The Regional Catchment Strategy for the Port Phillip & Western Port region
Targets (Waterways and Wetlands)

Targets are the most important part of this Regional Catchment Strategy because they define our collective intent and direction. They describe what we aim to achieve, by when and the parameters we will use to monitor and report.

An assessment of the current condition of waterways and wetlands across the region has been undertaken (Method and Condition).   The targets below (also called ‘expected outcomes’) describe the condition we expect for the future.   In general, the aim is to maintain or improve waterway condition over the next 20 years and beyond.

Note: The term ‘expected outcomes’ has been used in the Healthy Waterways Strategy developed by Melbourne Water which has been the source of information for this section of the Regional Catchment Strategy.

Expected outcomes have been set for the 14 catchment systems set out in the Healthy Waterways Strategy.  The table below presents the 20 year & long term (100 year) expected outcomes for each system.

Melbourne Water will lead efforts to achieve these expected outcomes (Leadership) and arrangements are in place to monitor and report on progress and success (Monitoring and Reporting).

Werribee & Little River Middle & Upper system

Expected outcomes for the Werribee & Little River Middle & Upper system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus Declining Very low Very low Moderate Works targeting habitat improvements and improved flows aim to stabilise conditions over the next 20 years with improvement over the long term.
Fish Improving High Very high Very high Passage, flows and vegetation works aim to improve this condition to very high over the next 20 years and into the future.
Frogs Declining Moderate High Very high Works aim to stabilise and improve this condition to high within the next 20 years by linking habitat.
Birds Declining Low Moderate High Works targeting vegetation for habitat aim to raise the condition to moderate over 20 years and high in the long term through linking areas of habitat with vegetated streamside corridors.
Vegetation Improving Moderate High Very high Works to improve vegetation aim to raise the condition to high within the next 20 years.
Macro-invertebrates Stable Moderate High Very high Works to revegetate streamside corridors and improve flows will improve the condition of macroinvertebrate to high over the next 20 years.
Amenity n/a Moderate High Very high Improvement is expected as actions targeted at improving amenity – including improving vegetation – are implemented.  Amenity will improve to high over the next 20 years and very high in the long term.

 

Werribee & Little River Lowlands system

Expected outcomes for the Werribee & Little River Lowlands system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus Declining Very low Very low Moderate Works including litter control programs, managing flows and vegetation for habitat aim to stabilise condition with continued improvement over the long term.
Fish n/a High Very high Very high Works aim to improve this condition to very high.
Frogs n/a Moderate High Very high Works on habitat quality and connectivity aim to improve frog condition to high within the next 20 years, and to very high in the long term.
Birds Declining High Very high Very high Continued works to improve habitat aim to improve this condition to very high.
Vegetation Improving Low Moderate High Works aim to improve vegetation condition to moderate in the next 20 years and high in the long term.
Macro-invertebrates Stable Moderate Moderate High Works aim to maintain this condition through vegetation of rural waterways and prevention of urbanisation impacts, allowing for further improvements in the long term.
Amenity n/a Moderate High Very high Amenity condition in this system is moderate, but a high condition is expected in the next 20 years as urban development occurs – increasing the opportunities for access – and the vegetation condition is improved.

 

Cherry, Kororoit, Laverton & Skeleton system

Expected outcomes for the Cherry, Kororoit, Laverton & Skeleton system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus n/a n/a n/a n/a No platypus populations are found in this system, and there is little suitable habitat for them.  It is unclear when the population would have disappeared, and no reliable catches have been recorded in the monitoring program which began is 1995.
Fish n/a Moderate Moderate High Works aim to maintain this condition and improve it to high over the long term.
Frogs Improving High High Very high Works in the floodplain aim to maintain this condition over the next 20 years and achieve improvement over the long term.
Birds Stable Low Moderate High Works to restore vegetation and connect large areas of parkland along waterways aim to improve this condition to moderate within the next 20 years.
Vegetation Improving Low Moderate High Revegetation works are focussed on improving this condition to moderate in the next 20 years.
Macro- invertebrates Stable Low Low Moderate Works over the next 20 years aim to prevent future decline.
Amenity n/a Moderate High Very high A high condition is expected as urban development occurs – increasing the opportunities for access – and the vegetation condition is improved.

 

Upper Maribyrnong system

Expected outcomes for the Upper Maribyrnong system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus Declining Very low Very low Moderate Works over the next 20 years aim to stabilise the populations and allow for long term improvements.
Fish Stable Moderate Moderate High Works aim to improve number and abundance of native species.
Frogs Declining High High Very high While historic data is limited, a decline in the types of frogs appears to have been as recent as the 1990s.  Habitat works aim to improve the dispersal of frog species.
Birds Stable Low Moderate High Vegetation works across the system will contribute to increases in the score by expanding the extent and quality of habitat.
Vegetation Improving Low Moderate High A continued focus on vegetation in the system will see the score increase to moderate, then high in the long term.
Macro- invertebrates Stable Moderate Moderate High Works aim to maintain the score over 20 years, with improvement in the long term.
Amenity n/a Moderate High Very high Amenity will improve in key areas as natural vegetation along waterways is established.

