From the start MCMC's objectives included the preparation of a concept plan for the Merri Creek. In 1992 preparation of the Merri Creek Concept Plan commenced with the setting up of a steering committee for the project comprising agency and community representatives. A community workshop was held in which residents and agency representatives views were sought and the beginnings of an agreed vision for the Merri Creek was developed. A number of gaps in knowledge of the Merri Creek were identified, and in 1993 studies were commissioned to fill these gaps. These studies are listed in the reports page of this site. A strategy was developed and after much debate in the steering committee regarding a few controversial issues (primarily relating to the proposed F2 freeway, and conservation of grasslands) a copy of the strategy went to the Minister's office for signing in late 1994. Two and a half years later, after much lobbying to get the strategy signed, it popped back out of the Ministers office with the suggestion that it needed updating. The steering committee was reconvened, and after Melbourne Water said it had identified that some minor review was needed, it commenced to completely re-write the document, leading to around a year's additional delay. Finally in 1999 the concept plan was published as the Merri Creek and Environs Strategy.
The vision for the Creek developed through the Concept Plan/Environs Strategy process is:
"To achieve a healthy living stream flowing through an attractive environment which provides habitat for native animals and is valued by the community as a peaceful, passive open space haven. To protect the natural and cultural features of the Merri Creek corridor though sensitive management which will provide a lasting benefit for the community." (From the Merri Creek and Environs Strategy)
The strategy sets goals for the Merri Creek Corridor, and then in four sections (Land, Water, Community and Management) discusses the background, identifies issues and objectives and an action program for the Creek, with accountable agencies, MCMC coordination required, overall notional cost and priority identified. These action tables have been transferred to a database by MCMC, and through the Merri Creek and Environs Strategy Implementation Subcommittee, progress on actions has been recorded and actions updated as necessary.
In 2002 Melbourne Water commenced the preparation of a Waterway Activity Plan, outside of the Merri Creek and Environs Strategy structure, as its own plan of activities along the Creek.
In 2009 an extensively revised version of the strategy, the Merri Creek and Environs Strategy 2009-2014 has been published by the Merri Creek Management Committee.