Fourth Report Card published on Georges River health

Fourth Report Card published on Georges River health

Fourth Report Card published on Georges River health

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by GRCCC
07/10/2011

The fourth report card on the ecosystem health of the Georges River has been released. The Community River Health Monitoring Program Report Card provides a ‘snapshot’ of the health of the whole of the Georges River.

The release of this report card marks the completion of the first two-year funding period of the Georges River Community River Health Monitoring Program. This phase of the program saw the Georges River Combined Councils’ Committee (GRCCC) partner with its nine member councils, the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority (SMCMA), Georges River Environmental Education Centre, Sydney Water and the community to monitor the health of the Georges River at 42 sites across the catchment.

“We are very proud of the commitment of the Georges River community throughout the first two years of the River Health Monitoring Program,” said GRCCC Chairperson Clr Julie Bourke.

The program has facilitated 168 sampling events at over 42 sites in freshwater and estuarine areas of the Georges River catchment over the last two years, and the community has contributed more than 1700 volunteer hours to the program.

“Five councils have allocated funds from the Lower Georges River Sustainability Initiative and the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority to implement on ground works to improve water quality as a result of our data, which is what the program set out to achieve” added Clr Bourke.

“The expansion of our sampling into the Cooks River Catchment will allow us to capture data on a regional scale which can be used to inform management decisions relating to the wider Botany Bay catchment, further demonstrating that councils are working together to achieve real environmental gains.”

The results of the autumn 2011 Report Card indicate that the overall ecological health of the Georges River is fair and that large areas of the catchment are in excellent condition. The report card verifies that the river system has been affected by urban and industrial development. The high degree of urbanisation in the mid and lower catchments has led to a loss of riparian and estuarine vegetation and deterioration in water quality and macroinvertebrate diversity. In the upper catchment, the protection of large areas of vegetation has resulted in mostly healthy waterways however there is evidence of degraded water at a number of sites which can be attributed to either industrial discharge or urban runoff.

The GRCCC has been awarded $506,000 from the Australian Government to continue the program for a further two years (to June 2013). This funding will enable more frequent sampling within the Georges River catchment and the expansion of the project into the Cooks River catchment, in partnership with the Cooks River Alliance (CRA).

The River Health monitoring program is being conducted by the GRCCC and has been funded through the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country Program. The project is one of a suite of environmental initiatives by the GRCCC and its member councils, the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority (SMCMA) and the Australian Government that aims to progressively reverse some of the degradation that has occurred within the Georges River catchment. The GRCCC’s River Health Monitoring Program was recently awarded the top prize in the Urban Landcare category of the 2011 NSW Landcare Awards. The GRCCC is an incorporated association of nine local government councils working in partnership with state and federal government agencies and community representatives within the Georges River catchment. It represents local government in the Georges River catchment of NSW. Member councils include Bankstown City, Campbelltown City, Fairfield City, Hurstville City, Kogarah City, Liverpool City, Rockdale City, Sutherland Shire and Wollondilly Shire councils. The GRCCC is proudly hosted by Hurstville City Council, 2009-2012.

For a copy of the latest Report Card visit www.georgesriver.org.au


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Comments

It is commendable to see the GRCC undergo their work to improve the quality of the Georges River and their work should be applauded.The real facts is that if the Moorebank intermodals container terminals freight hub proceed their work will be in vain as the huge quantity of diesel emmissions will destroy the georges River and their excellent work will be undone.If you effect the georges river and its tributaries it will also bounce back on the residents those health will be also greatly effected.When is someone doing the feasibility studies going to unearth the real facts which means the intermodals will have to be stopped John Anderson wattle grove.0409368603

Allan C posts

Fully agree with John. God help our beloved Georges River should the freight terminals go ahead. The river is just another valid reason to stop these developements in their tracks.


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