 

Lower Maribyrnong system

Expected outcomes for the Lower Maribyrnong system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus Declining Very low Very low Low Significant improvement in conditions, including flows and habitat, is required to ensure the survival of the population.
Fish Stable Low Moderate High Works aimed at improving fish passage and flows will improve the score.
Frogs n/a Low Moderate Moderate The score will increase over 20 years by linking habitat through the streamside zone.  The long- term potential for the system is constrained due to limited potential for extensive habitat connectivity.
Birds Declining Low Low Moderate The long-term potential for birds is limited due to the lack of potential for extensive habitat connectivity.
Vegetation Declining Low Moderate High A continued focus on vegetation will see the score increase to moderate, then high over the long term.
Macro-invertebrates Stable Moderate Moderate Moderate Works on the catchment aim to maintain the score, overcoming the impacts of further urbanisation.  The long term outcomes will be limited by the impacts of urbanisation.
Amenity n/a Low Moderate High Vegetation along waterways – which provides a sense of naturalness and is one of the key factors influencing amenity – is targeted for improvement.

 

Upper Yarra system

Expected outcomes for the Upper Yarra system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus Declining Very low Moderate High Over the next 20 years, works including flow and habitat management, aim to improve population condition to moderate.
Fish Stable Moderate High Very high The decline is largely due to introduced fish preying on native fish.  Works aim to improve the condition of fish from moderate to high.
Frogs n/a Moderate High High Works over the next 20 years aim to increase this condition to high.
Birds Stable Very high Very high Very high Ongoing works aim to maintain this condition.
Vegetation Improving High Very high Very high The current high rating is targeted for improvement to very high  through protection and weed control works.
Macro-invertebrates Stable High Very high Very high Improvements to vegetation and water quality through continued protection of this system aim to improve macroinvertebrate condition to very high.
Amenity n/a Very high Very high Very high Very high amenity is still enjoyed through natural forests, picnic areas at the dams and views along waterway corridors.

 

Middle Yarra system

Expected outcomes for the Middle Yarra system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus Declining Very low Very low High Continued works on flows and habitat aim to stabilise platypus condition and allow for improvements in the long term.
Fish Stable Moderate High Very high Works aimed at improving passage and flows will result in significant improvements to the fish populations.
Frogs Stable Very high Very high Very high Works aim to maintain this level.
Birds Stable Low Low Moderate Works focussing on linking habitat and revegetating streamside areas are aimed at improving this condition over the long term to moderate.
Vegetation Improving Moderate High High Works aim to continue to improve vegetation condition from moderate to high over the next 20 years.
Macro-invertebrates Stable Moderate High High Works to improve water quality aim to improve vegetation condition from moderate to high over the next 20 years.
Amenity n/a Low High Very high Continued work on linking vegetated areas will improve amenity.

 

Lower Yarra system

Expected outcomes for the Lower Yarra system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus Declining Very low Very low Moderate Works aim to stabilise conditions for platypus populations and allow for an increase in populations over time.
Fish Declining Moderate High Very high A range of works aim to improve fish populations from moderate to high over the next 20 years.
Frogs Stable Very high Very high Very high Works within this system aim to maintain this condition.
Birds Stable Low Low Moderate Works focused on improving streamside and floodplain vegetation aim to hold bird diversity and abundance at stable over the next 20 years and allow for future improvements.  The long term potential is limited due to restricted availability of land to create large scale connectivity.
Vegetation Improving Very low Moderate High Continued investment in vegetation will support an improvement in the condition and extent of streamside vegetation over the next 20 years to moderate and high in the long term.
Macro-invertebrates Stable Low Moderate High Improvements to stormwater treatment and vegetation condition are aimed at improving macroinvertebrate condition to moderate in the next 20 years.
Amenity n/a Moderate High Very high Works including vegetation and litter management aim to improve amenity to high over the next 20 years.

 

Dandenong system

Expected outcomes for the Dandenong system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus Declining Very low Very low Low Works over the next 20 years aim to stabilise the populations and allow for long-term increases.
Fish Stable High Very high Very high Works aim to increase the condition of fish populations from high to very high
Frogs n/a Very high Very high Very high Works aim to increase frog species distribution and abundance by improving habitat on floodplains.
Birds Improving High Very high Very high Works aim to further improve species richness and abundance, particularly by improving habitat on floodplains.
Vegetation Improving Very low Moderate High Vegetation works aim to increase the average score of the upper and lower sections significantly over the next 20 years.
Macro-invertebrates Declining Low Low Moderate Over the long term, significant urban drainage renewal and vegetation works will result in the score increasing to moderate.
Amenity n/a Moderate High Very high Vegetation along waterways, which provides a sense of naturalness and is one of the key factors influencing amenity, is targeted for improvement.

