16 October 2012 — Melbourne’s Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers will be protected from encroaching and inappropriate development, Victorian Government Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced this week.

For the Yarra River, planning protection will come with mandatory height controls of nine metres, strict controls in relation to site coverage, vegetation removal, and drainage requirements as well as discouraging development that intrudes on existing private and public open space adjacent to the river.

Amendment VC96 to the Victoria Planning Provisions would apply to the cities of Boroondara, Yarra, Stonnington and Banyule and Manningham and the Shire of Nillumbik.

Boroondara will have controls applied immediately due to the high level of strategic work already completed and the existing Environmental Significance Overlays already existing within the municipality.

The State Government will also initiate strategic planning work to ensure the future of the Maribyrnong River is protected with similar controls to be examined and implementation expected in the first half of 2013.

These controls would be considered for the municipalities of Maribyrnong, Moonee Valley, Brimbank and Hume.

Mr Guy has also established a process for a staged approach that will see the corridors further protected across a number of municipalities and will clearly outline what can be built in areas that abut the river corridors.

“The Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers are Melbourne’s two iconic rivers and they deserve protection from inappropriate development,” Mr Guy said.

“These reforms are the most significant set of environmental protections within the state planning policy framework since the introduction of the Upper Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges Regional Strategy Plan in 1982.”