The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for the Environment
Andrew Nikolic AM CSC MP
Federal Member for Bass
$3 million for Tamar River Recovery Plan
Joint media release
28 October 2013
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The Government is delivering today on its election commitment to provide $3 million for the Tamar River Recovery Plan and improve the local environment and economy in Tasmania.
The Tamar River Recovery Plan, developed in conjunction with the Launceston City Council and the Launceston Flood Authority will commence in July 2014 with an initial $1 million for 2014/15 and a further $1 million each year for 2015/16 and 2016/17.
Prior to the 2010 State Election, then Environment Minister Michelle O'Byrne, promised to spend "an additional $6.65 million over three years to undertake a dredging program...[and]... ensure an immediate start to remove 100,000 cubic metres of silt...supported by an ongoing annual maintenance program removing 50,000 cubic metres." (Examiner 15 Mar 2010).
State Labor did not deliver and the previous ALP Member for Bass publicly stated he would not lobby for funding.
The Coalition Government is getting on with the job of making a difference.
Silt is a long-term problem in the Tamar affecting its environmental, recreational, social, tourism, and business value.
This funding commitment will support projects that not only enhance the environmental values of the Tamar but also restore the recreational, social, tourism and business amenities of the river.
The $3 million recovery plan includes $500,000 to deliver 'quick wins' to prevent sewerage entering the River and to undertake longer-term scoping works to address our ageing sewerage infrastructure.
"Andrew Nikolic has been an outstanding voice for Bass over the last three years as a fulltime candidate and now as an MP. He's determined to get on with the job of improving the environment and local economy here in Northern Tasmania," Minister Hunt said.
"I commend Andrew for his unwavering commitment to see this through."
Mr Nikolic praised the Launceston City Council and the Launceston Flood Authority for their efforts in constructing the plan.
"Since being pre-selected as the Liberal candidate for Bass in 2011, this project has been a priority for me and I thank the Launceston Council and Flood Authority for proactively working with me to shape this plan," Mr Nikolic said.
"This commitment not only improves our environment through a cleaner Tamar, but provides the local economy a much-needed boost by enhancing the tourism and economic values of our River. Minister Hunt has been steadfast in his support of a healthier Tamar and I am pleased the Government is delivering on its commitment to make funding available as early as next year."
This commitment builds on the Coalition's policy to undertake hundreds of hands-on, practical, grassroots environmental projects across Australia.