Labor promises to clean up the Georges River

The Georges River will be a priority project under Labor's Urban Rivers and Corridors Program.
The Georges River will be a priority project under Labor's Urban Rivers and Corridors Program.

The Georges River would be cleaned up under a program announced by Labor.

Labor's candidate for Banks Chris Gambian and Shadow Minister for Environment and Water Tony Burke announced the initiative this week.

The Georges River will be a priority project under Labor's Urban Rivers and Corridors Program.

Mr Burke said Labor had committed $200 million to bring urban waterways and habitat corridors back to health.

"Through the Urban Rivers and Corridors Program, a Shorten Labor Government will restore urban rivers across the country to their natural beauty.

"Labor's investment will unlock grant funding for projects to clean up our rivers including revegetation, tree planting, waste capture and naturalisation projects," Mr Burke said.

"For too long, our rivers, creeks and wetlands have been treated like storm water drains, ending up polluted, dirty and littered with shopping trolleys, rather than being safe spaces for families, kids and school groups to visit."

Mr Gambian said Labor will engage state and local government, community groups and local environmental organisations to bring urban waterways and habitat corridors back to health.

Labor's $200 million investment will unlock grant funding for projects to clean up rivers including:

  • Building wetlands to capture and clean and filter stormwater.
  • Revegetation and tree planting along corridors.
  • Citizen science and education programs along creeks and corridors,
  • including bush kinder.
  • Bird boxes and waste capture.
  • Employment of Indigenous rangers.
  • Turning urban waterways back into creeks and rivers again by changing hard surfaces back to natural surfaces (cement turned to river banks).

"The Georges River is full of rubbish," Mr Burke said.

"Despite council intervention, more needs to be done. A large amount of the pollution and storm water runoff from local streets is washing into the river, impacting the flow of the river and causing extraordinary damage to marine life and fauna.

"Vegetation management along the river and the restoration of Yeramba Lagoon and the Lime Kiln Wetlands would be specific local projects of interest."

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