The Executive Summarybriefly outlines the key goals and objectives for the Catchment, and summarises issues and actions in the strategy chapter by chapter.
The Introduction outlines the origins and purpose of the Strategy. It provides an overview of the location of the catchment and the waterways that drain it as well as the lands and communities.
The overarching goals for the Merri catchment are listed, and the vision and objectives for the waterway corridors of the Merri catchment are set out. An overview of the roles and responsibilities of agencies and stakeholders along the corridor is given.
The Strategy then moves into consideration of issues under its four Parts - land, water, community and management. Chapters within the parts begin with a detailed background followed by a summary of key issues, objectives and targets.
Appended to the end of the document is the action program under chapter headings.
Part A Land
This part deals with natural and cultural heritage, visual character, and land management.
Section 1 Cultural Heritage and Visual Character
This section gives background on and deals with the management and protection of:
· Aboriginal Heritage (Chapter 1.1), especially in the light of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006
· Historical Heritage (Chapter 1.2),
· Visual character (Chapter 1.3), that is the landscape values and visual elements that make Merri Creek an appealing place.
Section 2 Natural Heritage and Land Management
This section provides background on the issues relating to:
· Biodiversity (Chapter 2.1)
· Geodiversity (Chapter 2.2) that is geological and geomorphological sites of significance
· Land management (Chapter 2.3) especially dealing with pest plants and animals, erosion and salinity
These issues are then examined according to three broad reaches:
· Merri Creek headwaters to Craigieburn - largely rural but at least on the west side of Merri Creek is rapidly being developed for residential and industrial purposes although establishment of an open space system is just beginning;
· Craigieburn to Mahoneys Road - already largely developed for industrial purposes; but includes some major new developments and some significant grassland reserves,
· Mahoneys Road to the Yarra River, long urbanised, with well established fairly narrow reserves along the waterways.
Part B Water
This part deals with issues relating closely to the waterways, including:
· Drainage, Waterway and Floodplain management (Chapter 3.1),
· Water Quality in terms of physical and chemical parameters and litter (Chapter 3.2); and
· Waterway Ecosystem, management of the conditions required for stream health and species diversity (Chapter 3.3).
Part C Community
This part looks at the Creek corridors as open space and recreational resources, and avenues for involvement and learning. Chapters include:
· Community Involvement and Education (Chapter 4.1)
· Recreation (Chapter 4.2)
· Trails and Access (Chapter 4.3); and
· Public Safety (Chapter 4.4)
Part D Planning and Management
On-ground management requirements having been dealt with in earlier parts this part deals with:
· Planning (Chapter 5.1) including strategic and statutory planning processes;
· Management Coordination (Chapter 5.2) including the role of MCMC;
· Implementation of the strategy (Chapter 6.1)and
· Monitoring and review of the strategy (Ch 6.2).
A list of references is given, and a table of acronyms.
Part E Action Program
An Action Program arranged by chapter concludes the Strategy.