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Today’s announcement by the Greens to support the health of Yarra, Birrarung River is welcomed by the Yarra Riverkeeper Association.
“At this year’s State election we asked all candidates to commit to four asks – water leadership in a climate crisis, new funds for the Yarra Strategic Plan, an end to native forest logging in our catchments, and support for community groups who advocate for, and steward the river. The Greens have come out and supported all four. We hope all other candidates will also support these asks, as what’s good for the Yarra, is good for all.” – Charlotte Sterrett, Yarra Riverkeeper.
“This announcement builds on the good work already done by the Victorian government for river protection by providing a much need injection of $40 million to deliver on the Yarra Strategic Plan. If realised, will support the realisation of Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo (Yarra Strategic Plan) – a 10 year bi-cultural plan for the river that is at the heart of river health and Traditional Owner hopes for healing of the Birrarung as a sacred natural living entity.” – Charlotte Sterrett.
“The plan as it currently stands needs new funding to ensure the projects funded match its overall vision. So far, the majority of funded projects are business-as-usual. We need catchment scale transformation and programs that realise the river as one living integrated entity without artificial divisions between council boundaries.” – Charlotte Sterrett.
The announcement also supports community groups strengthen their capacity to advocate for and steward the river.
“Community groups like the Yarra Riverkeeper Association, care deeply for the Yarra, Birrarung River. But we need help to do this work through government support. Not only to do essential regeneration work, but also to strengthen our ability to advocate for the health and protection of our rivers and waterways. The $12 promised by the Greens would be a huge help to those working at the grassroots and is a recognition of the important role that communities play in healthy rivers and healthy societies.” – Charlotte Sterrett.
Recent floods and the increasing impacts of climate change have highlighted the need to better protect our waterways.
“Make no mistake. The climate crisis is a water crisis and we need massive changes to ensure rivers like the Yarra, Birrarung not only survives but thrives. This requires a moratorium on new water licences, more water for the river to fulfil its ecological functions, and an end to native forest logging, including in river catchments in the first instance.” – Charlotte Sterrett
“Despite the recent floods, our rivers are in decline with a warming climate and population growth increasing pressure on this living entity. All candidates regardless of their affiliation can and must do more to support river health for without a healthy river, Melbourne and all its inhabitants will suffer. We can and must support the Yarra, Birrarung River and all her tributaries to be healthy, protected, and loved.” – Charlotte Sterrett
For interviews, please contact Charlotte Sterrett (Yarra Riverkeeper Association) on 0428 007 779.