The Victorian Government recently established an Improving Stormwater Management Advisory Committee, tasked with advising on ways to improve stormwater management and strengthen links between planning and urban water management across Victoria.

Introducing ‘water sensitive’ practices and keeping Victoria’s urban centres liveable is the Victorian Government’s objective:

“The unprecedented urban growth, forecast for Victoria over the coming decades, provides us with an opportunity to make our towns and cities ‘water sensitive’, protecting the environment and enhancing liveability for current and future generations,” explained Victoria’s Minister for Water, Lisa Neville.

Chris Chesterfield, the Strategic Director, Engagement for the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, will chair this new committee. He brings over 30 years’ experience to his role as chair, and is nationally recognised for his leadership in waterway and urban water management. Other members include Susan Porter and Julie Katz (both planning experts), and Dr Jeremy Cheesman (an environmental and resource economist).

“Stormwater management practice has advanced significantly in Victoria since ‘best practice’ stormwater standards were first introduced more than a decade ago,” said Chris. “This is an opportunity to align urban planning policy with current practice. We can look to where practice is heading as part of integrated water management and identify how we can adapt planning and regulatory systems to enable practice change, rather than being a barrier.”

The Advisory Committee will report to the Ministers for Planning and Water by mid-August. An Issues Paper has been released and submissions are invited from interested stakeholders. Workshops are also planned as part of the consultation.

You can find out more about the committee and its work at the Engage Victoria website.