CREATING a tertiary sewage treatment plant to ease the amount of silt and sewage entering the Tamar Estuary should be a priority for Launceston in the upcoming election, a community forum heard last night.
It also heard that it is possible for the city to have one.
More than 100 people attended the forum at the Tailrace Centre, Riverside to hear keynote speakers Barry Blenkhorn and Jennifer Davis say what they think should be done to fix the river.
Professor Davis, a professor of freshwater ecology at Monash University and former Launceston resident, said upgrading infrastructure, including combining houses that had separate water and sewage, should be first.
She said the water treatment plant must then be improved and tidal flushing and fresh water flows increased.
Professor Davis said Launceston could become the white-water kayaking capital if river flows down the Cataract Gorge were improved.
``We believe that a cleaner Tamar is possible, it's up to the community to say that it's possible,'' she said.
A video presentation of a Melbourne treatment plant which had been transformed into a tertiary plant was then showed.
The plant takes up six hectares and works by adding ozone to the sewage, going through biological filters, solid handling, an ozone disinfectant, a UV disinfectant, and a chlorine-adding facility before it is flushed into the ocean.
Launceston Alderman Ted Sands said if it was possible in Melbourne, it should be in Launceston.
He suggested a facility be built near Ti Tree Bend and called for the government to provide $50 million over three years for the project.
``We need to stand up and fight, and I certainly will be, for this city to have a tertiary treatment plant as a priority in the first term in the federal government,'' he said.
``We need to say enough is enough.''