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Yellingbo Conservation Area - River Licence Cancellations

The definition of title boundary alignment of a River Reserve can be quite complex, as the Crown Allotment Reserve boundary remains the same as its original surveyed position when the Crown allotment was first surveyed. Movements of the river/tributary over the years may mean that the current river position is not representative of the original river location, meaning the "actual distance" from title boundary to current rivers edge is unlikely to accord with the reservation distance as shown on title.

DELWP is in thre process of cancelling or amending the Licence Agreements with the affected land owners abutting the river reserve. The river reservation area will form part of the Yellingbo Conservation area. The documentation supplied from DELWP seems to indicate the Planning Zone/Digital Cadastral Map Base (DCMB) Boundary is to adopted for the extent of The Yellingbo Conservation area. Please note the DCMB boundaries are only an approximate representation of the title boundary location and may contain significant variation in location from the actual title boundary location.

Measuring setback from the current river position is unlikely to represent the true title boundary of the adjoining titles, due to movement of the river location over the passage of time since the freehold land was first aliented by the Crown. We may be able to undertake a preliminary desktop assessment of affected properties to determine what the affect of these changes are in relation to your property, and determine if they are significant to warrant the formal title survey of these boundaries.

We would also advise that in many areas, the reserve Licence agreement covers in part Reserved Crown Land (vide 1881 Government Gazettal) and in part unreserved unalienated Crown Land.

The following link provides the general advice from the Surveyor General's Office detailing the title re-establishment principles of Ambulatory Boundaries and the Doctrine of Accretion.


We would encourage any affected Yarra Valley land owners to contact our office to arrange a meeting to discuss how their property may be affected by this change in policy by the State Government. Please note that the boundary locations as shown in the VicMap Digital database can be highly inaccurate, and can't be relied on for the location of the river title boundary locations.

The Yarra Waterways Group have been successful in their campaigning to have some parts of the Yellingbo Conservation Area rolled back. The Planning Minister recently announced that the revegetation of the the YCW within the Upper Yarra area would now be limited to 10m from the existing river bank, having acknowledged the bushfire concerns as raised by the Yarra Waterways Group. The new Environmental/Conservation Licences proposed for neighbouring properties can provide some opportunities for continued grazing - this would need to be negotiated directly with DELWP. Entering a new licence agreement for the use of the abutting river reserve land with DELWP, may result in the need to fence the title alignment being irrelevant. Their is also some opportunities for the Surveyor-Generals office to be involved in defining the title boundaries, where the river boundary location is in dispute.

The Yarra Waterways Group's will have more updated information as to the current situation of the Yellingbo Conservation Area and I would encorage any affected property owners to consider membership of this advocacy group. Their website is 

Posted: Thu 30 Mar 2017


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