Nov 18, 2007

Federal Labor plan to improve the quality of the Cooks River

Federal Labor plan to improve the quality of the Cooks River

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Anthony Albanese MP

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Water

Labor Member for Grayndler

Tony Burke MP

Labor Member for Watson

Robert McClelland MP

Labor Member for Barton

John Murphy MP

Labor Member for Lowe

18 November 2007

A Rudd Labor Government will invest $2 million to help manage stormwater, reduce river pollution and improve water quality in Sydney’s Cooks River.

The Cooks River has suffered from more than a century of industrial pollution and neglect.

Stormwater runoff has a detrimental effect upon the Cooks River, its tributaries, and areas of remnant bushland within the Cook River catchment.

Development in the Cooks River catchment meant many of its former wetland areas were filled and destroyed, removing the natural filtering systems that reduce nutrient loads, improve water quality, breakdown pollutants and provide shelter for smaller organisms that are important in the food chain.

To improve the water quality and ecology of the river it is important that as many of these systems as possible are returned or remediated.

In recent times, community-based action, supported by state and local governments has lead to a marked improvement in the health of the river.

Federal Labor’s $2 million investment will ensure the Commonwealth Government contributes to the outstanding work being done by local residents in the remediation of this important river system that flows through one of the most densely urbanised communities in Australia.

The Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority will administer the project over two years and will co-ordinate community participation. The project includes:

  • $1 million to reduce the impacts of urban stormwater run off in priority areas of the Cooks River and Wolli Creek corridor

Works will include the installation of Stormwater Quality Improvement Devices to improve the water quality and reduce litter, weeds and sediment in the river. Hot spots that have been identified for work include Wolli Creek Regional Park and Muddy Creek.

  • $1 million for wetland remediation works in the Cooks River to improve water quality, reduce nutrients and increase fish stocks

Project locations include Gough Whitlam Park, Cup and Saucer Creek, Marsh Street Wetland and Eve Street Wetland.

Federal Labor will fund this investment in the Cooks River from Federal Labor’s National Water Security Plan for Towns and Cities, under which a Rudd Labor Government work in partnership with government and local water authorities to invest in modern, more efficient water infrastructure and refurbish water systems.

Below: Map of the Cooks River Catchment 

Below: Robert McClelland, Anthony Albanese and Tony Burke discuss the announcement by the Cooks River