Victorian Waterway Management Strategy: Independent review

RMCG conducted an independent review of the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy to identify the key strengths, limitations and lessons learnt from the strategy during its eight years of implementation.

The Victorian Waterway Management Strategy provided a detailed statewide policy framework for managing Victoria’s waterways from 2013 to 2021. The strategy aimed to maintain or improve the condition of Victoria’s waterways so they can support environmental, social, cultural and economic values that are important to communities.

While the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) led the implementation of the strategy, regional implementation was led by waterway managers from the nine Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) in regional Victoria and Melbourne Water in the Port Phillip and Westernport region.

Strategy review

In 2021, RMCG completed an independent review of the strategy for DELWP as a key activity in the evaluation and reporting stage of the strategy’s adaptive management approach.

The main purposes of the review were to:

  • Provide a high-level evaluation of the strategy, including what went well, the appropriateness of the strategy, and any challenges with implementation
  • Appraise the success, strengths and weaknesses of the strategy as a policy framework for the management of waterways
  • Identify key areas for improvement for the next strategy based on the learnings from the current strategy.


RMCG’s review framework focused on three key components including design (development), delivery (implementation) and impact (success and lessons) including progress towards the strategy’s vision and objectives.

During the review process, 58 stakeholders were interviewed, 47 participants completed an online survey, two workshops were held with DELWP policy and program leads, and one workshop was held with waterway managers.

A panel of four industry experts also worked alongside RMCG to provide independent advice and expertise to the review of the strategy.

The independent review has since helped DELWP understand the key strengths, limitations and lessons learnt from the Victorian Waterway Management Strategy.

Click here to read the review’s key findings and recommendations. You can also find out more about the independent review process here.

Find out more about our expertise in evaluations.

Lake Burrumbeet Vic


Trent Wallis

Trent Wallis


BSc, MEnvSt, GDipPD(EnvSt)

Trent has an extensive background in environmental planning and natural resource management, with particular expertise in waterway management and planning. This includes 21 years of public sector experience working for catchment management authorities and the state government.

Trent’s work focuses on strategic environmental policy, planning and evaluation, and supporting project teams with the delivery of long-term catchment health outcomes. He is also experienced in community and stakeholder management, and has a strong understanding of the importance of genuine engagement to ensure project buy-in and support. He has worked with, and led, integrated project teams, stakeholder and community project committees, forums and working groups, and technical expert groups.

Carl Larsen

Carl Larsen


B.Env.Sci., B.Soc.Sci. (Env.), PG.Cert.CCPI.

Carl is a socio-environmental scientist with 15 years’ experience in planning, delivery and evaluation of agriculture and natural resource management programs, integrated water management, climate change and stakeholder engagement. He understands the practical implications of policy and science on communities and agriculture. Carl has worked with a range of government departments, resource management agencies, research and development corporations, private organisations and communities around Australia on catchment management, sustainable water use, resource management in agriculture/horticulture, land use, climate change, strategic planning, industry development, extension and practice change.

Shayne Annett

Shayne Annett


B.Ag.Sci., M.Res.Admin. (NRM)

Shayne has over 25 years working in land, water and biodiversity management, and during that time has developed the ability to see things from many perspectives, to anticipate issues that might arise and to draw on his experience to develop pragmatic and progressive solutions. He understands on-ground work, private and public land management, planning and managing programs and projects, and policy at local, state and national levels.