 

Upper Bunyip & Tarago system

Expected outcomes for the Upper Bunyip & Tarago system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long yerm Comment
Platypus Declining Very low Low Moderate Works aim to improve condition to low over the next 20 years, and to moderate in the long term.
Fish Improving Very high Very high Very high Works aim at maintaining fish habitat and passage will maintain this condition into the future.
Frogs Stable Moderate High Very high Works aim to improve condition to high over the next 20 years through improvements in floodplain habitat.
Birds n/a Moderate Moderate High Works focusing on improving habitat aim to maintain this condition over the next 20 years with improvements in the long term.
Vegetation Improving Moderate High Very high Overall condition is rated at moderate with works over the next 20 years aiming to improve this to high, and very high in the long term.
Macro-invertebrates Stable High Very high Very high Works to protect and improve water quality and habitat aim to raise this condition to very high in the next 20 years and beyond.
Amenity n/a High High Very high High amenity values are still provided and reserved through natural forests, picnic areas along rivers and streams and vistas along waterway corridors.

 

Lower Bunyip system

Expected outcomes for the Lower Bunyip, Lang Land & Bass system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus Declining Very low Very low Moderate Works aim to stabilise this population to allow for improvement over the long term.
Fish Declining High High Very high Works to improve habitat and fish passage may result in migratory species, such as smelt and lamprey being recorded again.
Frogs n/a Very high Very high Very high Maintaining this condition over the next 20 years and beyond will be the focus of floodplain works.
Birds n/a Very low Low Moderate Works to improve habitat aim to raise this condition to low over 20 years and moderate in the long term.  The long term condition will be limited by the lack of large forested areas of habitat.
Vegetation Improving Very low Moderate Moderate Works consentrating on streamside revevegation will aim to improve condition to moderate over the next 20 years.  The presence of levees and the need to maintain hydraulic capacity will limit the ability to achieve high vegetation condition.
Macro-invertebrates Stable Moderate High High Improvement is streamside vegetation and stormwater management – therefore habitat and water quality – aim to improve this condition to high within the next 20 years.
Amenity n/a Low Low Moderate Actions targeted at improving vegetation will increase the condition to moderate in the long term, but the small amount of public land and limited access to waterways will restrict the overall possible gain.

 

Cardinia system

Expected outcomes for the Cardinia system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus n/a Very low Very low Low Vegetation works aim to improve habitat over the long term.
Fish Declining High High Very high Works focusing on improving fish passage, flows and habitat aim to maintain this condition with improvement over the long term.
Frogs n/a Very high Very high Very high Works targeting habitat improvement on the floodplains aim to maintain this condition.
Birds Declining Very low Low High Works to improve floodplain vegetation and habitat aim to improve this condition over the next 20 years.  The lack of opportunity to create large areas of connected habitat will limit the recovery of native streamside bird communities in the long term.
Vegetation Improving Low Moderate High Works aim to improve the condition of vegetation to moderate over the next 20 years.
Macro-invertebrates Stable Moderate High High Condition is expected to improve to high in the next 20 years in response to actions to improve water quality.
Amenity n/a Moderate High Very high Improvement to a high condition is expected as vegetation improves.

 

Mornington Peninsula system

Expected outcomes for the Mornington Peninsula system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus n/a n/a n/a n/a There are no recorded platypus populations within this system.  Some appear to provide suitable habitat, but there have been no reliable recorded sightings or captures in Melbourne Water’s monitoring program, that began in 1995.  The absence of platypus may relate to historic fragmentation of habitat.
Fish Improving High Very high Very high A range of on-ground works will increase the high rating to very high
Frogs n/a Very high Very high Very high Ongoing works aim to maintain current condition.
Birds n/a Low Moderate Moderate Works aim to further improve the variety and proportion of native species.  The long term  outcome for birds is limited to moderate because even with all the waterways vegetated, the lack of connection to large areas of habitat will constrain the abundance of populations.
Vegetation Improving Low Moderate High Works aim to improve the condition of native vegetation to moderate over the next 20 years, and to high over the long term.
Macro-invertebrates Stable Moderate High High Improvements in vegetation condition and water quality are targeted at improving condition of macroinvertebrates to high.
Amenity n/a Low Moderate High Works aim to improve amenity from low to moderate over the next 20 years with improvement to high over the long term.

 

French & Phillip Islands system

Expected outcomes for the French & Phillip Islands system
Key value Trend Condition 20 year Long term Comment
Platypus n/a n/a n/a n/a There are no recorded platypus populations.  It is unlikely that the waterways would have supported platypus since the islands were separated from the mainland due to the lack of suitable habitat.
Fish n/a Very high Very high Very high Works aim to maintain the very high condition.
Frogs n/a Low Moderate High Works aim to improve the condition of frog populations over the next 20 years.
Birds n/a Very low Low Low The long term target is low because the limited waterways on the islands will contrain the variety of streamside birds.
Vegetation Improving Low Moderate High Works aim to stabilise and improve the condition over time.
Macro-invertebrates n/a Low Low Moderate Works aim to stabilise and improve the condition over time.
Amenity n/a Moderate Moderate High Vegetation works aim to maintain amenity over the next 20 years with improvement to high in the long term.