Shadow Minister for the Environment Tony Burke and Labor Candidate for Macnamara Josh Burns today announced a Shorten Labor Government will commit $1.7 million to clean up and naturalise the Elster Creek.
“Through the Urban Rivers and Corridors Program, a Shorten Labor Government has committed $200 million to restore urban waterways and habitat corridors across the country to their natural beauty,” said Mr Burke.
“Labor’s investment will unlock grant funding for projects to clean up our rivers including revegetation, tree planting, waste capture and naturalisation projects.”
For too long, our rivers, creeks and wetlands have been treated like storm water drains, ending up polluted, dirty and littered with shopping trolleys rather than being safe spaces for families, kids and school groups to visit.
Labor will engage state and local governments, local councils, community groups and local environmental organisations to bring urban waterways and habitat corridors back to health.
Labor’s $200 million investment will fund projects to clean up our rivers, including:
- Building wetlands to capture and clean and filter stormwater.
- Revegetation and tree planting along corridors.
- Citizen science and education programs along creeks and corridors, including bush kinder.
- Bird boxes and waste capture.
- Employment of indigenous rangers.
- Turning urban waterways back into creeks and rivers again through changing hard surfaces back to natural surfaces (cement turned to river banks).
The Elster Creek runs from the Bay through Elwood and the Elwood canal, through Elsternwick Park and out towards the South-Eastern suburbs. During heavy rain periods, it becomes a serious flood risk and residents in the bayside suburb of Elwood has been hit hard by flash flooding in recent years. As climate change makes extreme weather patterns more frequent, naturalising the Elster Creek as well as ensuring any works assist with flood mitigation is all the more vital for Elwood residents.
Mr Burns said the commitment of $1.7 million will revitalise this hidden gem in Elwood.
Labor’s commitment comes on top of the already announced $3 million towards turning the Elsternwick Park North golf course into an environmentally focused urban wetland reserve.
The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has consistently failed to provide federal environment programs that adequately address the urgent need for urban river rehabilitation.
Only Labor is serious about protecting the environment and making sure it’s there for future generations to enjoy. We’ll take action on climate change, invest in the environment, and maintain Australia’s status as the “great outdoors”.
These policies and projects will form part of a comprehensive platform for a healthier environment in our cities and across Australia.