There are estimated to be up to 130 rural drainage systems across Victoria, supporting 1.5 million hectares of agricultural land. These systems play an important role in maintaining agricultural productivity, particularly during the wetter months. Drainage moves water more quickly off the land after
local rainfall events, preventing soil from waterlogging.
However the Millennium Drought, changes to regulations and legislation, and a lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities over the past few decades have resulted in a lack of maintenance on many rural drainage systems.
A parliamentary enquiry into rural drainage was ordered by the Environment and Natural Resource Committee (the ENRC Inquiry) after the extensive floods of 2010, 2011 and 2012. ENRC found community concern about the management, performance and maintenance of Victoria's rural drainage systems.
Developing a rural drainage strategy for Victoria
The development of a Victorian Rural Drainage Strategy (the Strategy) is a key recommendation from the ENRC Inquiry.
The Strategy will set the policy and establish a clearer management structure to make it easier for communities to maintain their rural drainage schemes. The Strategy will:
- clarify institutional arrangements
- support the best use of agricultural land while protecting and improving environmental values
- promote decision making at the local level
- support community led management.
The Strategy will be developed in consultation with key stakeholders, Traditional Owners and the local community. A reference group including representatives of state government agencies, catchment management authorities, the Victorian Farmers Federation and local government is guiding the development
of the Strategy.
A draft Strategy is due to be released in the first half of 2017. There will be opportunities for the community to comment on the draft Strategy.
If you would like more information or to be involved in the development of the Strategy, contact the Rural Drainage Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 9637 9769.
Fact Sheet 1 - Rural drainage in Victoria [PDF File - 508.6 KB]
Fact Sheet 1 - Rural drainage in Victoria [MS Word Document - 46.7 KB]
Fact Sheet 2 - Rural drainage in Victoria [PDF File - 259.7 KB]
Fact Sheet 2 - Rural drainage in Victoria [MS Word Document - 45.0 KB]