Today’s announcement of a new plan to improve the health of rivers and streams across Victoria by limiting livestock access to riverbanks has been welcomed by Environment Victoria and the Victorian National Parks Association.
The Regional Riparian Action Plan (RRAP) was a key election commitment in 2014 by the Andrews Government, and was backed up by an additional $10 million in the 2015/16 State Budget, following extensive campaigning by Environment Victoria.
Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham said today:
“This plan is great news for Victoria’s rivers and will provide new initiatives and funding to help restore the health of our freshwater ecosystems. Healthy river banks are critical for the environment and people; they improve water quality, filter nutrients, provide habitat for native animals and are enjoyed by thousands of Victorians every year.
“The impact of livestock on rivers is well known. Loss of biodiversity, increased erosion, polluted water and impacts on human health are all well documented. With the impact of climate change, Victorian river corridors are increasingly important refuges and migration routes for native plants and animals.
“Projects funded as part of the Action Plan will create hundreds of regional jobs that restore our environment and strengthen Landcare and other community networks.
“Protecting our riverbanks, particularly on public land, is relatively straightforward. However successive Victorian governments have moved too slowly to reduce livestock damage to rivers, so today’s Action Plan is a welcome acceleration of efforts to improve how Victorian rivers are managed in the future.
“We commend Water Minister Lisa Neville for delivering this RRAP for Victoria’s rivers, and look forward to further funding announcements in May’s State Budget to implement the Action Plan.”