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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6720

Mr CRAIG KELLY (Hughes) (13:55): A few weeks ago I had the great privilege of travelling on the Georges River with the Georges River river keeper to see what a truly magnificent waterway this is but also to have a look at the few environmental issues affecting that river. The river is currently in good health. There are a lot of fishermen enjoying good hauls of blackfish, jewfish and bream from the river, and things are generally on the improve, but there are a few issues of concern, and one of those is the number of plastic bottles in the river.

The river keeper tells me that last year he pulled no less than 300,000 plastic bottles from the river, and that is what they are actually able to take out. Who knows how many there are at the bottom of the river and on the riverbanks? In fact, the river keeper took me to one place on the riverbank where there was a collection of plastic bottles and other rubbish and waste. I actually gagged when I was there. I felt physically sick from the amount of rubbish that had accumulated on the side of the river.

That is why the coalition's plans for a green army will actually do practical things for the environment. We already have four programs approved for the Georges River, and the river keeper has applied for another three programs that will allow the coalition to get on to do the practical work that will improve the environment of our local areas. (Time expired)