A Shorten Labor Government will make the Onkaparinga River a priority

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

TONY BURKE MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND WATER
MEMBER FOR WATSON

AMANDA RISHWORTH MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR DEFENCE PERSONNEL
MEMBER FOR KINGSTON

 

A Shorten Labor Government will make the Onkaparinga River a priority project under the Urban Rivers program.

Through the Urban Rivers and Corridors Program, Labor has committed $200 million to restore urban waterways and habitat corridors across the country to their natural beauty.

This election will be a choice between a united Shorten Labor Government which will invest in our environment, or more of the Liberals’ cuts, chaos, and climate change denialism.

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

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.

Labor will engage state and local governments, local councils, community groups and local environmental organisations to bring urban waterways and habitat corridors back to health.

Labor’s $200 million investment will fund projects to clean up our 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 through changing hard surfaces back to natural surfaces (cement turned to river banks).

The Onkaparinga River is the second largest river in Adelaide. It runs from Charleston and flows for around 90 kilometres down through Southern Adelaide to its mouth at Port Noarlunga.

The river is important to Southern Adelaide for a number of reasons. It is home to many native plants and animals, including endangered migratory birds, and conserves fish breeding habitat.

It runs through significant protected areas like Onkaparinga River National Park, the Onkaparinga River Recreation Park and the Port Noarlunga Reef Aquatic Reserve.

Local residents and tourists enjoy the river for fishing, kayaking and canoeing, and walking or cycling along the boardwalks.

It has been identified by some local groups that work is needed to restore the river’s ecosystem to health. This commitment from Labor will go towards ensuring the long-term health of the Onkaparinga River is protected.

The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has consistently failed to provide federal environment programs that adequately address the urgent need for urban river rehabilitation.

Only Labor is serious about protecting the environment and making sure it’s there for future generations to enjoy. We’ll take action on climate change, invest in the environment, and maintain Australia’s status as the “great outdoors”.

These policies and projects will form part of a comprehensive platform for a healthier environment in our cities and across Australia.

 TUESDAY 14 MAY 2019

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