Across the Lismore electorate our rivers are suffering from poor management and lack of investment by successive governments over many decades. The waterways of our region are vital to the future of our region for farming, sustainable tourism, business, education, cultural rights, and recreation. I am committed to working with stakeholders and communities to develop plans to improve the health of waterways across the region– from the Richmond, Wilsons, Tweed and Upper Clarence Rivers in the Northern Rivers to the creek and river systems of the Northern Tablelands. We must invest now before the cost of action gets any higher.
Our plan to Revive the Richmond River Catchment
The Richmond River system- which includes the Wilsons River- is the sixth largest in NSW. This catchment has been identified as one of the most degraded river systems in NSW. We have known since the 1980’s the health of the river was poor, but successive governments have ignored the river’s plight.
In consultation with key stakeholders, the Greens in the Northern Rivers have developed a detailed plan to revive the Richmond River. Our plan is a whole of catchment approach which would be led by a River Health Commissioner and will cost around $235 million over at least 10 years. The final plan was launched on 21st Februray 2019. The Plan includes:
- Appointment of a Richmond River Commissioner- this would be a full time, independent Statutory Office, the role of which is to coordinate a whole of catchment response to the recovery of the river.
- Funding of a Richmond River Recovery Plan that will create local jobs and opportunities across a variety of sectors, from research to fishing to tourism to aquaculture and many others.
- Ending native forest logging in the catchment and bringing in 30 metre riparian buffers for plantations and private native forestry.
- Establishment of a land acquisition revolving fund and voluntary covenant program.
- Protection and enhancement of Aboriginal cultural heritage and facilitation of direct involvement of Aboriginal communities in the management of the river.
- Funding for a river-to-sea estuary management program including mangrove, saltmarsh, seaweed and seagrass regeneration programs.
- Funding of the Landcare Coordination Program in line with Landcare NSW’s call for the NSW Government to commit to double the current funding for Landcare coordination.