Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader
Tasmania’s life-giving rivers are central to our health, way of life, and economic prosperity.
In recent years, the science has become clear that the condition of our life-giving rivers is in decline, and there is no sign of this trend turning around.
That’s why today the Greens tabled a motion to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry into Fresh Water Management in Tasmania.
Over the past two years, we’ve undertaken extensive research and engaged with a diverse range of stakeholders to gauge the health of Tasmania’s rivers. We’ve connected with dozens of scientists, farmers, local councils, the seafood industry, anglers, and everyday Tasmanians. We’ve heard their shared and growing concerns.
The evidence is clear - the current approach to managing Tasmania’s river systems is failing. The potential cost of this failure in environmental, social and economic terms is both vast, and preventable.
A Parliamentary Inquiry is an opportunity for MPs to examine fresh water management in a collaborative and constructive way, and to develop an agreed plan to create a broader, more integrated water policy framework.
We cannot keep doing what we’re doing without considering the consequences. There might be some difficult issues to confront, but putting our head in the sand now will risk Tasmania following New Zealand into a situation where our rivers are under grave threat. The flow on impact on New Zealand’s communities and primary producers is enormous and because of the delayed response, much more expensive to address.
We believe this Inquiry is a crucial step to ensure Tasmania’s rivers – and the social and economic benefits they deliver – are looked after for current and future generations, as we experience the increasing impact of global heating.
We respectfully call on members of all political parties to support the establishment of a Parliamentary Inquiry into Fresh Water Management.
As this generation of elected representatives in Tasmania’s Parliament, we’ve got a responsibility and an opportunity to make sure our rivers are in good health for the future.