Evidence-based action, not politics or single-focus plans, is needed urgently to address river health within the Tamar Estuary, says Alderman Emma Williams.
She will put forward a motion at Monday’s City of Launceston meeting, asking the council to call on the state government to convene a meeting to resolve the strategic and financial commitments of stakeholders including TasWater and Hydro Tasmania.
Alderman Williams said studies had shown the health of the Tamar was not only linked to sewage but a range of issues including contamination in the catchment area.
“In order to address those we need to sit down around the table with those agencies and bodies that can actually do something, instead of just talking one to one, we need to sit down as a group,” she said.
“The Tamar estuary is an issue for the community in Launceston … its about developing actions that we can actually undertake and recognising that its not about one-off quick fix, even though sewage treatment is not a one off thing.”
She said repeated Tamar Estuary and Esk Rivers Program reports into the health of the estuary indicate that the zone of the Tamar within the urban area of Launceston has a poor and degraded ecosystem health.
“These poor results represent not only a threat to environmental and human health, but other social and economic matters including tourism, lifestyle and business investment opportunities,” Alderman Williams said.
“A body of evidence-based work has been produced identifying influencing factors in the current state of the Tamar, including the TEER Water Quality Improvement Plan (2015). However, these factors can only be addressed by a multi-stakeholder approach to responsibilities.”