Werribee Riverkeeper John Forrester has been recognised with a Victorian Premier Volunteer Champions Award.

Mr Forrester was presented with the award in the leadership category at Government House on Sunday.

Mr Forrester, who joined the Werribee River Association in 1993, has previously served as the group’s secretary and president.

He said that his award was “reflective of the work a lot of dedicated people do in waterways”.

“I’d like to thank all the volunteers in the Werribee River Association who work hard to improve the waterway,” he said.

Mr Forrester said that waterways across south-eastern Australia were “in trouble” due to many issues, including climate change, logging, buildings being constructed too close to the water and reduced levels of native fish.

“In addition, in recent years a plague of litter has hit our streets and waterways,” he said.

“We have literally picked tonnes of litter out of our waterways across the past few years.”

He said he believed governments and developers did not always make the best decisions for the environment.

“The majority of people in the community want cleaner waterways, less litter and container deposit legislation,” Mr Forrester said.

He said the Werribee River Association was always seeking new members and volunteers who were keen to help improve the health of local waterways.

“We encourage the community to get on board with these issues, because if we don’t, who will?” he said.

The association will host a Christmas break-up on Friday, at level 1, 7 Bridge Street, Werribee, at 6.30pm. Details: https://www.eventbrite. com.au/e/christmas-break-up-partytickets-82735842131