The plan to save the Yarra for Melbourne's next generation
New planning rules have been implemented to protect the Yarra river for decades to come, with a hope to restore its health to a higher level of cleanliness.
The new rules will apply to a 42-kilometre stretch of the river, offering a consistent approach towards upkeep and foresight from Richmond through to Warrandyte.
Under the new plan, an independent body will be appointed to offer advice to the government - aiming to improve water quality so that the Yarra can be enjoyed for generations to come.
"We poisoned our river and left it to die," said Premier Daniel Andrews in a Facebook post. "How could we have been so careless with our main natural artery, and our primary source of drinking water? Around the 1970s, Melbourne eventually rediscovered the Yarra and we turned to face it once again. After decades of hard work, our river is now healthy. Now it's something we can be proud of and we're going to make sure it stays that way."
It comes in the wake of more than 100 community submissions to an advisory committee which included plans to protect the Yarra from pollution caused by increased development, improve the safety of wildlife and prohibit the river's health from being impeded by buildings that block out sunlight.
One submission included a plan to create a floating swimming pool on the river's edge in the CBD.
Currently, Warrandyte is the best spot to swim in the Yarra, recording the lowest bacteria levels over the past five years.
Who knows, maybe in a couple years we'll be jumping off the banks near the CBD, popping down for an afternoon dip in the Yarra?