Improving the health of the Tamar River is not just an environmental issue. Solving the river's problems will directly link back to the community in terms of economic outcomes and recreational uses.
Back in 2019, The Examiner polled readers to gauge what issues mattered most to Northern Tasmanians in the lead up to the federal election.
Cleaning up the Tamar River came in as our readers' top priority.
The second highest priority was coming up with solutions to Tasmania's housing pressures. The third highest was a mental health hub for Northern Tasmania.
"Cleaning Tamar River, people use the river, creatures live in it, and it is beautiful, we need to keep it as good as possible. The water quality has had issues for many years, let's improve it," wrote one survey respondent. And another: "Our biggest Asset is the Tamar. Clean it up."
Responses also noted the importance of Launceston's tourism. Further still lamented a perceived glut of studies and research conducted. Others pointed to flagged sewerage upgrades and proposed sediment issue fixes - such as increased releases from Trevallyn Dam.
"If this was the Derwent then the money would flow."
The money is flowing, but the questions remain if it is enough to solve the issue, or whether we will continue to seek and sink money to correct the river as the problems continue to rise.
Fighting Back against family violence:
The health of the river is not a new topic for The Examiner.
Much like when we report on improvements needed at the LGH, the articles relating to the river can be viewed as negative or a slight on staff or stakeholders.
This is not the intention of the series launched today. Instead, we wish to focus on our river and have a conversation with the community to discover, firstly, if the health of the river remains a priority, and whether current action is enough or whether criticism of inaction is justified.
The Tamar is our river. If the river's health can be improved, we must all be willing to have these conversations regardless of the price tag.
What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor: