North Coast Greens candidates have called on Nationals MPs Thomas George (Lismore) and Geoff Provest (Tweed) to stand up for the local recreational users of the Tweed River, by protecting the river’s ecology to ensure it can be used long into the future.
‘Murwillumbah locals are concerned about the growing incompatibility of recreational activities on the Tweed River,’ Greens candidate for the seat of Lismore, Adam Guise, said.
‘Traditional recreational users like rowers are facing increased problems caused by wake from interstate jet ski and wakeboard operators, who not only disrupt existing river users, but exacerbate erosion of the river banks,’ Mr Guise said.
‘The Tweed River at Murwillumbah is known throughout Australia as one of the best natural rowing courses on the East Coast due to its still water, long course and natural beauty.
‘The increased use of jet skis and wakeboarding on the river puts this world-renowned reputation in jeopardy.
‘The National Party must stand up and represent this community and protect the river so that it doesn’t turn such an important regional asset into a glorified highway,’ concluded Mr Guise.
Greens Upper House candidate and Tweed Coast local, Dawn Walker, has called for a coordinated approach to preserve the environmental, social, tourism and cultural value of the Tweed River.
‘Opportunities to make submissions to the Regional Boating Plan regarding river usage recently closed. Unfortunately, the draft Tweed-Clarence Boating Plan does not mention the high environmental values of the Tweed River or the need to restrict certain activities like wakeboarding and jet skis along sensitive stretches of the River,’ Greens Upper House candidate Dawn Walker said.
‘The Tweed River is an internationally-recognised migratory bird roosting site. Increased activity from jet skis and wakeboarding disrupts these protected species and threatens their habitat,’ Ms Walker said.
‘The draft Regional Boating Plan has ignored the need to restrict high impact activities along these sensitive stretches.
‘Serious erosion along the banks of the Tweed River has not been adequately addressed in the plan.
‘This is of particular concern given the focus of the report on increased recreational pressure on the river from wakeboard and jet ski users from southern Queensland.
‘It’s time for the National Party to show they are serious about standing up for the residents of our region and demonstrate their commitment to protecting local recreational users and the unique ecology of the Tweed River,’ she concluded.
Meanwhile, on Sunday at the Mullumbimby Civic Centre, around 50 Northern Rivers Greens members were treated to some inside information on ‘How the West Was Won’, when WA Senator Scott Ludlam visited the town to pass on some tips and war stories from his historic 2014 campaign.
Senator Ludlam was joined via phone link-up with campaign manager Jess McColl, and local Greens luminaries Ian Cohen, Jan Barham and Dawn Walker, as well as Greens candidates in the forthcoming state election Tamara Smith and Adam Guise.
‘The NSW North Coast is long overdue for a Greens representative at the state level’, said Senator Ludlam.
‘I’m encouraged by the quality of your local Greens candidates Tamara Smith (Ballina), Adam Guise (Lismore) and Dawn Walker (Upper House candidate) and hope they can apply some of the techniques we successfully used in the recent WA by-election campaign for a home victory up here on the North Coast,’ he said.
The Greens, who currently finish second to the National Party, are hoping to win the lower house seats of Ballina and Lismore at the 2015 NSW state election.