Enhancing our local environment

Below are handy summaries of some of the Allan Labor Government’s projects and iniatives to support, enhance and protect our local environment in Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs.

You can click on the policy headings for more information.

If you have questions about any of these projects, please get in touch on 03 9887 0255 and shaun.leane@parliament.vic.gov.au.

Improving Blackburn Lake Sanctuary

Green Links is a $10 million investment to improve habitat, water quality, and provide cool green spaces for communities around our urban creeks, rivers and waterways.

The program aims to fund up to 200 hectares of revegetation projects over 3 years. Green Links builds on work underway to protect our iconic urban waterways from inappropriate development and complements the aspirations of Traditional Owners and the community for our waterways.

The project in Blackburn Lake Sanctuary will enable weed management and habitat restoration, including the planting of 4,000 trees, shrubs and ground cover.

Blackburn Lake Sanctuary is such an important asset for the Blackburn community – it is pleasing to see this project to protect and improve important habitats for native wildlife.

Over 500 million containers deposited through the Container Deposit Scheme

You can now exchange eligible drink containers for 10 cents. Together we can make a positive difference to our community and our environment.

More than 500 million containers have been returned through the Allan Labor Government’s Container Deposit Scheme.

That’s $50 million back into the pockets of the community and donated to participating charities and community groups.

Containers collected through CDS Vic can be transformed into all kinds of new things – including material for roads, furniture, construction, textiles and more.

Creating new economic opportunities that will support more than 600 jobs across Victoria and a circular economy.

The Labor Government has invested a record $515 million to transform the Victoria’s waste and recycling system, driving progress towards the target of diverting 80 per cent of all waste away from landfill by 2030.

Once fully rolled out in August, Victorians will be able to return eligible drink containers to around 600 refund points across the state.

To find your nearest refund point and for more information, visit cdsvic.org.au.

Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants

The Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants provide funding for projects that involve and educate young people in valuing and actively caring for Victoria’s biodiversity and natural environment.

In 2024 funding of up to $450,000 is available for the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants. Since 2018, the Victorian Government has invested $3 million in the Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants to engage young people in environmental projects and learning activities.

Eligible applicants can apply for grants of up to $5,000 (excluding GST).

The grants are open to all schools, kindergartens, childcare centres, Scouts, Girl Guides, youth groups, and Junior Landcare groups in Victoria.

Yarra Capital Improvement Program

Over 60,000 native plants and grasses have now been planted as Melbourne Water’s Yarra Capital Improvement Program celebrates its halfway milestone. The vast rejuvenation project that began in 2021, breathes new life into over 60km of the Yarra River from Abbotsford to Warrandyte.

This section of the Yarra River is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including fish, birds, frogs, reptiles, and land mammals, including bats, gliders, and bandicoots.

The Yarra Capital Improvement Program, a monumental $4.5 million, five-year endeavour, harnesses the collective strength of Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, Yarra River Keeper, local councils, and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.

Along with the 60,000 native trees and grasses that have been planted along the Yarra River between Dights Falls and Warrandyte since 2021, over the last year, Melbourne Water has begun planting 1500 semi-aquatic plants across the Birrarung Estuary, where salt water from Port Phillip Bay travels about 10km upstream, to improve the health of the Yarra’s aquatic life.

The new plantings, along with weed control, has not only improved the habitat for our unique and diverse wildlife but also enhances our way of life of life today, ensuring the Yarra River remains Melbourne’s most valuable natural asset now and for the future.

The Yarra Capital Improvement Program delivers on a key objective of Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo (the Yarra Strategic Plan) and Healthy Waterways Strategy, bringing to life the 50-year Community Vision and Traditional Owner aspirations to help the Yarra River thrive into the future.