As a result of the recent high rainfalls and subsequent flooding Melbourne Water is working with emergency services and other relevant agencies to review the impacts to our waterways and assets. 

For flood or storm emergency assistance, contact the VIC SES on 132 500 and for life threatening emergencies call 000. 

You can access current emergency information by calling the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 or sign up to receive regular updates regarding flooding via the emergency.vic.gov.au website and app.

To build a bicycle or pedestrian path on our land, near our assets or within a floodplain you will need our formal approval.

​A shared pathway is a pedestrian or bicycle track that crosses public open spaces or Melbourne Water-owned land, or is beside a waterway, constructed lake, or wetland.

Any works undertaken without Melbourne Water approval will be considered illegal under the Water Act.

Application process

Approvals from other authorities

We may need evidence of approvals from other authorities or private owners who may be affected by your works before we provide approval.

Check that you comply with other laws that may affect your development, such as Special Building Overlay and Land Subject to Inundation Overlay.

Check construction requirements

Our guidelines include the technical requirements for shared pathways and the documents needed at each approval stage.

Approval process

You will need to complete the relevant checklist and submit specific documents at each stage of the process.

Initial consultation

Your application must include a cover letter description of the proposed works, the completed stage 1 checklist and the following supporting documents:

  • conceptual plans

  • path offsets

  • land ownership

  • desktop environmental reports

  • photos

  • path offsets from waterway

  • top of bank/assets

  • bridge locations

  • licensed surveyor’s plan

Design approval

Your application must include a cover letter, a description of  describing the proposed works, the completed stage 2 checklist and the following supporting documents:

  • detailed design plans

  • path offsets and design

  • licensed surveyor’s plans

  • environmental reports

  • flora and fauna reports

  • heritage approvals

  • bridge/crossings design

  • hydraulic assessment report

  • path safety management package (include independent safety assessment report)

  • revegetation plans

  • rock beaching plans

  • independent engineer’s certification in meeting path standards

Before starting work you will pay the application fee and where Melbourne Water land is being affected, enter into a formal Pathways Agreement (Header and Annexure Agreement).

Construction approval

Your application must include a a cover letter describing description of the constructed works, the completed stage 3 checklist and the following supporting documents:

  • copy of the letter of approval

  • fees/bond receipt

  • acceptance/remittance forms

  • detailed design plans

  • practical completion form

  • end of defects form

  • site management plans

  • revegetation plans

  • rock beaching plans

  • method of works plan

  • task risk assessment

  • any other special conditions that apply

Prior to the commencement of works on Melbourne Water’s asset, the contractor must contact Melbourne Water’s Asset Services Team on (03) 9679 6614 for approval/permits on a live asset(s). Penalties apply for unauthorised works.

All contractors who carry out works on live assets are required to have a Permit to work.

Inspections will be required at different stages of the works, a letter of approval will confirm this requirement. Please refer to inspection of work.

Once built, paths are the responsibility of the path manager, and we will not manage or maintain them.


We are currently receiving a high volume of applications due to growth in demand for our services, which has unfortunately created significant delays. We acknowledge your patience and will make every effort to process your applications as soon as we can. View our current processing times.

Fees (non-refundable)

Fees differ depending on the proposed work. We will advise you of the amount once we assess your application. 

Please note this application fee is non-refundable.

Fees and security for construction, works and connections.

For more information

Our guidelines include the technical requirements for shared pathways and the documents needed at each approval stage:

Contact us

If you need any help to complete this application, contact us on 131 722.

Last updated:
21 September 2021