The Tamar River and its surrounding landscapes are one of northern Tasmania’s iconic natural assets. Wines from the Tamar are world renowned; fruit has been grown along the river for generations; and there has been growing interest and investment in tourism that takes advantage of this beautiful setting.
Yet the Tamar estuary has been neglected for years, while passing the buck about its appalling state has become a spectator sport.
The Chamber therefore welcomes the establishment of the new Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce, as part of the Launceston City Deal.
Over the weekend, the state government announced members of the Taskforce, which include representatives of local governments responsible for Tamar catchment areas, the Launceston Flood Authority, the EPA and and NRM North. It will be chaired by Infrastructure Tasmania chief executive officer, Alan Garcia.
As its first priority, the Taskforce has been asked to identify the most effective solutions to the problem of raw sewerage flowing into the Tamar during high rainfall events. It will also be required to recommend priority investments and actions, and propose future ongoing governance arrangements for the estuary.
Taskforce recommendations will become part of the River Health Action Plan, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of this calendar year. The plan will be evidence- based, and will contain actions based on science and engineering solutions to improve the health of the Tamar Estuary.
The Tasmanian brand is firmly based on our clean and green reputation. Yet in many respects we do not walk the talk. This long-overdue focus on the Tamar will deliver solutions that ensure we deliver on that promise.
The Chamber looks forward to working with the Taskforce to restore the Tamar Estuary to an environment we can once again be proud of.
Media Contact: Jan Davis, 0409 004 228
24th July 2017