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80 turn out to rescue the Richmond River

The Richmond River estuary at Ballina was rated F in a 2015 Ecohealth report. Photo environment.nsw.gov.au

The Richmond River estuary at Ballina was rated F in a 2015 Ecohealth report. Photo environment.nsw.gov.au

Over 80 community members representing various farming, Landcare and environment groups attended the inaugural meeting of the Richmond River Rescue on Wednesday night at the Lismore City Hall.

Convened by aspiring Nationals Party politician and former Telstra spin doctor, Rod Bruem, the meeting was called to gauge community support to establish a new environmental action group to focus on the important issues of restoring the Richmond River and its tributaries.

‘Richmond River is a disgrace and by any measure it’s getting worse not better,’ Mr Breum said.

He said the issue needed to be addressed now and addressed loudly by local stakeholders.

However, a split in community consensus rapidly became clear when co-convenor Phil Terry, a local farm owner, stated that the group did not want to see unnecessary laws such as mandatory fencing along river banks or other run off initiatives imposed on farmers whose land adjoins the river.

Landcare groups and local Greens Councillor Vanessa Ekins, having just heard from SCU Professor Amanda Reichelt-Brushett that farming activities over the past century were the largest cause of river degradation, did not warm to Terry’s   position believing farmers needed to make reparations for their impact.

Other groups at the meeting queried the need for the existence of yet another river group but Rod Bruem maintained his goal was to bring all the existing groups under one umbrella to lobby for Federal funding.

The meeting in Lismore will be followed by a meeting in Ballina today, Thursday 23 February, at the Ballina Richmond River Room adjacent to the Library commencing at 6pm.


4 responses to “80 turn out to rescue the Richmond River”

  1. Iain saunders says:

    I remember my father telling me that he and friends used to jump off the wilson creek bridge at low tide to who could touch the bottom and that no one ever did because it was too deep (1930s)and watching coastal frieght steamers unloading at the docks at lismore.last time i visited the area you could see the bottom quite clearly.far too much silt has built up in our coastal river systems which i believe is why floods are much worse now than before.dredge them back to original levels.re use the silt.

  2. Iain saunders says:

    I remember my father telling me that he and friends used to jump off the wilson creek bridge at low tide to see who could touch the bottom and that no one ever did because it was too deep (1930s)and watching coastal frieght steamers unloading at the docks at lismore.last time i visited the area you could see the bottom quite clearly.far too much silt has built up in our coastal river systems which i believe is why floods are much worse now than before.dredge them back to original levels.re use the silt.

  3. Ben Heath says:

    What is the issue with mandatory fencing along the river ? There’s an abundance of water cattle don’t need to drink from the river fencing is a bit of a no brainer surely ?

  4. don says:

    All creek access, both for livestock use and domestic consumption should be curtailed.

    We still get enough rainfall here in our region to collect via water tanks off our roof or small dams holdings.

    The other big issue is farm and herbicide run off. Traces of herbicides have been found in our marine environment and when land care use 2 litres to poison a tree on a river bank it is a fact there is leeching into the water. A few hundred poisoned trees? A no brainer and a common sense response is needed.

    And then there are the land holders who use herbicides to do their whipper snipping and manicuring, often directly into drains.

    The other fact is people have been seen stealing rocks from creek beds in the Byron Shire, I have witnessed this, confrontations have occurred when suggesting it is the wrong thing to be doing.

    Councils should lead the way in better practice and issue guide lines to all new comers to this increasingly degraded area. Byron declared a couple of years ago it would stop using herbicides on public land, I think a 3 year phase out period was mooted. Where does that promise stand today?

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