MEDIA RELEASE 23 November 2018: The Richmond River system is the heart of the Northern Rivers Region but sadly has been identified as one of the most degraded river systems in NSW, but the Greens here in the Northern Rivers have a plan for its revival.
At 10am on Saturday morning at the riverside park boat ramp in Lismore, the Greens will publicly release their $200 million plan to Revive the Richmond, which includes incentives for farmers and local jobs.
Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith, MLC Cate Faehrmann and candidate for Lismore Sue Higginson will join the community for the release, and take part in a community paddling event. Also joining the community paddle will be author of the 2014 UNE Ecohealth Report who will address the community about the dire state of the river.
Members of the community are invited to attend, bring their kayaks and paddle together followed by a free BBQ at midday.
Tamara Smith said, “As the Member for Ballina I have met with many stakeholders and I’ve had countless members of our community visit my office to discuss the dire state of the River. I am pleased to announce the Greens have a Plan to restore the River back to health for all of us.”
Cate Faehrmann, Greens Environment Spokesperson, in September moved a motion in Parliament calling for the government to take action on protecting and improving the health of the Richmond River.
Ms Faehrmann said, “The Plan is not about any more discussion. It is about taking action to revive the River – led by a River Health Commissioner and a whole of catchment approach. It will cost around $200 million over at least 10 years and will include incentive funding for farmers, green jobs fixing the riparian areas, cultural rights and acquisition and infrastructure improvement.
Lismore Greens candidate Sue Higginson said, “We have known since the 1980’s the health of the river was poor, but successive governments have ignored our river’s plight. In 2014 the UNE Ecohealth Report identified the Richmond and Wilsons River as one of the state’s worst and since then the National/Liberal Government has taken no effective action to fix it. The River system is the sixth largest in NSW and is vital to the future of our region for farming, sustainable tourism, business, education, cultural rights, and recreation. We must invest now before the cost of action gets any higher.”
Saturday’s launch follows a roundtable at Southern Cross University with experts and stakeholders.