The Victorian Government has released the draft Victorian Waterway Management Strategy for public consultation, which will form the future direction of the state’s management of waterways.


State Minister for Water, Peter Walsh, encouraged Victorians to make submissions to the draft paper, saying it will have impacts on a broad range of policy making.


“The draft strategy includes guidance on regional decision-making, investment, management issues, and roles and responsibilities of management agencies,” Mr Walsh said.


Once finalised, the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy will replace the Victorian River Health Strategy (2002), and it will be the policy framework for waterway management for the next eight years.


“Over the past decade our waterways have been through challenging times. This next strategy will include an adaptive and flexible approach to address challenges of drought, flood, bushfire and the potential impacts of climate change,” Mr Walsh said.


Environment Minister Ryan Smith said the new strategy would also focus on strengthening partnerships between the government and the community.


“Government working together with local communities will ensure waterways continue to provide environmental, social and economic benefits,” Mr Smith said.


“This Waterway Management Strategy is another example of the Coalition Government’s commitment to continuing better community engagement and agency co-ordination.


The draft strategy will be explained at community information sessions to be held in each of Victoria’s ten catchment management regions during November 2012.


The first session will be at Horsham on 7 November. Details of all information sessions and how to register can be found or by calling the Department of Sustainability and Environment’s Customer Service Centre on 136 186.


If you can’t make it to an information session you can find the draft strategy and details about making a submission on the


The submission period will close on 7 December 2012 at 5pm.