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World Rivers Day Encourages Awareness of Threats to Waterways

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Thursday, 22 September 2016

Tags: Launceston

That the House notes:—

(1)           The Tamar Estuary and Esk Rivers forum held in Launceston on 21 September 2016, featuring presentations and discussion on management practices, research topics and future developments for those waterways.

(2)           That findings from such forum include:—

(a)           the overall health of Launceston’s central catchment, the River Tamar/kanamaluka, has decreased, citing a lack of flushing flows and higher loads of input from sewerage treatment plants as the cause;

(b)           around half of pollutants in the River come from diffuse loads, and the remainder from sewerage treatment plants and sewer overflows; and

(c)           that a lack of continuous data collection has made testing the effect of storm water inflows into the River difficult.

(3)           That this Sunday 25 September 2016 is World Rivers Day, which is aimed at highlighting the value of rivers and waterways and encourage improved stewardship of rivers around the globe.

(4)           That World Rivers Day was initiated by renowned river expert, Mark Angelo, following the Water For Life Decade, instigated by the United Nations in 2005 as a response to the obvious and imminent threats to our waterways.

(5)           That New Zealand has recently bestowed legal parenthood on one of the country’s largest rivers which will provide the river its own authority and recognition of presence in law.

(6)           That such recognition and presence in law will ensure that the government and the Whanganui Maori tribe will work together to speak on behalf of the river and be responsible for taking action in court, if required, and present arguments to aid the future health and wellbeing of the river.