There are a range of other strategic programs and initiatives occurring across the Dandenong Creek catchment, Metropolitan Melbourne and Victoria that Living Links is contributing to:
Biodiversity 2037 is the Victorian Government’s plan to stop the decline of our native plants and animals and improve our natural environment so it is healthy, valued and actively cared for. It presents a long‐term vision for Victoria’s biodiversity, supported by two goals:
- Victorians value nature
- Victoria’s natural environment is healthy
The following priorities are particularly relevant to Living Links:
- Priority 4 – Increase opportunities for all Victorians to have daily connections with nature.
- Priority 5 – Increase opportunities for all Victorians to act to protect biodiversity.
The plan outlines the Victorian Government’s key priorities to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians, particularly the most disadvantaged. As many chronic disease and injuries are preventable, the plan focuses on supporting healthy living from the early years and throughout life. The Plan reiterates the four key principles of Parks Victoria’s ‘Healthy Parks Healthy People’:
- The wellbeing of all societies depends on healthy ecosystems
- Parks nurture healthy ecosystems
- Contact with nature is essential for improving emotional, physical and spiritual health and wellbeing
- Parks are fundamental to economic growth and to vibrant and healthy communities
Metropolitan Melbourne covers 32 local government areas, including the entire Living Links region (the Dandenong Creek catchment). The following initiatives apply to this region:
Plan Melbourne is the Victorian Government’s long‐term plan to accommodate Melbourne’s future growth in population and employment. It applies to the 32 local government areas that are impacted by the Urban Growth Boundary. Directions 6.4 (‘Make Melbourne cooler and greener’) and 6.5 (‘Protect and restore natural habitats’) are directly relevant to Living Links, including the following actions:
- Create an urban forest
- Strengthen the Metropolitan Open Space Network
Resilient Melbourne is part of the global challenge of 100 Resilient Cities pioneered by the Rockerfeller Foundation, which helps cities around the world build resilience to the economic, social and physical challenges of the 21st century. Two of the flagship actions emerging from Resilient Melbourne are:
- Metropolitan urban forest strategy – to extend and link existing urban greening, reforestation and nature initiatives across Melbourne, to improve wellbeing and reduce our exposure to hazards such as heatwaves and flooding.
- Metropolitan cycling corridor network – Melbourne’s metropolitan councils will collaborate with citizens and Victoria’s main transport bodies to establish a metropolitan bicycle path network, to help make cycling a safer and more practical alternative to car travel.
Dandenong Creek Catchment
The Healthy Waterways Strategy provides strategic direction for the management of waterways, wetlands, rivers and creeks across the Port Phillip and Westernport region. The Co-designed Catchment Program for the Dandenong Catchment Region contains detailed targets and performance objectives set out for the catchment and its sub-catchments. The following goals are particularly relevant to Living Links:
- Waterways, wetlands and floodplains provide biodiversity corridors that allow the key environmental values to move and adapt to changes in condition and climate.
- Waterways, wetlands and floodplains are inviting places that are connected and accessible for public enjoyment and amenity.
The Victorian Government has developed the Integrated Water Management Framework for Victoria to help government, the community and the water sector to work together to plan, manage and deliver water in Victoria’s towns and cities. Fifteen Integrated Water Management Forums have been established across the state to identify, prioritise and oversee the implementation of collaborative water opportunities. Each forum has produced a Strategic Directions Statement that captures the regional context, shared vision and water-related outcomes.
The Dandenong Forum covers the Dandenong Creek catchment (the Living Links region) as well as the western side of the Mornington Peninsula.
Strategic outcome areas of particular relevance to Living Links are:
- Healthy and valued waterways and marine environments
- Healthy and valued urban and rural landscapes