A TREE planting drive and riverbank fences are possible next steps in the war against silt and sewerage in the Tamar River.
Launceston Flood Authority chairman Alan Birchmore said yesterday that good progress had been made removing silt from the head of the river at Launceston so now was the time for the next step. Mr Birchmore said the winter silt campaign took out enough silt that mud and shoals were no longer visible at low tide and river navigation was improved.
He said the authority had $2.5 million over four years for cleaning up the Tamar, and Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic had promised $500,000 for TasWater to look at options to reduce the sewerage flow into the river.
A recent meeting between the authority, TasWater, NRM North and Launceston City Council looked at options for the river.
``The Launceston Flood Authority had very good results from this year's campaign cleaning up the Tamar,'' Mr Birchmore said. ``So we have been able to widen our view around silt . . . we think that addressing the cause is just as important as addressing the cleaning up [of silt].''
He said possible options included running a program with NRM North next year to plant trees and shrubs on upstream creeks, and fence river banks to restrict cattle.
A TasWater spokeswoman said recent meetings had produced a statement of intent between the four groups.
She said TasWater was investing in sewerage infrastructure, was engaging with the community to develop solutions that benefitted the environment and customers, and was partnering with NRM to develop a Tamar catchment water quality improvement plan.