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Tasmania Needs Freshwater Management Inquiry

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 9 September 2021

Tags: Water, Water Quality, River Health

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

If there was any doubt Tasmania needs an inquiry into the management of our freshwater resources, it was put to bed by Minister Guy Barnett’s performance in Budget Estimates today.

Following last night’s highly concerning report on ABC’s 7.30 program on the declining health of the state’s rivers, the Greens asked the Minister a range of questions on important topics like river health, drinking water supplies, climate change, and water security.

Disturbingly, the Minister refused to be straight in answer our questions.

Tasmania’s life-giving rivers are central to our health, way of life, and economic prosperity. But the condition of our rivers is in decline, and there is no sign of this trend turning around.

The fact the Minister couldn’t even dignify our questions with real responses was highly troubling.

It’s time to take a careful look at exactly what is happening with Tasmania’s river systems. That’s why the Greens have been pushing to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry into freshwater management.

A Parliamentary Inquiry is an opportunity to bring together stakeholders, scientists, water authorities, and government to have a collaborative, constructive examination of how we can create a broader, more integrated water policy framework.

We believe this is a crucial step to ensure Tasmania’s rivers – and the social and economic benefits they support – are looked after for current and future generations, as we experience the increasing impact of climate change.

We call on members of all political parties to support the establishment of a Parliamentary Inquiry into Freshwater Management.