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Significance of the waterways of the West
The Waterways of the West includes the whole network of creeks and rivers from Moonee Ponds Creek (Moonee Moonee) to Little River (Worrin-yaloke). This includes:
- Maribyrnong River (Mirrangbamurn)
- Werribee River (Wirribi Yaluk)
- Moonee Ponds Creek (Moonee Moonee)
- Cherry Creek
- Deep Creek
- Jacksons Creek
- Kororoit Creek
- Lollypop Creek
- Little River (Worrin-yaloke)
- Skeleton Creek
- Steele Creek
- Stony Creek.
Waterways are essential to community health, to the liveability of local neighbourhoods and to the broader environment. Rivers, streams and creeks have special significance for Traditional Owners and Aboriginal Victorians, encompassing cultural, spiritual, social, economic and environmental values.
The Waterways of the West region faces multiple challenges resulting from historic land and waterway use, population growth and climate change.
Melbourne’s West is rapidly transforming, with a forecast one million additional residents expected over the next 30 years. With this transformation comes the opportunity to protect and enhance the waterways and their surrounding lands support biodiversity, liveability and amenity.
The Waterways of the West Action Plan recognises the Bunurong, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Traditional Owners as the ‘voices of the living entities’ on their Country.
The Victorian Government has released the Waterways of the West Action Plan to ensure Melbourne’s western waterways are protected and valued for generations to come. This project is in collaboration with the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action.
Strengthened policy and controls for the waterways of the West
Amendment VC201, gazetted in December 2022, delivers strengthened planning policy and landscape controls, both of which are short-term actions of the Waterways of the West Action Plan.
Find out more about amendment VC201.
Short term actions
The action plan is made up of short term actions to bring immediate benefits to the region.
These actions address:
- waterway health
- waterway amenity
- stronger land use planning and development controls to guard against inappropriate development.
Longer term actions
Longer term actions (within 5 years) include considering changes to institutional arrangements, strengthening planning provisions and boosting the role of Traditional Owners in waterway planning and management.
This action plan will drive an enduring legacy of protection for the region’s waterways and a new way of working, where Traditional Owner and community voices continue to shape waterway protection, with strong support from regulatory, institutional, and legislative arrangements.
The action plan responds to the community’s vision for the waterways, established to guide the ongoing planning and management of the Waterways of the West. Reflecting the diversity of Melbourne’s west, the vision has been translated into 10 languages.
Find out more about the community vision.
Waterways of the West Ministerial Advisory Committee
In 2018 the Victorian Government appointed the Waterways of the West Ministerial Advisory Committee to inform new protections for the Waterways of the West.
Over a 12-month period, the advisory committee worked with the community, Traditional Owners and industry in development of a discussion paper and a recommendations report. These recommendations have directly informed the Waterways of the West Action Plan.
Maribyrnong River Valley Vision and Design Guidelines
The Maribyrnong River is a unique environment and a resource for Melbourne's western and northern suburbs.
Members of the local community have a strong attachment to the river, including an appreciation of its industrial and cultural heritage and recreational and environmental values. A sense of remoteness is still available in the upper reaches of the river.
The Maribyrnong River Valley Vision and Design Guidelines, prepared in 2010, established a broad vision for a healthy, vibrant river with quality open space, good walking and cycling trails and sensitive development that protects the river’s natural and cultural heritage.
Maribyrnong River Valley – A shared vision for a vibrant River
Maribyrnong River Valley – A shared vision for a vibrant River outlines the vision established for the seven distinct sections of the river. It summarises the priorities for action and the design guidelines to achieve the vision.
Maribyrnong River Valley Design Guidelines
The Maribyrnong River Valley Design Guidelines provide a framework to help achieve greater planning consistency along the river valley.
Page last updated: 04/01/24