Co-Designed Catchment Program for the
Maribyrnong Catchment Region (including Moonee Ponds Creek)
This document contains detailed targets and performance objectives set out for the catchment and its sub-catchments. Download and read it from the document library by clicking the button below.
The sub-catchments, estuaries and wetlands here are:
Boyd Creek, Deep Creek Lower, Deep Creek Upper, Emu Creek, Jacksons Creek, Maribyrnong River, Moonee Ponds Creek, Steele Creek, Stony Creek, Taylors Creek
Maribyrnong River Estuary, Moonee Ponds Creek Estuary, Stony Creek Estuary
Gisborne Marshlands, Greenvale Reservoir Park Wetlands, Jacana Wetlands, Pipemakers Park Wetlands, Queens Park Wetlands
The Maribyrnong catchment covers an area of around 1408 square kilometres.
- About 10 per cent of the catchment retains its natural vegetation
- 80 per cent is used for agriculture
- 10 per cent is used for urban development – confined to greater Melbourne and larger townships
The catchment includes the 41-kilometre long Maribyrnong River – the second major river in the Port Phillip and Westernport Region – which begins on the southern slopes of the Great Dividing Range, near Lancefield.
Co-designing for the future
The Catchment Collaboration, made up of interested community members, organisations and agencies, worked for months to create a shared vision, as well as its underpinning targets and performance objectives that will drive future actions.
Management is helping create a preferred future for the Maribyrnong’s environments by assisting species and habitats to change, adapt, move or be replaced as the catchment and climate change. The Maribyrnong River and its tributaries are important bio-links – corridors of secure, high quality habitats that allow plants and animals to move and adapt to changes in catchment conditions and climate. Water quality and flows provide for healthy and diverse populations of plants and animals. Stormwater is managed to enhance rather than destroy waterway health.
Waterways across the Maribyrnong are places that provide continuous, connected and accessible open spaces for public enjoyment and recreation.
Public authorities, community groups and hundreds of individuals across the catchment share their knowledge of the Maribyrnong and take regular action to help pursue this strategy’s goals. Education programs are resourced and coordinated across many organisations that are working or involved within the catchment.
- Decision-making and action
Long-term monitoring supports adaptive management by tracking progress towards this strategy’s goals. Urban planning decisions make explicit reference to their potential impacts on waterway environments. The Planning and Environment Act includes overlays to protect the river, its tributaries, floodplains and escarpments. Effects of planning decisions are monitored to support evaluation and learning. Melbourne Water is seen by all parties to the strategy as a successful facilitator, enabler, coordinator and leader.
Over 350 bird species are recorded of which 95 species are riparian specialists. The overall score for fish is low with threatened freshwater species including the Australian grayling, Yarra pygmy perch and Australian mudfish. Threatened frog species include the growling grass frog, Bibron’s toadlet and southern toadlet.
Much of the higher vegetation and macroinvertebrate value areas are in the forested upper catchment with degradation increasing towards the lower reaches.
Platypus have been observed in the lower reaches of Jacksons Creek near Sunbury, Deep Creek Upper and Lower, and in the Maribyrnong River near the junctions with these creeks with likely presences in other streams.
Social values for rivers are currently high. Social values for estuaries range from moderate to very high. Social values are based on the surveyed level of community satisfaction and are threatened by inappropriate urban development, poor environmental condition, poor access to waterways, and pollution.
The land and waters of this region hold deep spiritual and cultural significance for Aboriginal peoples. The people of the Woi wurrung language group were the original occupants of this land, as evidenced by the thousands of cultural sites and places recorded, most near watercourses. Ancient and very rare sites with earthen rings can be found in the hills near Sunbury.
Streams and reservoirs in the upper and middle parts of the catchment provide water supply for a range of agricultural enterprises.
- Reflect community aspirations for waterways
- Ensure management is directly linked to desired outcomes and our catchment goals
- Are set on a timescale of 10-plus years
- Have been established for environmental values for rivers, wetlands and estuaries
- Have been established for social values for rivers and estuaries
- Are scored according to three timeframes: current state, current trajectory and target trajectory
Rivers and Creeks Summary
Key value outcomes
Rivers and Creeks
Birds score for rivers is moderate overall. There are over 350 bird species recorded, of which 95 species are considered riparian specialists and two are considered threatened: Latham’s snipe and the eastern great egret. Today, bird values are high in Deep Creek Upper and Boyd Creek, but low in Emu Creek and Steele Creek. Birds scores are considered likely to decline over time. The target is to maintain to moderate.
Fish score is low overall, with 13 native and nine exotic freshwater species recorded. These include the threatened freshwater species Australian grayling, Yarra pygmy perch and Australian mudfish. Fish score is considered likely to improve over time. The target is to improve from low to moderate.
Frogs score is moderate overall, which means not many of the expected species are to be found today. Threatened species recorded in the catchment include growling grass frog, Bibron’s toadlet and southern toadlet. Frogs score is considered likely to decline with time unless the performance objectives outlined in this Strategy are achieved. The target is to maintain at moderate.
Locations where a decline or very low score is expected: Stony Creek, Maribyrnong River, Steele Creek
Waterbugs (macroinvertebrates) score is moderate, with values higher in forested headwaters and decreasing towards the lower reaches, which are increasingly impacted by urban runoff. Macroinvertebrates score is considered unlikely to improve with time unless the performance objectives outlined in this Strategy are achieved. The target is to improve from moderate to high.
Locations where a decline or very low score is expected: Stony Creek, Steele Creek
Platypus have been observed in the lower reaches of Jacksons Creek near Sunbury, Emu Creek Lower, Deep Creek Upper and Lower, and in the Maribyrnong River near the junctions with these creeks. Platypus score is considered likely to decline from moderate to very low unless the performance objectives outlined in this Strategy are achieved. Target is to maintain current score and populations.
Platypus are not expected to be present in: Moonee Ponds Creek, Stony Creek, Taylors Creek, Steele Creek
Vegetation score varies, with upper forested areas very high due to extensive high quality vegetation, and other parts of the catchment low to very low due to land clearing and urban development. Overall score is low and likely to decline under the current trajectory. The target is to improve from low to moderate.
Amenity score, which is based on level of satisfaction, is currently high but likely to decline in the long term. The target is to maintain as high.
Community connection score, which is based on level of satisfaction, is currently high but likely to decline in the long term. The target is to improve to very high.
Recreation score, which is based on level of satisfaction, is currently high but likely to decline in the long term. The target is to improve to very high.
For more information
Visit the Document Library to read the Strategy, the Co-Designed Catchment Program for the Maribyrnong Catchment Region and other supporting documents.