTZTUFNTGBJM XJUIMFBLT                sewage spills and leaks affecting waterways
   or spills entering waterways
                                                                       Sewage flows increase during wet weather
Ŕ EVSJOHIFBWZSBJO TUPSNXBUFSFOUFSTPVSTFXBHFTZTUFN             and our sewerage systems are typically
   making it overflow and discharge to waterways                        designed to contain sewage flows up to a
                                                                       one in five year rainfall event. When overflows
Ŕ XIFOPOTJUFXBTUFXBUFSTZTUFNT TVDIBTTFQUJDUBOLT 
                                                                       occur, particularly during wet weather, it is
   and small privately operated wastewater treatment plants
                                                                       important that information is provided to
   are not properly operated and maintained.
                                                                       communities that spills are occurring and may
                                                                       impact on water quality and our use of the
                                                                       Yarra and the bay.

                                                                 11    Develop innovative approaches to reduce
                                                                       wastewater impacts on waterways, including
      What the Victorian Government is                                 accelerating the sewering of unsewered areas
      doing to reduce wastewater impacts                               Innovative approaches to reducing the impact
                                                                       of onsite wastewater management will
The Victorian Government, through Melbourne Water                      be trialled and where appropriate adopted.
and our retail water corporations, has established robust,             For example, South East Water has been using
long-term planning for sewerage infrastructure.                        new pressure sewerage system technology
This includes planning for the maintenance and upgrade of              to accelerate the replacing of septic tank
our sewerage systems to meet future growth and protect our             systems with sewerage services.
waterways.
Government owned water corporations will continue to             12    Update guidance and requirements for
                                                                       on-site wastewater management
invest in effective sewage collection and treatment over the
next five years. Draft water plans propose investment of more
than $1 billion over the next five years including:
Ŕ TFXFSBHFJOGSBTUSVDUVSFNBJOUFOBODFBOEVQHSBEFT
   to minimise leaks and spills and service growth
Ŕ TFXFSJOHPGVOTFXFSFE PSCBDLMPH BSFBT
Ŕ JNQSPWFEQMBOOJOHGPSSFVTFPGUSFBUFEXBTUFXBUFS 
   as part of the overall water cycle.
                                                                 WHAT YOU CAN DO
                                                                 TO HELP...
                                                                 Ŕ %POōUMFUGBUTPSPUIFSNBUFSJBMUIBUDBODBVTF
                                                                    a blocked drain enter the sewerage system
                                                                 Ŕ 0XOFSTPGPOTJUFXBTUFXBUFSUSFBUNFOU
                                                                    systems should ensure they are regularly
                                                                    maintained and operating correctly
                                                                 Ŕ 3FQPSUBOZMFBLTPSTQJMMTPGTFXBHFUPZPVS
                                                                    water corporation (City West Water, Yarra Valley
                                                                    Water, South East Water or Barwon Water)
                                                                 Ŕ .BLFTVSFUIFSFBSFOPDSPTTDPOOFDUJPOT
                                                                    between your stormwater drains and the
                                                                    sewerage system at home. For example, make
                                                                    sure the roof spouting and stormwater systems
                                                                    on your property are working properly and not
                                                                    connected to the sewerage system

                                                                                                                                       17
RELEVANT & ACCESSIBLE
  3                     INFORMATION
                        Every year millions of people enjoy Port Phillip Bay’s              What the Victorian Government
RELEVANT & ACCESSIBLE
        INFORMATION

