Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce report on river actions should be released soon

The Tamar River
The Tamar River

The Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce’s River Health Action Plan is due to be finalised in the coming days.

It was developed as part of the Launceston City Deal and, once complete, the next stage is to jointly investigate funding and financing options for upgrades to Launceston’s combined sewerage and stormwater system.

The taskforce includes representatives from councils along the estuary, the flood authority and NRM North. 

City of Launceston general manager Michael Stretton said the council was an active participant on the TEMT and a key contributor to the process of finding solutions for improved combined drainage infrastructure outcomes in Launceston.

“Throughout 2017, the City of Launceston seconded some of its key Infrastructure Services staff, including hydraulic engineers, environmental scientists and infrastructure specialists, to a dedicated team we set up to help deliver a range of detailed proposals for the consideration of the TEMT in preparing its own recommendations,” he said.

“We were aided in this task by experts from TasWater, and experts from organisations like NRM North. After several months' work, our team was able to hand in its report to the TEMT in December.”

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Mr Stretton said the council hopes the River Health Action Plan will be the “first real coordinated step” towards improving the health of the Tamar Estuary.

“There are many issues in the Tamar River Estuary, ranging from the discharge of sewage into the estuary during heavy rainfall events, to ecological health, and the natural process of silt accumulation.

"It is a very large river system, with an enormous catchment area, and with lots of contributing factors. Therefore it has been a very complex issue for the city to grapple with over many years,” he said.

“There have been many attempts in the past to confront the issues, but this is a unique opportunity in the history of our city to have all tiers of government and all relevant stakeholders working together to find solutions, and our Council is very excited about that.”

Once the taskforce releases its findings, the plan is for all stakeholders and all levels of government to implement those improvement projects.