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16 November 2021

The Andrews Labor Government today launched Barre Warre Yulluk Action Plan to better protect and manage the iconic central western Victorian river.

Minister for Water Lisa Neville announced the new action plan following two years of extensive consultation with Traditional Owners, community groups and water stakeholders.

Traditional owners getting involved at the first step -  

Barre Warre Yulluk – the Rivers of Barwon – includes the whole network of creeks and rivers from the Barwon (Parwan), Moorabool (Murrabul), Yarrowee (Yarowee) and Leigh (Waywatcurtan) rivers and their tributaries.

Rapid population growth and climate change demand new approaches to managing our rivers and creeks. Geelong and Ballarat are rapidly transforming, and with this transformation comes opportunity to protect and enhance the waterways and their surrounding lands to better connect communities to nature for health and wellbeing.

The action plan recognises that Barre Warre Yulluk is an interconnected and living entity and that the Eastern Maar and Wadawurrung Traditional Owners are its voice. These new approaches to waterways management will embed Traditional Owners voices that have been ignored and marginalised in the centre of decision-making.

The Eastern Maar and Wadawurrung Traditional Owners will be better empowered through the Action Plan to self-determine their involvement in the planning and decision-making for waterways so that their aspirations for Country and culture are realised. 

Regional planning policy and new planning controls will be delivered to protect these waterways from inappropriate development and implemented in a consistent manner across municipal borders.

Building on the Living Moorabool project, the Barwon (Parwan) flagship waterway project will deliver revegetation, woody weed removal, environmental water and riparian fencing works. A Barwon River Parklands Masterplan will be developed to address fragmented land management and identify strategic priorities for the Moorabool and Barwon estuary.

“Our communities told us that they want to walk with Traditional Owners to manage the lands and waters as the voice of the living rivers – and that’s what we’re doing.”