Reports | 7th Jun, 2022

Tackling our water crisis: How sustainable is the government’s strategy for southern Victoria?

The Victorian Government is preparing a Sustainable Water Strategy (SWS) for the Central and Gippsland region of Victoria, south of the Great Dividing Range. In this report prepared by the Concerned Waterways Alliance, we take a look at how well the draft SWS tackles challenges like climate change that are impacting our rivers, what the blockers are to progress and how we can overcome them.

This report finds that, while some progress has been made, there remains a big gap between what our rivers need and what the government is proposing for them. We need to stop treating water as a magic pudding and make some hard decisions about what our water future looks like.

To do this we need to take a precautionary approach, consider our rivers and waterways as living entities, bring all the options and more cash to the table, protect our most precious sites and bring Traditional Owners into the picture. Then we will have a chance of restoring our rivers to health.

Download the report here or read the document below.

The draft SWS has attracted extensive community interest and concern, with over 1,700 individuals and 50 local groups signing onto our open letter asking Victorian Water Minister Lisa Neville to support guaranteed water for rivers in the plan. Download the open letter here >>

Download the report  Download the open letter

The Concerned Waterways Alliance is a network of community groups who share a deep concern about the degraded state of rivers across southern Victoria. We came together in mid-2021 specifically to provide input to the Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy to get the best possible results for our rivers. We span the region from the Otways to East Gippsland with members representing all the major rivers and many smaller creeks. We created a detailed submission that covered areas of concern common to all our groups and we have had many subsequent in-depth conversations with the SWS team at DELWP. Environmental Justice Australia provides support and coordination for the Alliance.