                        beautiful coastline, swimming beaches and coastal parks.
                                                                                            is doing to provide the community
                        Victorians want a single source of information about water
                                                                                            with more information
                        quality and how they can help protect it.
                        This is vital so that:                                       EPA has monitored water quality in Port Phillip Bay for
                                                                                     more than 20 years. The Beach Report and Yarra Watch
                        Ŕ DPNNVOJUJFTDBOCFDPOţEFOUUIBUUIFTFOBUVSBMBTTFUT
                                                                                     programs provide key information to communities about
                           are being protected, and that they can safely use and
                                                                                     the suitability of water quality for swimming, boating and
                           enjoy them
                                                                                     other recreation. Beach Report includes a daily forecast of
                        Ŕ WJTJUPSTDBONBLFJOGPSNFEDIPJDFTBCPVUIPX             water quality at 36 bay beaches over summer. Yarra Watch
                           and when to enjoy the Yarra and bay                       and Beach Report are available through EPA’s website.
                        Ŕ DPNNVOJUZNFNCFSTDBOVOEFSTUBOEXIBUUIFZ               Other monitoring includes:
                           can do to help protect water quality.
                                                                                     Ŕ OVUSJFOUDZDMJOHBOECBZXJEFXBUFSRVBMJUZ
                        Government agencies can make informed and appropriate           monitoring in Port Phillip Bay
                        decisions on designing and delivering water quality
                                                                                     Ŕ XBUFSRVBMJUZBOETUSFBNIFBMUINPOJUPSJOHBU
                        improvement programs.
                                                                                        more than 150 sites across the Port Phillip and
                                                                                        Westernport regions
                                                                                     Ŕ UBSHFUFEJOWFTUJHBUJPOTBOESFTFBSDIFHSFTFBSDI
                                                                                        by the Centre for Aquatic Pollution Identification
                                                                                        and Management to identify pollution hotspots.
                                                                                     These will form part of the ‘one stop shop’ outlined
                                                                                     in Action 13.

                        EPA’s Beach Report website was viewed
                        281,000 times over the 2011/12 summer

                        88% of people appreciated tips to keep
                        waterways healthy

                        65% of people have sought information
                        on a topic relevant to waterway health1

                         'HSDUWPHQWRI6XVWDLQDELOLW\DQG(QYLURQPHQW
                           My Victorian Waterway

                                                                                     EPA beach sampling
18
                                                                                     Photo: EPA Victoria
3
NEW PRIORITY

                                                                                                                       INFORMATION
                                                                                                                       RELEVANT & ACCESSIBLE
ACTIONS
13   Provide water quality information and advice
     through a ‘one stop shop’ so Victorians
     can quickly and easily access up-to-date
     information on beach water quality and algal
     blooms
     Victorian Government agencies will bring
     together all of their information in a single
     website to provide universal access to water
     quality information.

14   Prepare a report card that summarises Yarra
     River and Port Phillip Bay water quality and
     health
     The Victorian Government will develop a report
     card for the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay.
     The report will provide information on water
     quality and actions to improve waterway health.
                                                        LITTLE PENGUINS IN THE BAY
15   Improve key water quality monitoring and
     reporting programs                                 7KH6W.LOGDEUHDNZDWHUFRORQ\RIPRUHWKDQ/LWWOH
                                                        Penguins feed in the bay and in winter, many of Phillip
     This includes:                                     ,VODQGśV/LWWOH3HQJXLQVDOVRVSHQGWLPHLQWKHED\
    Ŕ JNQSPWJOHUIFJOGPSNBUJPOQSPWJEFE             ORRNLQJIRUIRRGVXFKDVDQFKRYLHV
        through Beach Report. EPA will work with        )RUPRUHLQIRUPDWLRQVHHWKH2ƴFHRIWKH(QYLURQPHQWDO
        local government and other stakeholders         0RQLWRUśVZHEVLWHZZZRHPYLFJRYDX
        to develop new ways to ensure information
        on bay beach water quality meets                Photo supplied
        community needs and is readily accessible
    Ŕ JOWFTUJOHJOBEEJUJPOBMOVUSJFOUNPOJUPSJOH
        in Port Phillip Bay over the next three years
    Ŕ SFWJFXJOH:BSSB8BUDIJOMJHIUPGMBUFTU
        information on the nature and risk posed
        by bacterial pollution in the Yarra River
                                                          WHAT YOU CAN DO
    Ŕ SFWJFXJOHCBZXJEFXBUFSRVBMJUZ
        monitoring to take account of new                 TO HELP...
        knowledge from extensive monitoring
        undertaken over the past decade.                  Ŕ %POPUTXJNOFBSDSFFLTBOEESBJOTBGUFS
                                                             heavy rain
                                                          Ŕ #FJOGPSNFEBCPVUUIFIFBMUIPG1PSU1IJMMJQ
                                                             Bay and the Yarra River by accessing water
                                                             quality information published by EPA and
                                                             other agencies
                                                          Ŕ 6TF#FBDI3FQPSU :BSSB8BUDIBOEPUIFS
                                                             water quality information or get involved in
                                                             WaterWatch to make good choices about
                                                             using the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay for
                                                             recreation
                                                          Ŕ 3FQPSUQPMMVUJPOUP&1" &1"7*$ BOE
                                                             if you see something in the water that appears
                                                             out of the ordinary, report it to your local
                                                             council, catchment management authority
                                                             or Melbourne Water
                                                                                                                                        19
SUPPORTING
 4                 COMMUNITY ACTION
                   Supporting Victorians to take actions that                           What the Victorian Government is
     SUPPORTING
COMMUNITY ACTION

