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June 15, 2024

New group aims to restore the region’s rivers

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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

A new group has been formed called Richmond Rivers Rescue which aims to restore the river and its tributaries.

The group, which has been initiated by local landholders along the Wilsons River at Lismore, will be holding public meetings next week to gauge community support.

A meeting will be held in Lismore on Wednesday, 22 February, in the Fountain Room at the Lismore City Hall, while the Ballina meeting will be held the next day, 23 February, in the Richmond River Room adjacent to the library.

Both meetings start at 6pm and finish at 7.30pm.

People attending the meetings will hear from expert speakers on some of the major issues affecting the river’s health.

A list of priority actions will also be drawn up.

Co-convenor Rod Bruem said the initial goals of the group was to gain broad community ownership of a strategy to reverse the decline, with set goals and timeframe.

The group also aims to gain agreement from all stakeholders on a strategy, and to lobby state and federal governments for support in cleaning up the river, described as the most degraded coastal river in NSW.

Another aim will be to educate the wider community on what individuals can do to make a difference.


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  1. The Northern River is home to maybe a million people or more.
    When the public are presented with a general hum-drum article then the result will be a general hum-drum result.
    Where is the money coming from? Is there access to the prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and the treasurer Scott Morrison and what is their attitude to donating $60 billion out of the Federal Budget of the $60billion of the national Submarine build that is committed for Australia to defend the Isands in the South China Sea with the USA and Donald Trump. We would have to have a phone call to Trump.
    That would be a start.

  2. A great start could be at the headwaters of our creeks.

    Wilson Creek has seen many Coral trees poisoned over the last 3 years which then fall into the running water. I suggest people read Fred Pearce’s -THE NEW WILD- to adjust to accepting all nature has been impacted on by us humans and a new paradigm is needed in guiding conservation responses. Nature rearranges as humans create niches for new plants to thrive.

    I would like to see all dwellings with water tanks to lessen what humans take from our creeks. I would also like to see herbicides prohibited as we have seen their impact in the estuaries and on the dying Coral reef.

  3. Hope this endeavour will also address the “return of the Wildlife” in Rivers and Estuaries.

    It seems “fishing line entanglement” and “over fishing” in these areas is leading to a steady decline in the numbers, and, breeding cycle of Water Birds in particular!

    Would love to see the Tweed Shire Council reflect upon their recent “River Survey” which we have heard zero about since it was conducted.

    A push for Wildlife [survival, and, increase] – in the Tweed Coast and other waterways is mandatory if the health of river and estuary systems is to recover.

  4. It seems…..?

    Do you have any evidence to back up that assertion Mary> because from this angle it looks like a typical green “fishing is a threat” response.
    I would much rather see rec fishing and fishermen as part of the solution, because the overall health of the waterway and reduction in those devastating blackwater fish kills is a threat orders of magnitude greater than rec fishing.
    Rec fishers are one of the key stakeholders in rehabilitating the Richmond and it’s tributaries and to see rec fishing as a threat, rather than part of the solution would be to continue the tragic mistake being made by greens everywhere which leads to alienation of the very people who should be natural allies.

  5. Yes Steve Shearer. I do have a lot of statistics to back up this assertion.

    I may be biased being a wildlife rescuer but statistics prove there is a major problem with fishing line in our estuaries, rivers and dams.

    Most seabirds and water birds that die from hooks and line entanglement are not obvious to most of the public including recreational fishers. Many recreational fishers do not know what “safe fishing to avoid wildlife injuries” is all about.

    If you would pick up discarded line dumped and be careful where you cast out your hooked and baited lines, I would be more than happy to agree with your statement above.

    I am not here to antagonise or disturb people who fish. I hope they enjoy this recreational activity.

    It is a disturbing experience to see a healthy water bird euthanased by a vet because of the extent and suffering it has undergone.

    Steve – I am merely pointing out a problem that many people are ignorant about.

  6. A really good place to start and take action against is the Macadamia farmers growing/ spraying on properties backing on to any watercourse, the shear devastation that rain “runoff” has caused our tributes from poisons and total uncotroll of silt ( topsoil ) and bank eroision from total lack of care for the environment because of industry’s farming methods.

  7. I went to the meeting in Lismore tonight. Sadly the tone was set by one of the co-convenors when he stated that they did not want to see new laws imposed on farmers. He gave as an example mandatory fencing along river banks. Unless farmers make a large contribution to resolving this problem which has been their making for over 100 years then we are really going no where. I like the groups Chairman when he says the group will act as an umbrella group for all the existing groups and not seek to duplicate their work. Now that is a good idea.


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