Hope for waterways authority

Hope for waterways authority

Hope is not yet lost in the campaign to establish an independent waterways authority for Docklands and the lower Yarra.

Docklands Chamber of Commerce president Joh Maxwell, along with a deputation of Docklands representatives, met with Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville last month and said she was “very receptive” to their ideas.

The chamber requested the meeting after it was revealed in February that the Lower Yarra River Use Future Directions Groups’ (LYRUFDG) recommendation for the establishment of an independent authority to manage the waterways was likely to be rejected.

The LYRUFDG had been tasked with making recommendations on the future governance and management of the lower Yarra.

However, a purported draft of Ms Neville’s response to the group’s recommendations revealed the government did not intend to support a single authority and the existing governance structure would remain relatively unchanged.

Mrs Maxwell said Minister Neville had assured the chamber’s deputation that no decision had been made with regard to a single authority for the waterways.

“It was great to meet with the Minister and she was very receptive to what we’re trying to achieve and assured us that our aims are not so different from her own,” Mrs Maxwell said.

The deputation included Mrs Maxwell, chamber of commerce executive officer Shane Wylie, chamber executive committee member Paul Salter, Docklands Community Forum representative Kelly Jensen and Docklands resident Kay Setches.

The group presented Minister Neville with a document outlining its vision for the waterways and views on the current situation, including a series of case studies outlining how the current model is failing the waterways and the community.  This document is at - http://www.docklandscc.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Lisa-Neville-Deputation.pdf.

As a result of the deputation, Mrs Maxwell said senior representatives from Parks Victoria had agreed to visit Docklands and speak with stakeholders about the future management of the waterways.

The public meeting will be held on Thursday, April 28 at Berth restaurant, 45 NewQuay Promenade, at 5.45pm for a 6pm start.

Limited seats are available at the public meeting and you must register to attend by emailing the chamber executive at [email protected]

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