Our rivers and waterways are precious, but they’re under threat from pollution, climate change, and unsustainable water use.
The Greens will restore the health of our rivers to a swimmable level, for our community and our environment.
Victoria’s rivers, like the Yarra/Birrarung, have sustained people and nature for tens of thousands of years. Our waterways underpin the health of our environment and communities, attract millions of visitors each year, and are incredibly important for Victoria’s Traditional Owners.
It was only 50 years ago that the people of Melbourne swam in the Yarra/Birrarung within the reaches of the CBD.
But Victoria’s freshwater is coming under increasing pressure from climate change, pollution, and poor management. Our cities and towns spill pollution into our precious waterways, and industry and agricultural practices have at times failed to protect our environment properly.
With a strategic and coordinated approach, we can restore the Yarra/Birrarung and protect other major rivers in Victoria for our environment and our communities.
The Greens’ plan will make our rivers clean, healthy and swimmable again. We will:
- Set a goal of making the Yarra/Birrarung swimmable again, and fund a project to identify what needs to happen to make this possible. This might mean starting with investing in pools along the Yarra/Birrarung, while we determine how to make more areas of the Yarra, and ultimately the whole river, swimmable again.
- Bring other rivers – like the Maribyrnong, and tributaries like Moonee Ponds Creek and Merri Creek – into an Act similar to the Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Act.
- Protect our riverbanks and water catchments by creating new National Parks along our rivers and in water catchments, and doubling money for riverbank restoration.
- Legislate for minimum environmental waterflows.
- Make big polluters take responsibility for their contaminated water.