Reduce Pollution in the Tamar Estuary through accountable investment

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Project Description

A Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce was established to oversee the development of a River Health Action Plan. 

The River Health Action Plan:

  • Recommends priority government investments and policy actions.
  • Includes preferred options for mitigating the effect on the Tamar Estuary of the combined sewerage and stormwater system.
  • Enables long-term oversight of the health of the Tamar Estuary and its catchments.
  • Identifies measurable targets.
  • Builds on the work of the Tamar Estuary and Esk Rivers Partnership led by NRM North, including the 2015 Water Quality Improvement Plan.
Tamar River and Kings Bridge. Image Credit: Rob Burnett
Image credit: Rob Burnett

The three Tamar Estuary commitments in the City Deal are:

  • Better governance and planning to improve the health of the Tamar Estuary.
  • Reducing pollution in the Tamar Estuary through accountable investment.
  • Explore funding and financing options for upgrading Launceston's combined sewerage and stormwater system.

Progress Statement

The Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce was formed in July 2017 and established two working groups, dealing with potential catchment actions and the combined sewerage and stormwater system, to address the issues of the Tamar Estuary’s health.

The working groups provided draft reports to the Taskforce in November 2017, which were worked into the River Health Action Plan.

On 15 February 2018, the Taskforce delivered the River Health Action Plan.

On 16 February 2018, the Australian and Tasmanian Governments announced a joint investment of nearly $95 million to complete 12 projects identified by the Taskforce in its Plan.

Next Steps and Milestones

End of 2018: the Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce is to facilitate the planning and detailed design for the projects.

From 2019: Work to commence on the 12 identified projects, to be delivered over five to seven years.

Financial Information

Upon signing the City Deal, the Australian Government committed $1.5 million over 2 years from 2018 -19 for catchment-related actions to reduce pollution and improve the health of the Tamar River through the National Landcare Program.

The Tasmanian Government provided $500,000 to support the work of the Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce.

In February 2018, a further investment of $95 million was committed by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments, to be split in a 50:50 funding arrangement, to implement the 12 recommended projects identified by the Taskforce in the River Health Action Plan.

Responsibilities

The Tasmanian Government has established the Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce (TEMT) to coordinate the development of the River Health Action Plan.

The TEMT includes experts and local stakeholders. It reports to the Launceston City Deal Executive Board.