The Yarra Waterways Group (YWG) formed on the 9th of June 2016 at a public meeting held in Wesburn, Victoria.

The meeting was attended by a large group of farmers, landowners, tourism operators, business owners and residents concerned about the Victorian Government’s decision to transform the Yarra River and its tributaries into a new state park known as the State Emblems Park or Yellingbo Conservation Area.

The Yarra Waterways Group is an advocate for keeping the current rural character of the Yarra Valley and protecting it from increased bushfire risks.  We support sustainable agriculture, tourism and recreational use of the Yarra River and its tributaries. We also support practical and voluntary conservation programs that enhance the environment in collaboration with agriculture, tourism and the community.

Yarra Waterways Group also supports the importance of retaining Haining Farm in Don Valley as an educational facility to teach children from to urban areas of Melbourne about farming practices. The Donor of the property in 1974, Sir John Reid’s legacy was ‘to provide an opportunity for children to visit a farm, have contact with farm animals and gain an understanding of the important role of primary production in our community’.

Mission Statement

“To bring together sensible land management and broad-based nature conservation with the major drivers of our economy, being all forms of agriculture ( farming ), tourism and recreation. We supply policy which protects and develops these industries for the benefit of all”


  • To have the North-East of the Upper Yarra Region removed from the Yellingbo Conservation Area.
  • To re-negotiate new crown river frontage agreements that are acceptable to our members
  • To form policies that do not increase the fire risk to our region, as well as to reduce existing fire risk
  • To stand up for a person’s right to manage their own land and any adjoining Crown River Reserve in a balanced and practical way.