Victorian State Budget invests in water

On Tuesday, 23 May, the Victorian State Government released its Budget for the financial year 2023-24. Despite the challenging economic environment, there has been investment in water. Let's see what they have done.

On Tuesday, 23 May, the Victorian State Government released its Budget for the financial year 2023-24. Despite the challenging economic environment, there has been investment in water. Let’s see what they have done.

Protecting the environment

From our green wedge in the suburbs to our pristine waterways – our environment is a significant tourism drawcard and is home to our beautiful, local wildlife.

The Victorian Government isn’t just talking about protecting the environment. We’re getting on with it.

We’ve already invested $2.4 billion to protect our environment. That funding comes on top of ambitious climate action targets, with Victoria powering on towards 95% renewable energy by 2035 and net zero emissions by 2045.

With this Budget, we’re investing $10 million to establish a Green Links fund to support revegetation along our creeks, rivers, and waterways.

Victoria’s flood recovery

The Government provided immediate support to flood‑affected communities last year.

This included an immediate state-coordinated clean-up, allowing crews to move quickly into the worst affected areas to undertake hazard assessment and demolition of severely damaged structures.

We established regional recovery hubs with access to vital services for people. There were also grants and recovery support services to businesses, not‑for‑profit organisations and the community.

We are going further in this Budget, investing $677 million to meet the emergency response and recovery needs of flood-affected communities, including:

  • Support councils for flood recovery programs and undertake secondary impact assessments.
  • We are continuing the communications program on flood recovery and covering emergency services response costs.
  • Repairs to the flood-impacted VICSES Emergency Hubs at Rochester and Heathcote.
  • Replacement of the flood-impacted Rochester Police Station.
  • Additional flood recovery support programs are yet to be agreed upon with the Commonwealth on eligibility for cost-sharing arrangements.

Transformation Of Moonee Ponds Creek Taking Shape

The Victorian State Government’s Reimagining Moonee Ponds Creek project is taking shape. The first of 43,000 trees and shrubs are being planted along the waterway’s banks.

Local Member for Broadmeadows Kathleen Matthews-Ward visited the project site. The project received $5 million in funding from the State Government’s Building Works package.

The Reimagining Moonee Ponds Creek project is transforming a 360-metre section of the concrete-lined creek into a more natural and enjoyable public space.

The project will deliver new shared paths, a bridge, and additional trees and shrubs to offer more shade. This further improves transport connections in the area.

Due for completion in early 2024, the project will also improve the overall water quality and waterway health of Moonee Ponds Creek. It does this by establishing aquatic vegetation and slowing water flows.

The project is a collaboration between the Victorian Government, Melbourne Water, Merri-bek City Council, Moonee Valley City Council, the Chain of Ponds Collaboration Group, and the Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.

It is also part of Melbourne Water’s Reimagining Your Creek Program. The program seeks to transform stormwater drains and concrete channels into natural waterways and open spaces.

The program has already transformed sections of Tarralla Creek in Croydon, Arnolds Creek in Melton West and Blind Creek in Boronia. Works are underway for the program’s biggest project along Blind Creek from Scoresby Road to Lewis Park in Wantirna South.

Quote attributable to Minister for Water Harriet Shing

“This is another beautiful example of our ongoing work to reinvigorate our waterways and the useable space in our communities.  

Quotes attributable to Member for Broadmeadows Kathleen Matthews-Ward

“I’m proud to help deliver this important green initiative to the local communities in and around Oak Park and Strathmore. Once the transformation is complete, it will be enjoyed by thousands of people daily. It plays an important role in our local environmental ecosystem.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Pascoe Vale Anthony Cianfone

“This project will completely revitalise the Moonee Ponds Creek region and ensure the area is enjoyed by future generations.”

Quote attributable to Melbourne Water Managing Director Nerina Di Lorenzo

“Melbourne Water is committed to enhancing life and liveability for the greater Melbourne region and maintaining Melbourne’s waterways to ensure they remain healthy today, tomorrow, and for future generations.

South East Water Discovery Lab Helps Protect Waterways

Students, volunteers, and the community can now help protect the environment through hands-on opportunities to monitor the health of waterways and their wildlife at the Mornington Peninsula’s Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park.

Minister for Water Harriet Shing officially opened the South East Water Discovery Lab at the sanctuary located in Pearcedale. The new education centre was made possible by supporting South East Water’s annual Community Grants program, which has granted $230,000 to 50 community groups across Melbourne’s southeast.

The South East Water Discovery Lab provides ongoing water quality testing to preserve the health of Langwarrin Creek. Langwarrin Creek flows directly through Moonlit Sanctuary before flowing into Western Port Bay.

Participants will have hands-on opportunities to test the creek’s water quality by surveying water bugs (invertebrates). Water bugs are nature’s biological indicators, helping to identify pollution in our waterways and supporting native animals, including fish, frogs, rakalis (water rats) and even platypus.

The South East Water Discovery Lab offers a closer look at wildlife living in and around Langwarrin Creek. It includes new exhibits such as the Growling Grass Frog.

The project began with a South East Water community grant to the RARES Foundation (Recovery and Restoration of Endangered Species). An additional $35,000 in funding was provided to Moonlit Sanctuary to help make it a reality.

The South East Water Community Grants program supports projects that make our communities better places to live in areas of the environment; health and liveability; water education; and affordability.

This includes projects that support the health and liveability of Port Phillip Bay and Western Port and areas nearby.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Harriet Shing

“The South East Water Discovery Lab is a fun and accessible way for students to get curious about the health of our waterways and to identify ways to protect wildlife and biodiversity.”

“During Education Week, we celebrate opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom and make a lasting positive difference to the world around them.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale

“The South East Water Discovery Lab is an exciting addition to Moonlit Sanctuary in Pearcedale. It will expand their conservation efforts to help protect wildlife in and around Langwarrin Creek and its flow into Western Port Bay.”

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