                   care for and protect our rivers and bay                              doing to support community action
                   Waterway protection is the responsibility of all Victorians.   Ŕ 8PSLJOHXJUIDPNNVOJUJFTUPJNQSPWFMBOE
                   To protect and improve our waterways, the efforts of              management - 68 new Landcare facilitators have
                   individuals, local governments, state agencies, rural             now been appointed across Victoria to work with
                   landholders, and hundreds of community groups working             communities to improve land management
                   across the catchment and state are crucial.
                                                                                  Ŕ 3BJTJOHBXBSFOFTT CVJMEJOHDBQBDJUZBOEQSPWJEJOH
                   This action plan recognises the significant role of the            advice and support to land managers to minimise their
                   community in protecting our waterways and the hundreds            impact on water quality, including through improved
                   of community groups in the Port Phillip catchment                 farm design and revegetation
                   working towards a better environment.
                                                                                  Ŕ *OGPSNBUJPOTIBSJOHBOEMJOLJOHJOEJWJEVBMTBOE
                   Building community awareness is the key to ensuring that          organisations - Catchment Advisory Round Tables
                   more Victorians do the right thing to protect our precious        share information across catchment stakeholders
                   water resources and understand how our everyday actions
                                                                                  Ŕ %FMJWFSJOHHSBOUTUPDPNNVOJUJFT$PNNVOJUJFTGPS
                   impact these waterways.
                                                                                     Nature, Coastcare, Landcare, CMA and Melbourne
                                                                                     Water provide community grants for on-ground works
                     COMMUNITIES FOR NATURE                                       Ŕ 8BUFSNPOJUPSJOH)FBMUIZ8BUFSXBZT8BUFSXBUDI
                                                                                     program and the Corangamite Waterwatch and Estuary
                     7KH&RPPXQLWLHVIRU1DWXUH*UDQWVLVDPLOOLRQ             Watch programs
                     program over four years, funded by the Victorian
                     *RYHUQPHQW7KHSURJUDPPDQDJHGE\WKH'HSDUWPHQW          Ŕ 4VQQPSUJOHSFWFHFUBUJPOUISPVHIUIFOFX.JMMJPO
                     of Sustainability and Environment aims to:                      Trees program

                     Ţ VXSSRUWSUDFWLFDOFRPPXQLW\DFWLRQLQWKHHQYLURQPHQW     Ŕ %FWFMPQJOHBOEJNQMFNFOUJOHSFHJPOBMDBUDINFOU
                                                                                     strategies to identify priorities for action
                     Ţ FUHDWHYLVLEOHDQGODVWLQJLPSURYHPHQW
                                                                                  Ŕ 1SPUFDUJOHDBUDINFOUTUISPVHIXFMMNBOBHFENBSJOF
                     Ţ IRVWHUJUHDWHUHQMR\PHQWRIWKHQDWXUDOHQYLURQPHQW          national parks and sanctuaries and partnering with
                     Ţ VWUHQJWKHQSDUWQHUVKLSVDQGSDUWLFLSDWLRQE\HTXLSSLQJ      community groups
                        communities with the ability, skills and knowledge to     The government will continue to partner with
                        take action safely and with the capacity to optimise      communities, businesses, and local governments to
                        UHVRXUFHV                                                implement these action priorities. Government will
                     This statewide program can support communities taking        support communities by identifying priorities for action,
                     action on issues they consider important including those     providing information and advice about how to make
                     LQWKH
Canoeing the Yarra
Photo: Alison Pouliot

