A riparian corridor forms a transition zone between the land, also known as the terrestrial environment, and the river or watercourse or aquatic environment. Riparian corridors perform a range of important environmental functions such as:
- Providing bed and bank stability and reducing bank and channel erosion;
- Protecting water quality by trapping sediment, nutrients and other contaminants;
- Providing diversity of habitat for terrestrial, riparian and aquatic plants (flora) and animals (fauna);
- Providing connectivity between wildlife habitats;
- Conveying flood flows and controlling the direction of flood flows;
- Providing an interface or buffer between developments and waterways; and
- Providing passive recreational uses.
The protection, restoration or rehabilitation of vegetated riparian corridors is important for maintaining or improving the shape, stability (or geomorphic form) and ecological functions of a watercourse.
Controlled activities carried out in, on or under waterfront land are regulated by the Water Management Act 2000. The Department of Industry - Water administers the Water Management Act 2000 and is required to assess the impact of any proposed controlled activity to ensure that no more than minimal harm will be done to waterfront land as a consequence of carrying out the controlled activity.
Waterfront land includes the bed and bank of any river, lake or estuary and all land within 40 metres of the highest bank of the river, lake or estuary.
If you are planning any work / development, in, on or under waterfront land, approval must be obtained from the Department of Industry - Water (or their equivalent agency) before commencing the controlled activity.