A COALITION government will immediately provide $500,000 for a scoping project to find short, medium and long-term solutions to stop sewage entering the Tamar River, Bass Liberal candidate Andrew Nikolic announced yesterday.
But Mr Nikolic stopped short of committing the alternative government to covering any costs for long-term solutions the project may recommend, like a tertiary treatment plant anticipated to cost $250 million.
``I'm hoping that this scoping project produces some quick wins early,'' Mr Nikolic said.
``That might include some relatively cheap infrastructure work near the sewerage treatment plants we have in places like Ti Tree Bend as an interim measure to stop sewage flowing into the river when there are heavy flood events,'' he said.
Mr Nikolic said although he did not wish to pre-empt the project's recommended outcomes, that work may include a trench at Ti Tree Bend.
He said the project could suggest consolidation of the city's seven sewage treatment plants into two tertiary plants.
Mr Nikolic said the Launceston City Council would be given the money immediately after the election if the Coalition won government.
Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten said the council would work with TasWater on plans to stop river contamination through the scoping project, like possible stormwater diversion to a new retention basin.
``When we get heavy downpours of rain, we need a buffer so the water and sewage that is rushing down to the river together can be separated,'' he said.
Alderman van Zetten said medium and long-term steps to improve the estuary's health would allow for further development in and around the Tamar.
Bass Labor MHR Geoff Lyons said he was yet to formally meet TasWater on the Tamar's problems but acknowledged the estuary was a terrible mess.
He said he would wait for a plan from TasWater on what was needed for better sewage treatment before he lobbied for any federal funding for it.