                                                                                                                       4
                                                                NEW PRIORITY

                                                                                                                       COMMUNITY ACTION
                                                                                                                       SUPPORTING
                                                                ACTIONS
                                                                16   Support Victorians to take action and protect
                                                                     water quality and reduce litter
                                                                     The Victorian Government will work with
                                                                     communities to identify and apply for
                                                                     funding from programs such as the Victorian
                                                                     Government’s $20 million Communities for
                                                                     Nature program, Landcare and Coastcare.
                                                                     The Victorian Government will establish a
                                                                     new award to recognise community action by
                                                                     Victorians that protects the Yarra and the bay.

                                                                17   Encourage environmental citizenship
                                                                     Victorians will be encouraged to take
                                                                     action to protect the Yarra River and Port
                                                                     Phillip Bay by reporting litter and pollution.
                                                                     Improved information will also help Victorians
                                                                     understand the impact of their actions at
                                                                     work and at home.

                                                                “The best thing about my job is the
                                                                LQWHUDFWLRQZLWKORFDOFRPPXQLW\,KDYH
                                                                had the opportunity to meet very dedicated
                                                                and passionate people who have achieved
                                                                JUHDWWKLQJV,DPUHDOO\HQMR\LQJDOOWKH
 IMPROVING RURAL & PERI-URBAN                                   new challenges of my role as Landcare
 LAND MANAGEMENT                                                IDFLOLWDWRUŞ
                                                                - Landcare facilitator
 :DWHUTXDOLW\LQWKH
HOW TO FIND OUT MORE & GET INVOLVED

           CLEARER, MORE RESPONSIVE MANAGEMENT
     Information on Port Phillip Bay                   Department of Sustainability and         136 186
                                                       Environment                              dse.vic.gov.au
     Information on the Yarra River                    Melbourne Water                          131 722
                                                                                                melbournewater.com.au
     Information on monitoring, reporting              Environment Protection Authority         1300 EPA VIC
     and regulation                                                                             (1300 372 842)
                                                                                                epa.vic.gov.au

           PREVENTING POLLUTION & REDUCING LITTER
     Pollution and Litter Reporting Hotline            Environment Protection Authority         1300 EPA VIC
                                                                                                (1300 372 842)
                                                                                                epa.vic.gov.au
     Information on litter programs                    Sustainability Victoria                  sustainability.vic.gov.au
                                                       Victorian Litter Action Alliance         litter.vic.gov.au
     Information for business and community            Environment Protection Authority         epa.vic.gov.au
     about reducing stormwater pollution
     Information about raingardens                     Melbourne Water                          raingardens.melbournewater.
                                                                                                com.au

           RELEVANT & ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION
     Information on water quality in the Yarra River   Environment Protection Authority         1300 EPA VIC
     or Port Phillip Bay                                                                        (1300 372 842)
                                                                                                epa.vic.gov.au
     Information for recreational water quality        Yarra Watch                              1300 EPA VIC
     monitoring information for the Yarra River                                                 (1300 372 842)
                                                                                                epa.vic.gov.au
     Information on water quality at 36 beaches in     Beach Report                             epa.vic.gov.au/beachreport
     Port Phillip Bay throughout summer
     Information on marine life in Port Phillip Bay    Museum Victoria Taxonomic toolkit        portphillipmarinelife.net.au
     Information on fish consumption from the           Department of Health                     health.vic.gov.au
     lower Yarra River

