Greening Victoria’s urban rivers and creeks

The Victorian Government is helping improve habitat for native wildlife across Victoria’s iconic urban rivers and creeks through a new grant program.

The Victorian Government is helping improve habitat for native wildlife across Victoria’s iconic urban rivers and creeks through a new grant program.

Minister for Water Harriet Shing visited Merri Creek to announce the opening of the $10 million Green Links Grant Program. It aims to revegetate up to 200 hectares of land in Melbourne and Geelong. The program aims to enhance waterways for native animals, including birds, frogs, fish and platypus.

The program will help improve biodiversity and increase the number of cool, green places where communities can connect with nature within our cities and towns.

Community groups, water or land managers, Traditional Owners and local governments can apply for up to $200,000 for small projects or up to $2 million in funding for large-scale projects.

Funding in year one of the program will be available for urban waterways identified for new planning controls in the Government’s Protecting Waterways so our Wildlife Can Thrive commitment. This includes:

  • Edgars Creek
  • Darebin Creek
  • Gardiners Creek
  • Jacksons Creek
  • Koonung Creek
  • Kororoit Creek
  • The Maribyrnong River
  • Cherry Creek
  • Merri Creek
  • Moonee Ponds Creek
  • Steele Creek
  • Stony Creek

Funding is also available to waterways included in the Waterways of the West Action Plan, the Rivers of the Barwon (Barre Warre Yulluk) Action Plan and Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo – the Yarra Strategic Plan.

Victoria’s urban waterways hold significant social, cultural, environmental, and economic values.

The program will bring together community groups, Traditional Owners, agencies and the Victorian Government – to deliver healthier waterways and better spaces for the community to enjoy.

The Victorian Government will invest $10 million over three years into the grant program. This complements the more than $300 million invested over four years to improve the health of waterways and catchments across regional Victoria and Melbourne.

The first round of the Green Links Grant Program is open until 14 December 2023. Successful grants will be announced in early 2024.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Harriet Shing

“We are strengthening and enhancing our urban rivers and creeks. We want to protect our native wildlife and make them places for the community to enjoy.” 

Quote attributable to Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous

“Merri Creek and Darebin Creek are previous biodiversity corridors that are cherished by locals and visitors. These grants will help ensure their ecosystems remain healthy and resilient as our climate changes and our population grows.”

Quote attributable to Member for Pascoe Vale Anthony Cianflone 

“These grants are a great way to support local projects that will boost the livability in the suburbs and improve the aesthetics of the rivers and surrounding parks.”

Quote attributable to Member for Preston Nathan Lambert 

“This funding will help our friends’ groups, management committees and Traditional Owners continue their great work along Darebin Creek, Merri Creek, Edgars Creek and other local waterways.”

Quote attributable to Member for Broadmeadows Kathleen Matthews-Ward 

“The creeks and rivers are important habitats for native wildlife. We need to protect and strengthen them to keep our environment thriving into the future.”

Quote attributable to Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny 

“Having resilient natural waterways like Merri Creek will provide a home for our precious native wildlife and a place for locals to cool down and enjoy nature.”

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