A community consultation project led by Environmental Justice Australia and Yarra Riverkeeper Association worked with small grassroots community groups and local residents living along the Yarra River, helped develop the mangagement policy for the new Yarra River Protection Bill. The project included workshops and discussions around issues relating to biodiversity and environment, land and catchment management, development pressures, and water quantity/flow management.
Dr Bruce Lindsay at Environmental Justice Australia said, “The Yarra River Protection (wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act 2017 represents a milestone in the use of the law to protect and manage the environment, social and cultural values of a place with both modern and ancient significance.
“The achievement of a Yarra River Act demonstrates the need for leadership roles of nongovernmental organisations in law and policy-making. Leadership with expertise, advocacy, networking, resourcing and funding were the result of the partnership between Environmental Justice Australia and Yarra Riverkeeper Association and supported by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation.
“What we achieved together through this project would not have occurred without the Foundation’s foresight.”
Under the new Act, the Yarra River is now recognised as a single, integrated living entity, to be managed as a single landscape under a 50-year community vision.