           SUPPORTING COMMUNITY ACTION
     For a list of Landcare networks in your area      Landcare                                 landcarevic.net.au
     Funding opportunities to improve water quality    Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment   ppwcma.vic.gov.au
     in the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay           Management Authority
                                                       Corangamite Catchment                    ccma.vic.gov.au
                                                       Management Authority
     Information to connect local communities          Waterwatch                               vic.waterwatch.org.au
     with river health and sustainable water issues
     and management
     Information about volunteer opportunities to      Waterwatch                               vic.waterwatch.org.au
     improve water quality in the Yarra River and
                                                       Parks Victoria                           parks.vic.gov.au
     Port Phillip Bay
                                                       Corangamite Catchment                    ccma.vic.gov.au
                                                       Management Authority

22
THE WEEDY SEADRAGON
Marine pollution, habitat destruction and the
LQWHUQDWLRQDODTXDULXPWUDGHDUHWKHODUJHVWWKUHDWV
to the Weedy Seadragon - Victoria’s marine faunal
HPEOHPWKDWFDQRQO\EHIRXQGLQWKHZDWHUVRƱ
VRXWKHDVWHUQ$XVWUDOLD
)RUPRUHLQIRUPDWLRQVHH'6(śVZHEVLWHGVHYLFJRYDX
Photo: Bill Boyle

Other agencies with a role in protecting and caring for the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay include:

Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment                           Department of Health
Management Authority                                             Responsible for programs to enhance and protect health
Delivers integrated catchment management by developing           and wellbeing and provides public health advice where
strategies, building cooperation, coordination, partnerships     relevant to the use of Port Phillip Bay and the Yarra River
and delivering key projects
                                                                 Department of Primary Industries
Corangamite Catchment Management Authority                       Supports sustainable management of Victoria’s agriculture
Delivers integrated catchment management by developing           and fisheries sectors. Provides information and advice on
strategies, building cooperation, coordination, partnerships     the use and management of resources through a range
and delivering key projects. Waterway manager for                of community education and extension programs including
waterways in the Geelong area                                    on nutrient and salinity reduction in rural areas

Retail water corporations (Barwon Water, South East              Department of Planning and Community Development
Water, Yarra Valley Water, City West Water)                      Has a central role in managing Victoria’s growth and
Provide water, sewerage trade waste and water saving             development and works with local government and other
services for residents and businesses                            key stakeholders to lead state and metropolitan strategic
                                                                 planning and development assessment. It shares the
                                                                 responsibility for Melbourne’s waterways and development
Port of Melbourne Corporation
                                                                 of the surrounding land with a range of state agencies and
Provides the strategic management for the Port of                local governments
Melbourne and its development. PoMC operates under
sophisticated environmental management controls and
                                                                 Central Coastal Board
with Department of Transport, leads response to marine
pollution incidents in Port Phillip Bay                          Responsible for preparing guidelines for coastal planning
                                                                 and management which may have implications for marine
                                                                 water quality. It is also involved in the development and
Parks Victoria                                                   implementation of the Victorian Coastal Strategy, coastal
Manages marine national parks and marine sanctuaries             action plans and approved coastal guidelines
in Port Phillip Bay and is the local port manager for Port
Phillip Bay. It is the waterways manager for the Yarra and       Victorian Regional Channels Authority
Maribyrnong rivers for the purposes of recreation, leisure,      The Victorian Regional Channels Authority manages port
tourism and water transport including litter collection in       waters for the Port of Geelong
the lower Yarra
                                                                 Office of Living Victoria
Sustainability Victoria                                          The Office of Living Victoria will work with the water
Leads integrated waste management and resource                   corporations to drive change in how we use and plan
efficiency. This includes leading and coordinating               Victoria’s urban water systems and achieve better outcomes
implementation of Victoria’s litter strategy                     for the community, including protecting waterway health

                                                                                                                               23
You can also read
NEXT SLIDES ... Cancel