Media Releases

Labor's $200 million investment in urban waterways

January 31, 2019

If elected, a Shorten Labor Government will invest $200 million to rescue our urban rivers.

Australia’s the nation of the “great outdoors”, but for too long, our rivers, creeks and wetlands have been treated like industrial waste drains, ending up polluted, dirty and littered with shopping trolleys rather than being safe spaces for families, kids and school groups to visit.

That’s why Labor will engage state and local governments, local councils, community groups and local environmental organisations to bring urban waterways and habitat corridors back to health.

Local environmental action groups will be able to apply for small grants, benefitting our urban environment, creating jobs and also re-engaging, educating and mobilising local communities to act on local environmental protection.

Labor’s $200 million investment will unlock grant funding for projects to clean up our divers including:

  • Building wetlands to capture and clean and filter stormwater.
  • Revegetation and tree planting along corridors.
  • Citizen science and education programs along creeks and corridors, including bush kinder.
  • Bird boxes and waste capture.
  • Employment of indigenous rangers.
  • Turning urban waterways back in to creeks and rivers again through changing hard surfaces back to natural surfaces (cement turned to river banks).

Anne Stanley, Member for Werriwa, welcomed the announcement:

"The Georges River has always been an important part of Werriwa. To the local Cabrogal people for thousands of years and as important part of industry and recreation in more recent times. Unfortunately for too long our local creeks and waterways have been used as drains and dumping grounds for industrial waste, rubbish, and trolleys."

Anne added: "For too long the Georges River has been suffocated by algae blooms brought on by external pollutants. I look forward to advocating for the Georges River to be included as a funded project to bring the bird life and fish life back to the area."